JAMIE O’Hara paid tribute to Joyce Symes after guiding Billericay Town into the Essex Senior Cup final.

Symes, a lifelong Town supporter, tragically passed away last week and her husband, Ron, visited the players in the dressing room after sealing a 2-0 semi-final win over Waltham Abbey thanks to a Jake Robinson brace.

O’Hara felt his players made the Symes family proud by avoiding an upset and ensuring they will face Concord Rangers or Dagenham & Redbridge in the final next month.

“I said to the boys ‘that was for Joyce and Ron’,” revealed player-manager O’Hara.

“They’re loyal people to this football club and have been around for a long time supporting us home and away.

“I told the boys ‘whatever happens, give them something to be proud of’ and I think every single one did.”

O’Hara moved into his first managerial position in September, with him succeeding Harry Wheeler at New Lodge.

Just 24 hours after his appointment, Glenn Tamplin departed as the club’s owner and a consortium has since come in to oversee proceedings.

And O’Hara, who won the Essex Senior Cup during his initial spell with Billericay in 2018, is proud to be fighting for silverware in his first season at the helm despite the challenges.

“It’s been a great route to the final for us, to be fair,” said O’Hara.

“We had to get it done against Grays Athletic in the quarter-finals and Waltham Abbey.

“Now we have got ourselves to a final, which is something everyone at the club wanted.

“We’ve had a lot of change and restructure, so getting to a final says we’re going in the right direction.”

Robinson has scored nine of Billericay’s 10 goals in the Essex Senior Cup this season, with the other coming from O’Hara.

And O’Hara was pleased with how his side overcame Isthmian South Central play-off chasers Waltham Abbey.

“I thought the boys were really good, to be honest,” added O’Hara.

“Waltham Abbey were a tough side to break down and they have some good players, but I think we created more than enough chances to kill the game off.

“We had spells where we could have been better in the second half but we missed five or six really good chances, so it could have been a bigger scoreline.

“But, overall, I was happy with the performance.”