Tonight Grays Athletic newly crowned as Champions of Ryman League North travel to Dagenham to play AFC Hornchurch in the Final of the Essex Senior Cup
Grays Athletic try tonight to add the icing to their season by completing a League and Cup double. Conference South side AFC Hornchurch will start as favourites, but they last won the Essex Senior Cup in the season that won Ryman North. 283 of the 344 tickets we were given have been sold, from what I'm hearing that number could double by kick-off. The ground is a ten minute stroll from Dagenham East, so an easy journey, if you missed the celebrations at Rush Green, tonight is your chance to come along and hopefully enjoy some more.
There are no fresh injury concerns, Jeff Hammond came off on Saturday, but is cup-tied as are Kris Newby and Scott Honeyball joined after the deadline day for the Final. Jack West's available after his red card was rescinded on appeal, and Joao Carlos is set to play his 100th game for the Blues.
It's been a tough road to the Final for the Blues, 2-0 at home to East Thurrock from the Ryman Premier, then a penalty shoot out win after a 1-1 draw at Maldon & Tiptree. A Danny Bunce brace saw us through a Quarter-Final at Barking, then Brian Moses a d Buncie again, got the goals in a 2-0 win at another Ryman Prem side Concord Rangers in the Semi-Final. The original Ilford FC won the County Cup 13 times, depending how you trace the history of tonight's hosts Dagenham & Redbridge they could lay claim to winning it 32 times! However of the clubs that still exists in its original format Grays Athletic have a better record than anyone, but we haven't win it since 1995, do tonight has been a long time coming. Enjoy the match.