JIMMY Cox is more accustomed to scoring goals than keeping strikes out, but the Basildon United frontman kept a clean sheet as he donned the goalkeeper’s jersey for the 1-0 derby win over Great Wakering Rovers.

With George Marsh injured and Clarke Bogard unavailable due to work commitments, Bees boss Alex Salmon turned to Cox as he aimed to solve his goalkeeping dilemma.

Cox kept Isthmian North play-off chasers Wakering at bay and earned praise from Salmon, who recorded his second victory since taking charge last month.

“George pulled up with a knock really late in the afternoon,” said Salmon.

“He couldn’t recover in time and Clarke was at work.

“We knew Jimmy had played in goal before and could come in and do a job for us at the last minute.

“He did really well and has a great attitude.

“I asked Jimmy how he would feel about going in goal despite it being a bit out of the ordinary and he told me it wouldn’t be a problem.

“It shows how much of a team player he is.

“I was really pleased for him and also thankful for him agreeing to go in goal.”

The win, which came courtesy of Joe Paxman’s second half strike at Burroughs Park, allowed Basildon to remain eight points clear of the drop zone.

Wakering’s play-off push, meanwhile, suffered a major setback as they also saw Jack Stevenson and goalkeeper Bobby Mason sent off.

The duo will now miss key clashes as Steve Butterworth’s side look to climb back into contention for a place in the top five.

But Salmon felt the Bees were full value for the three points.

“It was a really good performance and we needed to improve after losing at Witham Town on Saturday,” added Salmon.

“We didn’t get going at Witham because it was our first game in two weeks, so I was looking for a reaction.

“I thought we played some lovely football and stepped up to the plate, which is exactly what I want from my players.

“We fully deserved the three points and the work ethic the boys had collectively was outstanding.

“We know Wakering are so dangerous and their three forwards can kill a game off in 10 minutes, but the boys were great.”

And Salmon was keen to hail promising defender Marlon Stratford.

“Marlon has been itching to get a game and he played really well,” admitted Salmon.

“He’s with the under-18s and has a bright future ahead of him.”