Margate 2-2 Billericay
Billericay clinched the Ryman league title in suitably dramatic fashion on Saturday as they came from two goals down to secure the point they needed at Margate. In a season full of twists and turns, captain Rob Swaine’s late equaliser fired the starting gun on celebrations that lasted late into the night.
Billericay made two changes to the side that beat East Thurrock a week ago with Chris Wild and Courtney White returning to the starting eleven.
Town got off to the worst possible start when Dave Collis misjudged a high ball into the box and handled. Dan Stubbs converted from the spot to give Margate the lead and ratchet up the neves amongst the sizeable contingent of travelling fans.
Billericay quickly got onto the front foot and went in search of an equaliser with Rob Swaine going closest with a header at a corner that was cleared off the line.
Town’s day then got even worse when Margate were awarded a second penalty, somewhat more contentious than the first, when Curtis Robinson went down easily in the area. Stubbs stepped up again, but Brightly made the save only for Stubbs to react quickest and turn the ball past the Town ‘keeper.
Town were well and truly up against it at this point, but with news filtering through of the scores in other games, they stepped up their attacks and were rewarded when they were awarded a penalty; Dean Pooley blocking Jay May’s shot with his arm. Glenn Poole gave Overland no chance with a decisively struck penalty.
The day then got even better for the Blues as they equalised. Rob Swaine, who has led the Blues so well all season was, fittingly, the player to score, heading past Overland to send the Town supporters into raptures.
Emeka Onwubiko could have won it for Town late on when he went clean through on goal, but shot over. It didn’t matter, and as the final whistle went players, management and supporters danced on the pitch in the midst of a hail shower, celebrating Billericay’s championship success.
Brightly, Oates, Green, Collis, Swaine, Wild, Chatting (Edwards), Lechemere (Luke), May, White (Onwubiko), Poole
Subs not used: Halle, Ricketts