JAMIE O’Hara was pleased to see Jake Robinson lead by example in more ways than one as Billericay Town booked their place in the semi-finals of the Essex Senior Cup.

Robinson bagged a hat-trick as he wore the captain’s armband for the first time in Billericay’s thrilling 4-3 win over Isthmian North outfit Grays Athletic.

And O’Hara, who came off the bench and got his name on the scoresheet with a deflected free-kick, was keen to hail Robinson.

The Billericay player-manager said: “Jake is a leader.

“He is not the most vocal lad in the world, but he is a leader on the pitch.

“Jake scores goals, gets us points and he stepped up again.

“You don’t always have to be the big character in the dressing room to be the captain.

“He leads by example and scores important goals for us.

“Jake has been at the club for a long time and he is a loyal servant, so he deserved the captaincy.”

Robinson’s hat-trick, which was completed thanks to an injury time penalty, saw him overtake Billy Bricknell and move into third place in the National League South club’s all-time leading goalscorers list.

The frontman, who is enjoying his second spell at New Lodge, has now found the back of the net 107 times for Billericay.

Only club legends Fred Clayden and Leon Gutzmore have been more prolific for Town.

And O’Hara felt Robinson was fully deserving of claiming the matchball after going into the tie with Grays as the side’s only fit striker.

“Jake led the line on his own because Femi Akinwande was cup-tied and Brian Galach’s loan didn’t get extended in time,” confirmed O’Hara.

“Because of that, Jake was our only striker and he was different class.

“He got a hat-trick and fair play to him.”

Joao Carlos grabbed two of Grays’ goals, while Tony Stokes - who counts the likes of Concord Rangers and Bowers & Pitsea among his former clubs - also netted.

Although O’Hara was frustrated to concede cheap goals, he refused to blame Alan Julian after the goalkeeper came back into the side following Charlton Athletic’s decision to recall promising youngster Nathan Harness.

“I was disappointed with the defending again but Jules, really and truthfully, wasn’t fit,” added O’Hara.

“Charlton have taken Nathan back, which was out of our control.

“I had to get Jules to play when he is a couple of weeks away from being right.

“He played because I told him we haven’t got anyone else.

“It was hard for him because he looked like he couldn’t get around, but we have got to protect him better.

“We conceded three goals, but we got the job done.”