Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Football: East Thurrock edged out at Essex Senior Cup Final

Chelmsford City 1-0 East Thurrock United, Tuesday 28th March 2017, Kick-Off 7:45pm, Weston Homes Community Stadium, BBC Essex Senior Cup Final.

Chelmsford City Manager Rod Stringer dedicated his team’s narrow BBC Essex Senior Cup Final victory over East Thurrock United to the club’s supporters as Chris Dickson’s crucial, 45th-minute strike secured the Clarets their first County Cup triumph since 2009 in front of a huge crowd.

1,672 supporters witnessed the annual showpiece at Colchester United FC and they were kept guessing as to the destination of the silverware right until the end as John Coventry’s Rocks kept the pressure on Chelmsford throughout the game. Though Dickson’s tenth of the season was a sufficient dividing line at full time, and Stringer told BBC Essex: “I think there were nearly 1,700 here tonight – that takes some doing for your local cup.”

“I’d say a mass part of that was Chelmsford City supporters and, the bottom line to me, is we need to get the club up and running and we need to start somewhere. This is for them, and it’s for the board. We get paid to go our jobs and these guys come to pay to watch us. As far as I’m concerned, all we want to do is give them as much as we can back. They’ve been brilliant tonight and we’re so pleased that we’ve given them the cup to have a sing about.”

“We’ve had three games against them this year and they’ve all been tough. I didn’t expect it to be any different tonight. Covo and Jay Deveraux’s sides are very workmanlike and honest. We managed to get the goal. I don’t think we played very well – I’m not going to say it was the best performance but, once we went 1-0 up, we just made sure that we never conceded. The best moment we had was when Dicko finished it just on half time.”

There was an early chance for Chelmsford in the 4th minute as Kane Haysman slid a shot inches wide, thought there were few attacks of note after that in a cagey and tense opening period. On 34 minutes East Thurrock’s Sam Higgins found a way through a mean Clarets defence, but his subsequent shot was scuffed at goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons. Moments later at the other end, Haysman tried his luck again, only for his angled effort to flash across the face of goal.

As half time approached, Chris Bush’s free kick over the crossbar from 25 yards for the Clarets suggested the scoreline would stay goalless at the interval, but Dickson had other ideas. Chelmsford’s creative winger Robbie Willmott received a pass on the right from Bush and swung a delivery into the goalmouth which Dickson fed on and fired into the roof of the net. It was the goal that was needed to spark the contest into life.

Immediately after the break it was Dickson again causing concern for United, curling off-target, and that was quickly followed up by Haysman weaving into the area and arrowing a low effort just wide as City aimed to turn the screw. The Clarets then hit the post when Willmott clipped a 52nd-minute cross to the far post where Shaun Jeffers’ header was touched onto the upright and away by East Thurrock ‘keeper Lucas Lidakevicius.

Time was starting to run out for The Rocks to make an impact on Fitzsimons’ net and, either side of Elliott Buchanan forcing Lidakevicius to palm away from an Anthony Church pass, they did threaten. Higgins turned and saw his low drive deflected just past the far post, then the same player brought a save from the City gloveman prior to drilling the rebound into the side netting. Another opening arrived on 71 minutes as Tom Wraight curled a shot inches wide.

With a few minutes remaining, another Bush dead ball attempt from 20 yards was smothered by Lidakevicius and East Thurrock’s former Chelmsford player Ben Marlow watched his half volley drop just over the crossbar, though there were no more goals and Stringer was able to celebrate a trophy in his first season as manager. “We needed to improve in the second half,” he admitted during his post-match comments.

“I think we changed the shape a little bit and my boys have done what they’ve done all the time, which is get over the line, and that’s what cup finals are about. It doesn’t matter how you win them, it just matters whether you can get your hands on that silverware. It’s probably one of the best trophies I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s a wonderful cup and I’m really pleased for the supporters and my players.”

Chelmsford City: Ross Fitzsimons, Ashley Miller, Daniel Blanchett (Max Porter, 69), Josh Rees, Chris Bush, Joshua Hill, Robbie Willmott, Anthony Church, Shaun Jeffers (Elliott Buchanan, 62), Chris Dickson, Kane Haysman (Luke Daley, 81). Unused Substitutes: Michael Spillane, Max Cornhill.

East Thurrock United: Lukas Lidakevicius, Ryan Sammons (Adetayo Osifuwa, 78), Kye Ruel (Harry Honesty, 78), Simon Peddie, Lee Burns, Ben Wood (Michael Freiter, 85), Reece Harris, Ben Marlow, Sam Higgins, George Craddock, Tom Wraight. Unused Substitutes: James Walker, Marvel Ekpiteta.

Bookings: Chelmsford: Haysman (27, foul).

Referee: Lloyd Wood (Romford).

Assistant Referees: Garry Maskell (Westcliff-on-Sea) and Anthony Pope (Witham).

Fourth Official: Dean Skipper (Rainham).

Attendance: 1,672.


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