Match Reports -
Sunday, 08 April 2012 10:22
Billericay saw their lead at the top of the premier division cut to two points on an afternoon of high drama at New Lodge. After being gifted an early lead by an own goal, Town held the lead for over an hour before Carshalton equalised. They then laid siege to the visitors goal for twenty nerve jangling minutes but were kept out by some desperate last ditch defending.
The game started well for Town with winger Sam Lechmere seeing his shot pushed over by Nick Hamann after some hesitant defending. More hesitant defending, this time from Riccardo Joseph, led to the opening goal in the fourth minute as Lechmere’s persistence saw him rob the Carshalton full back before delivering a cross that was turned in by Kieran Murphy.
As the half progressed, Carshalton went increasingly onto the front foot as Billericay seemed content to sit back and Luke Pigden shot across goal from a good position before the lively Ola Sogbanmu saw his shot blocked by Rob Swaine.
With almost the last kick of the half, however, Town almost doubled their lead with Dave Collis’ intelligent lob beating Hamann only to hit the bar and bounce to safety.
Billericay were given a let off early in the second half when Dale Brightly came out of his area but failed to clear, however George Frith sent his shot over the bar. Minutes later it was the visitors who had a let off when Justyn Roberts hauled down Courtney White in the area, but the referee was a long way behind play and saw nothing wrong with the challenge.
Billericay continued to push forward and Swaine headed a Lechmere cross wide before Jay May saw his shot blocked by a defender.
Carshalton were enjoying plenty of possession and finally got the equaliser they had been searching for when substitute James Ayres found a gap in the Billericay defence and ran through to slot the ball past Dale Brightly.
The final 15 minutes of the game saw Town throw everything at their visitors. Junior Luke was denied by Hamann who then produced a fine diving save to keep Swaine’s header out. Glenn Poole curled a free kick against the post then substitute Emeka Onwubiko twice went close, first with a header straight at Hamann from in front of goal, then in injury time with a chip that was inches over.
Despite an undoubtedly frustrating afternoon, Billericay boss Craig Edwards was quick to take the positives from the afternoon:
“The pleasing thing about today was the way we stepped up once the score was 1-1. We had enough chances in the game but unfortunately for us it was just one of those days where it wasn’t going to go in. They’re all tough games now but it’s the same for AFC Hornchurch. We’re still in the best position, two points clear of them and we’ll be going over there (on Monday) looking to win.
Brightly, Oates, Green, Collis, Swaine, Wild, Chatting (Luke), Lechmere, May, White (Onwubiko), Poole
Subs not used: Sobers, Edwards, Ricketts