A GOAL mid-way through the first half from Robert Edmans saw holders Chelmsford City progress to the last eight of this season’s Essex Senior Cup.

Blue Square Premier side Grays, led by ex-West Ham United defender Julian Dicks, arrived at Melbourne Stadium with a strong squad, but were second-best to an energetic Chelmsford side one tier below them.

It was City who duly started the game the brightest and the first chance arrived as Ricky Holmes’ low free-kick was blocked by the wall before Grays’ only real opportunity saw Petar Rnkovic shoot into the roof of the side-netting from an acute angle, having latched on to a Charlie Mallmann through ball.

It was on 22 minutes that City grabbed the crucial strike, youngster Josh Brown sliding a ball across the face of goal for tall front man Edmans to slide home at the far post.

Shortly afterwards, Holmes found time and space to test ‘keeper Preston Edwards from range in what transpired to be the last noteworthy chance of the first period.

Ten minutes after the re-start Matt Lock fired a low, angled shot just wide of Edwards’ goal before the visiting ‘keeper found himself in referee John Hopkins’ book after bringing Holmes down when through on goal. However, he redeemed himself well to cling on to the resulting Anthony Cook free-kick from the edge of the area.

Edmans missed a glorious chance to double the hosts’ lead, firing off-target with just Edwards to beat before the ‘keeper did well to hold on to Ollie Berquez’s grounded shot which followed a neat Holmes ball.

Finally, as City held on for their single-goal victory, Cook saw his acrobatic overhead kick saved well by Edwards in the Grays goal.