Assistsant coach Matt Mason insists Worcestershire "will fight to the bitter end, no matter what happens" after Essex strengthened their grip on day two of the LV = County Championship clash at Chelmsford.

A superb 100 from Jesse Ryder, following on from his 5-24 with the ball, enabled Essex to total 431 all out – a lead of 347 on first innings.

But Worcestershire fought back strongly with the bat in making 113-2 by the close with Moeen Ali 70 not out.

Mason told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Trevor Owens: "Thursday morning will be challenging again. There is no doubt we are up against it but like these guys have done all year, they will fight to the bitter end, no matter what happens.

"We will do our best to fight hard and salvage this game.

"Anything is possible in the game of cricket. We saw that in winning against Surrey last week.

"I think if the guys believe, turn up and be as positive as they can be, play their natural games and carry on in the form they showed on Wednesday night, you never know what might happen.

"When you are so far behind the game, it can be often hard to get back but Moeen in particularly played nicely, so did Tom Fell.

"It still wasn't easy, it looked like they got the new ball to do a bit and I get the impression at the end they were trying to get it to reverse swing a little bit."

Worcestershire's run of achieving maximum bowling bonus points for 27 successive games came to an end.

But Mason, who is also the club's bowling coach, said he could not fault the efforts of his bowlers as he paid tribute to Ryder's 101 ball century and the way he shepherded the lower order.

He said: "It was a long old day. They carried on very well with the bat. Jesse Ryder, what a game he has had, and he batted beautifully.

"Often through the season I've sat back and watched players score runs against us and I thought Jesse's 100 was a terrific knock.

"He paced it really well and they did exactly what they needed to do in this game, to give themselves a chance of promotion.

"He manipulated the strike very well and our bowlers were getting tired by then.

"We stuck to our guns for the most part, we kept them at two-three runs an over for most of the innings.

"But the wickets in hand, and the way Jesse paced his innings, meant they could get away from us in that last hour or so to post a decent score.

"We just didn't look as effective as they did with the ball, I must say. We tried and tried, things didn't go our way, but like they have done all year, they kept at it."

Mason added: "For 27 successive games we had achieved those maximum bowling points, so it was going to come to an end at some point.

"I want to pay tribute to Charlie Morris in particular for just running in all day like he did (3-75 from 28 overs).

"He ticked over his 500th over in this game in the Championship and so did Jack Shantry.

"In terms of effort, I find it very hard to criticise the guys. They've worked their tails off even in this game."