A GOAL on the stroke of half-time from Chris Dickson saw Chelmsford City lift the BBC Essex Senior Cup for the first time since 2009 following
a competitive all-National League South final with East Thurrock United at Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Both sides went into the match off the back of impressive league victories at the weekend, and clearly, both were keen to lift the cup following impressive campaigns. Tom Wraight nodded tamely at Clarets goalkeeper, Ross Fitzsimons, while City’s Kane Haysman sent a low drive fizzing past an upright as the two sides exchanged early opportunities during a frantic opening to the contest.
Certainly, East Thurrock had settled slightly better with former Chelmsford player, Ben Marlow, firing over. However, despite seeing more of the ball in those opening exchanges the Rocks struggled to offer any further serious threat. Meanwhile, defender, Lee Burns, moved quickly as Chris Dickson looked to profit as the largely frustrated Clarets responded.
Rocks keeper, Lukas Lidakevicius, scooped out Haysman’s troublesome centre, while Chris Bush and Dickson blaster over as City finally began to ask a few telling questions. Then, just before the break, Chelmsford grabbed the lead. Dickson arrived at the far post to slam Robbie Willmott’s pinpoint cross high into the net for his tenth goal in sixteen appearances for the Melbourne Stadium club, much to the delight of the highly vocal contingent of Clarets supporters.
Dickson was wayward, while Haysman was a whisker away following a probing run as Chelmsford looked to kill the contest immediately after the break. Soon after, Shaun Jeffers nodded against the foot of the post, this after Willmott had again provided the opening.
Haysman dragged a decent chance wide as Chelmsford continued to dominate. However, the Rocks almost restored parity when Higgins’ attempt was deflected agonisingly wide of the target with Fitzsimons wrong-footed.
Higgins fired directly at Fitzsimons, then the Clarets stopper was forced into a spectacular save to keep out Ryan Sammons goalbound strike. Wraight sent a scissor kick over as the Rocks began to show a little more intent as an attacking force. And the contest again swung as Clarets substitute, Elliott Buchanan, saw his right-footed attempt pushed away by Lidakevicius, this after Anthony Church had seized on some hesitant defending.
Fitzsimons brilliantly saved from the evergreen Higgins, while Wraight shot wide as the Rocks desperately searched for a way back into the match.
In the final stages, Bush sent his dead-ball effort into the gloves of Lidakevicius, while Willmott volleyed wide as the Clarets looked for a decisive second goal.
Marlow was just too high as the Rocks swarmed forward in an attempt to force a penalty shoot-out. But there was to be no addition to the scoring. Chelmsford held firm to lift the BBC Essex Senior Cup for the first time since 2009.
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’) Subs not used: Michael Spillane, Max Cornhill
Booked: Kane Haysman (Foul)
Goals: Chris Dickson 45’
East Thurrock United: Lukas Lidakevicius, Ryan Sammons (Adetayo Osifuwa 77’), Kyel Ruel (Harry Honesty 77’), Simon Peddie, Lee Burns, Ben Wood (Michael Freiter 86’), Reece Harris, Ben Marlow, Sam Higgins, George Craddock, Tom Wraight Subs not used: James Walker, Marvel Expiteta
Referee: L. Wood
Assistants: G. Maskell and D. Skipper
Fourth Official: A. Pope
Attendance: 1,672 (842 from Chelmsford)