Essex Senior Cup Final: Billericay 0 Concord Rangers 5

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Conference South club Concord Rangers retained the Essex Senior Cup with a convincing 5-0 victory over nine-man Billericay Town at Victoria Road.

Joe Gardner gave Concord an early lead before Billericay were reduced to 10 men after captain Richard Halle was given a straight red for tripping Tony Stokes as the last man.

The Beachboys grabbed a second shortly after the sending off as Stokes slotted in from close range and Gardner rounded off some great team play to put Concord 3-0 up at half-time.

Danny Glozier scored Rangers’ fourth from the spot before Billericay went down to nine after Ricky Sappleton was sent off for violent conduct.

Substitute Lewis Taaffe completed the scoring as Concord became the first team to retain the cup in 10 years.

Both teams narrowly missed out on the play-offs in their respective league campaigns, so they were keen to end the season with cup success.

Both teams started well but Concord were first to score just four minutes in. Taylor Miles’ through ball cut the Town defence in half and Gardner tucked it coolly past Kitteridge.

Billericay were reduced to 10 men with just 11 minutes on the clock as a long ball was lifted over the defence for Stokes who was in on goal but he was hauled down by skipper Halle and the referee had no choice but to send him off as the last man.

Concord extended their lead three minutes later as Miles – again the supplier – knocked the ball over the top for Stokes in the box and his shot slotted underneath the keeper.

Danny Cowley’s side grabbed a third just after the half hour mark as Stokes flicked the ball into the box for Gardner to stab it past Kitteridge.

Gardner almost grabbed his hat-trick three minutes before half-time following a Concord break, but his shot was palmed away around the post.

Billericay made a lively start to the second half with Afolabi Obafemi rifling a shot off the crossbar, however any hopes of a comeback were put to bed when Concord were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark after Ryan Melaugh brought down Gardner just inside the box.

Glozier stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to slot home Concord’s fourth.

Billericay went down to nine men 14 minutes from time as Sappleton was given a straight red after some deliberation for leading with his arm into a challenge with Gary Ogilvie.

Concord rounded off a professional performance with a fifth as Steve King knocked the ball down for substitute Taaffe to bundle the ball in from a yard out.

Billericay Lineup: 1 Ross Kitteridge, 2 Ola Williams, 3 Ryan Melaugh, 4 Jack Edwards, 5 Richard Halle ©, 6 Steve Sheehan, 7 Cyrus Mahler (71), 8 Glenn Poole, 9 Ricky Sappleton, 10 Rowan Liburd (77), 11 Afolabi Obafemi (81)

Substitutes: 12 George Beavan (77), 14 Seedy Njie, 15 Shafeek Farrell (81), 16 Harry Baker (71), 17 Callum Dunne

Concord Rangers Lineup: 1 Josh Vickers, 2 Jeremy Walker, 3 Danny Glozier, 4 Alex Woodyard, 5 Steve King ©, 6 Matt Fry, 7 Taylor Miles, 8 James White, 9 Joe Gardner (66), 10 Gary Ogilivie (82), 11 Tony Stokes (67)

Substitutes: 12 Jack Lampe, 14 Jay Dowie, 15 Sam Collins (82), 16 Steve Cawley (66), 17 Lewis Taafe (67)

Attendance: 723


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