Essex Senior Cup Semi Final
East Thurrock United 0 v 2 Chelmsford City
EAST Thurrock’s hopes of a second consecutive Essex Senior Cup final were dashed by the cup holders who went one better than last season’s single goal final victory to earn their place in this season’s showcase at Colchester United on Tuesday, 20 March, where Bostik Premier leaders Billericay or Bostik North strugglers Romford await.
Tuesday’s semi at the FutureFuel proved something of an anti-climax and rarely hit the heights. East Thurrock started well and a third minute volley from Sam Higgins flashed wide of the post, then Max Cornhill’s diving header two minutes later also went past the upright.
Clarets took the lead on ten minutes when Jonathan Giles was allowed to run from close to the halfway line unchallenged and he cut inside to fire past Lukas Lidakevicius. And the visitors ought to have added a second eight minutes later when Rocks gave away possession cheaply and Bagasan Graham was again untouched as he raced forward, rounded Lidakevicius but with the goal gaping fired into the side netting.
East Thurrock had a chance to draw level just after the half hour when Higgins found space in the box but the ball got stuck under his feet and a tame effort was cleared away by Mark Haines.
And there was certainly a sense of aggrievement among the home fans just before the break when Max Cornhill was flattened in the box by what looked like a flailing elbow. Clarets could have had few complaints had they had a man sent off and conceded a penalty but though referee Lloyd Wood appeared to see the incident clearly, and stopped play for treatment to Cornhill, he restarted play with an uncontested drop ball from which Chelmsford gratefully cleared their lines.
The second half saw Chelmsford retain the ascendancy and it was no surprise as shot-shy East Thurrock conceded a second when sub Shaun Batt bundled the ball home from close range with Lidakevicious making a hash of his effort to save.
An insipid game was petering towards its conclusion when Higgins rattled the bar with a close range shot as the hosts finally showed a sense of urgency and some fluency but at the end of the day the Clarets were worthy winners.
East Thurrock were the better side for the first five minutes and the last, but in between the cup holders looked a cut above above their lack-lustre rivals.