JOHN Coventry was overjoyed to celebrate East Thurrock United’s 50th anniversary by claiming the Essex Senior Cup for the first time in the club’s history.

Rocks secured county bragging rights and silverware by sealing a 3-1 victory over National League South rivals Chelmsford City at Colchester United’s JobServe Community Stadium.

Early goals from Danny Harris and Ben Marlow got East Thurrock off to the perfect start and, although former Southend United defender Mickey Spillane gave the Clarets hope, Alex Osborn rounded off the victory to leave Coventry beaming.

The Rocks boss said: “Being called Essex Senior Cup champions sounds pretty good.

“It’s East Thurrock’s 50th anniversary as well, so it’s a great year to get our first Essex Senior Cup.

“I’m really pleased and it’s brilliant for this little football club because that’s what we are..

“We did really well in the first 10 minutes and cut them open a couple of times.

“When we did cut them open, we managed to finish as well. Sometimes you do that and don’t get an end product, but we got that both times and thoroughly deserved a two-goal lead.

“After that, you have to give credit to Chelmsford because they were patient in their build-up and caused us a lot of problems.

“The only way we were going to win was by defending really well and we did as a team and unit.

“I want to single out my two centre-halves because I thought Steve Sheehan and Ryan Scott were absolutely fantastic.”

Rocks got off to the best possible start as they broke the deadlock inside 35 seconds.

Osborn charged down an attempted Chelmsford clearance before sending a dangerous ball across the face of goal and Harris was on hand to poke the ball into the back of the net.

And East Thurrock’s blistering start continued as they doubled their advantage with less than five minutes on the clock.

Osborn caused the Clarets defenders problems before laying the ball off to Marlow, whose effort from 20 yards out deflected out of the reach of goalkeeper Nathan McDonald.

Spillane halved the deficit with 72 minutes on the clock, but Osborn sealed the win two minutes later by firing Sam Higgins’ pullback into the roof of the net.

And, although he was keen to celebrate being crowned Essex Senior Cup champions, Coventry is keen to follow the victory up with three points against Weston-super-Mare.

Coventry added: “Alex Osborn was brilliant. The first two goals came from him hassling and harrying their defenders. He nicked it off them and delivered the final ball, which was crucial.

“He has been brilliant and Sam Higgins was great for the third goal as well.

“But if I could trade the trophy in for three points, I’d possibly do it.”