DANNY Cowley believes Concord are still a better team than Chelmsford – despite a 3-1 win for the Clarets in Tuesday’s derby.

The Beachboys boss gave credit to their Essex rivals for edging a “blood and thunder” clash at the Aspect Arena.

But he said he came away from the match believing his starting XI is superior to Mark Hawkes’ rejuvenated side, who are third in the Skrill South form table, but still a point and a place behind 12th-placed Concord.

Cowley said: “I thought that if we could have got the second goal we would have gone on to win the game.

“But credit to their manager, he’s come in and done a good job and has them playing with a spirit which was not there before.

“And things went for them: we hit the inside of the post and had a header cleared off the line.

“And I actually think we are better team than Chelmsford. We have not got the depth of squad that they have got, but we have a better first XI.

“But credit to them because they put on a good away performance.”

Former Heybridge Swifts duo Luke Callander and Michael Cheek gave the Clarets a 2-0 half-time lead and Rob Edmans added a late third after Tony Stokes had pulled one back for the hosts.

Sam Collins also hit the post and Steve King had a late header cleared off the line as Concord pressed for an equaliser, before Edmans killed the game with a finish from a quick counter.

Concord skipper Stokes says they will use the disappointment as fuel ahead of Saturday’s visit of play-off chasing Staines Town.

He said: “We were disappointed at half-time because we were losing the battle.

“Dan gave us a talk and we were much better in the second half and if we’d taken our chances we could have won comfortably.

“But we’ve already dusted ourselves off and we want to respond with a good performance against Staines.”