Braintree Town 1 Concord Rangers 2
By Luke Lambert at Victoria Road
CONCORD Rangers made history as they upset the odds to beat local rival Braintree Town and lift the Essex Senior Cup.
Danny Cowley’s side produced one of the performances of the season to beat The Iron, who only just missed out on a play-off place in the Conference National, to win the cup for the first time after goals in each half from Sam Collins and James White.
A goal in the dying seconds from James Mulley came slightly too late for Braintree.
Beachboys boss Danny Cowley said: "We got what we deserved. I am so pleased because we did what we have done all season and gave it absolutely everything.
"Braintree are a fantastic team so for us to come and win so convincingly is testament to everyone. Everyone raised themselves tonight and that is what is what you've got to do against opposition in a higher division.
"The support was fantastic tonight and I am really happy for the supporters too. We have had a fantastic season and what we have achieved as a small club at this level has been terrific.
"It is the perfect way to finish the season."
Despite the lower league side triumphing, it was the conference premier team that started the stronger.
Concord had their first warning when Jamie Butler was forced into a save after 30 seconds but could have fallen behind again with only two minutes on the clock – James Mulley striking the post when one-on-one with the ‘keeper.
Concord grew into the match and had their first chance after ten minutes - Gary Ogilvie breaking into the box and falling under the challenge of Peters but the referee gave nothing.
It was the underdogs who struck first, with their first effort on target. A quickly-taken free-kick by Tony Stokes freed Danny Glozier down the left and his first time ball found the run of Sam Collins.
The recently voted Concord player of the year took a touch and bent it into the far corner past Hamann.
Sam Collins scores Concord's opener
Nothing separated the sides as the half wore on although the Iron almost equalised on the stroke of half time. Sparkes’ header brought a low save from Butler and Sean Marks saw his rebound heroically blocked on the line.
Into the second half, Concord controlled the early exchanges but the first clear chance fell to Mulley, who headed over after good wing play by substitute Jordan Cox.
Concord were growing increasingly frustrated with the referee who failed to give a number of decisions in The Beachboys favour, although he did book Iron captain Kenny Davis for a late challenge on his opposite skipper Stokes.
From the resultant freekick Concord doubled their advantage. Ogilvie drove the ball at goal and the dip and swerve on the ball meant Hamann could only parry the ball to the onrushing James White who slotted home.
James White scores Concord's second goal.
Cox almost netted from a corner with 15 minutes to go and Braintree did grab a goal back through Mulley in the dying moments but it wasn’t meant to be for the Iron and Concord clung on for a famous victory.
Concord Rangers: Jamie Butler, Leon Gordon, Danny Glozier, Nicky Cowley, Steve King, Paul Goodacre, Stephen Cawley (Jack Lampe), James White, Gary Ogilvie (John Easterford), Sam Collins, Tony Stokes Braintree Town: Nick Hamann, Ryan Peters, Sam Habergham, Chez Isaac, Matt Paine (Luke Daley), Kenny Davis, Sean Marks (Jordan Cox), Daniel Holman, Daniel Sparkes (Bradley Quinton), Alan Massey, James Mulley MOM: James White (Concord Rangers)
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