On Friday they were beaten 5-1 at home by a strong Crystal Palace side in which Wilfred Zaha (pictured by Simon Roe taking on two home players) was outstanding.
Among the Palace scorers was Bayan Fenwick, signed last season from the Lewes youth set-up. Layton Schaaf, who was his teammate in the Rooks’ Under-18 side, scored for the hosts.
The following afternoon Rooks were in action against Conference South club Dover and chalked up a creditable 2-1 victory. Schaaf was on target again, as was Steve Brinkhurst, as Rooks netted twice in the first ten minutes.
Another team in action on Friday were Grays Athletic, with a crowd of over 600 turning up at their new ground in Rush Green, Romford to see them beat a West Ham XI 4-1.
Frederic Picquionne, Ravel Morrison and Bilel Mohsni were notable members of a generally youthful Hammers side. Mohnsi put through his own net to give Grays the lead but he made amends later with a goal at the right end. By then, though, the Ryman North side were out of sight thanks to a Lee Flynn free kick and headers from Joao Carlos and Craig Pope.
Many of the same West Ham squad took the field at Thurrock on Saturday and beat the Ryman Premier newcomers 2-1, Kieran Sadlier scoring either side of a Hassan Ibrahim strike for Thurrock, now managed by Mark Stimson who led Grays to two FA Trophy triumphs and the Conference Premier play-offs.