JOHN Coventry hopes East Thurrock United will claim the Essex Senior Cup and gain the confidence to stave off relegation from the National League South.

Rocks are set to do battle with divisional rivals Chelmsford City at Colchester United’s JobServe Community Stadium tonight, with county bragging rights at stake.

And, although East Thurrock are the underdogs ahead of the clash, Coventry insists victory could play a major impact as Rocks aim to climb out of the drop zone.

The East Thurrock boss said: “We are not going there to just make up the numbers.

“We are going down there to enjoy it and it’s a chance for our fans to enjoy a game away from the pressures of the league.

“It’s a nice occasion for everyone involved with the club and it could play a part in our bid to avoid relegation.

“Winning the Essex Senior Cup would be fantastic for us and that could potentially give our players the confidence to go on and beat the drop.

“We need a little lift even though we have been doing alright in recent weeks.

“We have won three of our last six games and been good lately.

“But we know that Chelmsford are a good side and will be wanting to win the trophy.

“Claiming silverware would be great, but staying in the National League South is our priority.”

However, Coventry will be without a number of key players.

Amos Nasha, who is on loan from Chelmsford, is unable to feature and Rocks will struggle to fill the substitutes bench.

“We have 13 players at the moment,” added Coventry.

“There is possibly one more player that I can patch up and put on the bench.

“We are down to the bare bones and we have known that for a long time.

“People will ask why we have so few players available, but we can’t fill a squad of 18 or 19 players for financial reasons.

“We have some players that came in after the deadline and others who are cup tied, so that doesn’t help and puts the number of players available down even more.”

The two sides will meet having contested the final two years ago.

Chris Dickson’s goal on the stroke of half-time proved to be enough for Chelmsford to secure a 1-0 win over Rocks.

But Coventry insists his side are not out for revenge as Chelmsford look forward to their third consecutive Essex Senior Cup final.

The East Thurrock chief admitted: “I don’t think either club ever goes into a game looking at it thinking they want revenge.

“A lot has changed since we played in the final two years ago.

“We did alright that night, but Chelmsford edged it.

“We gave a good account of ourselves.

“We left knowing it was a good game for the supporters to watch and we had played our part in that.”