Essex Senior Cup Final: Concord Rangers 1 Heybridge Swifts 0

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Concord Rangers won the Essex Senior Cup for the third successive season, after a hard fought 1-0 victory over Heybridge Swifts at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

The Beachboys are the first team to claim the Cup for the last three seasons since their existence in 1967.

Ben Greenhalgh scored the National League South side match winning goal early in the first half to claim the glory.

This was the first time the Ryman Division One North side had reached the final in their club history and did not disgrace themselves in the defeat.

Ben Greenhalgh had a tame shot for ‘The Beachboys’ just six minutes in but was comfortable for Danny Sambridge.

Concord opened the scoring 14 minutes in, as Sam Bantick had a shot just outside the box which was parried by Danny Sambridge but fell to Greenhalgh inside the six-yard box to bundle the ball home.

Heybridge almost responded with a set piece, as Captain Liam Thomas’ shot on the turn inside the box was straight at Ben McNamara.

Swifts then nearly got their searching equaliser, as George Doyle’s delivery from a set piece was almost fumbled by McNamara – who managed to clear it for a corner.

From the resulting break down of the corner, Concord broke on the counter-attack as Steve Cawley slipped in Bantick to get his shot on the stretch goal bound but came back off the near post.

Greenhalgh again caused trouble from a free-kick this time, which was whipped in and had to be palmed over by Sambridge.

Lamar Reynolds broke down the left for Heybridge six minutes before the break, he almost brought Swifts back on level terms, as his pull back was almost turned in by John Eaterford.

In the second half, Concord nearly grabbed their second, as Captain James White’s clearance put Cawley in on goal his shot was saved by Sambridge and Bantick miss-controlled the follow-up.

Tempers flared just after the hour mark, as Bantick was held by Lewis Dark, which caused the both to confront eachother – both players were cautioned for incident.

Heybridge almost got their equaliser, as a long searching ball found Reynolds he then burst goalwards and his shot was well stopped by McNamara.

Swifts had another opportunity with 13 minutes to go, through Reynolds as his cut back was miss-timed by the Heybridge forward and was turned goalwards by Jack Barham which was held on the line by McNamara.

Concord held on in the dying minutes to deny a late goal for Heybridge, to take the trophy for the third successive time.

Concord Rangers Lineup: 1 Ben McNamara, 2 Jay Dowie, 3 Tom Stephen, 4 Max Cornhill, 5 Steve King, 6 John Easterford, 7 Lewis Taaffe, 8 James White ©, 9 Ben Greenhalgh, 10 Steve Cawley, 11 Sam Bantick (86)

Substitutes: 12 James Hammond, 14 Bayley Newell, 15 Sam Collins (86), 16 Adam Topley, 17 Andy Young

Heybridge Swifts Lineup: 1 Danny Sambridge, 2 George Doyle, 3 Oliver Emsden, 4 Lewis Dark, 5 Liam Thomas ©, 6 Phil Anderson, 7 Matthew Pooley, 8 Lewis Godbold, 9 Jack Barham, 10 Tyrone Alleyne (82), 11 Lamar Reynolds

Substitutes: 12 Raphael Duyile (82), 14 Declan Hunt, 15 Lewis Riches, 16 Oliver Devenish, 21 Laurence Whymark

Attendance: 460

Follow the link for interviews with Concord Rangers midfielder Sam Bantick and manager Adam Flanagan

Essex Senior Cup Final: Concord Rangers 1 Heybridge Swifts 0

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