JOHN Coventry says he is unsure how much form will play a part when East Thurrock United host Chelmsford City in their bid to reach the Essex Senior Cup final.

Both National League South sides come into tonight’s clash in stuttering form, both having lost at the weekend.

Rocks were crushed 7-2 at St Albans City and the Clarets’ only win in their last seven matches was in the quarter-finals of this competition.

But East Thurrock boss Coventry believes what has gone before will not influence the outcome in the one-off game.

“I don’t know if form comes into it,” he said. “We know they are a good and a strong side. We always give them a good game and I hope the same is true tonight. It will be tough but it is a semi-final and we will both want to win.

“I want to win and get to another final. These are great occasions for clubs, and Chelmsford will want to be in the final too.”

The final is a repeat of last year’s final - which the Clarets won 1-0 - although Coventry again is only focusing on tonight’s tie.

He will have defender Marvin Ekpiteta available, with his red card on Saturday ruling him out of the FA Trophy third round tie against Spennymoor Town on Saturday.

And Coventry said, while he is not concerned about Saturday’s drubbing he is devastated that Ekpiteta will miss the Trophy clash.

“I am gutted for him and he was distraught after the game,” said Coventry. “The game is a strange one. The scoreline is not good but we started well and were 2-1 up and we could have continued that. We were that good and we weren’t under much pressure and then it got turned on a ridiculous red card.

“Marvin made two tackles in the game - one was on the halfway line in the first 10 minutes and the second one was not a yellow.

“St Albans are good given time and space and they did well. But I am just putting it to one side.”

James White could return from injury for tonight’s tie.