Chelmsford City manager, Rod Stringer was delighted to see his side lift their first piece of silverware under his leadership, but admitted that fellow National League South opponents, East Thurrock United, had made them battle all the way before they could claim the BBC Essex Senior Cup for the first time since 2009.
Speaking after Chris Dickson’s goal had sunk the Rocks in a tense final at Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium, Stringer said: “It was a tough game. We knew it was going to be tough playing against John Coventry’s team. They are organised, while the boy Sam Higgins up front is a handful. I thought he ran the line tremendously well against our centre-halves.
“I thought it was an even game to be fair. I didn’t think we played well during the first half. We changed the shape again, which is becoming a bit too often, but we are having to force it to try and get another pass in the right areas. But Dicko came up with that goal just before half-time. I said to the boys not to think that they have got out of gaol because we weren’t good enough.
Stringer continued: “I just want to say that my players have dug in so well this year and have never let me down. They don’t play as well as I want them to play at times. People make mistakes and some don’t work as hard in certain areas, but they have shown a lot out there tonight. They have thrown their bodies on the line.
“I needed the second goal. If we’d got the second goal I could have really enjoyed the last fifteen minutes. But it doesn’t matter how we win it. It’s not all about performances in cup competitions, it’s about just getting your hands on that trophy.
Stringer was quick to show his respect for East Thurrock United as well, as heaping praise on the raucous Clarets support who once again turned out in big number to back his side, saying: “You can’t take away that East Thurrock United have had an amazing season. If you look beyond that they have had a good few years.
“Look at the supporters tonight. For me, they have been unbelievable all season. But to have almost 1,700 here tonight, and we had the lion’s share of that, I think it’s credit to what this club could be. Hopefully, it will continue.
“We go away tonight over the moon. That’s what I was brought to the club for. To get this club and the supporters going. I think this is the start of some good things.”