Saturday 11 March 2017 – Ryman Premier League
Billericay Town 4 – Burgess Hill Town 0
Billericay bounced back to winning ways as they plundered four second half goals to sink Burgess Hill in front of a season’s best attendance of 829 at New Lodge.
Joe Ellul returned to the side after suspension and Lewis Taaffe got the nod over Mekhi McLeod on the wing while there was a home debut for recent signing Paul Konchesky.
The early pressure came from the home side with Matt Johnson shooting over from the edge of the box after Konchesky’s free-kick was only half-cleared and then some neat interplay between Konchesky, Assombalonga and Sprague saw the full-back’s cross just elude the onrushing Bricknell. Billericay had a chance to take the lead on 16 minutes as Bricknell’s pass put Taaffe away but the shot went just wide of the far post. Burgess Hill’s best moment came midway through the half as a corner from the left-hand side was headed towards goal by Brivio but Konchesky was alert to clear the danger.
Billericay were getting stronger and Taaffe had another chance to give them the lead. This time his powerful shot was on target but the visitors’ debutant goalkeeper James Shaw got down well to make a fine save. Shaw did even better moments later as he blocked a close-range Bricknell effort and then stood up to parry away Johnson’s follow-up attempt. He could only watch as Ellul planted Johnson’s free-kick onto the post and was fortunate not to concede an own goal as the rebound hit him but was diverted away from the goal.
Caretaker Manager Glenn Tamplin introduced Krasniqi and McLeod at half-time as Billericay continued to search for an opener. Swaine met Konchesky’s free-kick with a good header but again Shaw was equal to it before Krasniqi’s long-throw caused panic in the Hill defence before the ball was hoofed to safety. A Billericay goal was coming and it duly arrived after 54 minutes. Sprague’s corner was recycled into the danger zone by Ellul and SWAINE was on hand to nod the ball in at the back post. Swaine almost doubled his tally five minutes later with a spectacular overhead kick following a Sprague corner but Shaw managed to deflect the ball over the bar.
Billericay’s second came from another Sprague corner. Ellul again kept the ball alive and this time it fell to BRICKNELL who rifled it home from close range. The Blues put the game beyond The Hillians just two minutes later. A long throw from Krasniqi was only half-cleared and it fell to SWAINE on the edge of the box who blasted the ball high into the net with a superb left-foot volley.
‘Ricay scored their fourth goal in a blistering 14-minute spell after 68 minutes as McLeod’s cross from the right was again only half-cleared. BRICKNELL collected the pieces on the edge of the box and arrowed his shot into the bottom corner giving Shaw no chance.
The Blues were enjoying themselves as Sprague and Cunnington both took pot shots from long range but neither effort troubled the ‘keeper. Bricknell almost completed his hat-trick as the game entered stoppage time. The striker back-heeled the ball into substitute Luke Moore’s path on the half-way line, Moore skilfully carried the ball to the edge of the box before returning it to Bricknell but Shaw made a fine save from Bricknell’s shot, sticking a leg out to divert the ball just beyond the far post.
The Blues: Julian, Eyong, Sprague (Moore), Konchesky, Swaine, Ellul, Assombalonga (McLeod), Johnson, Bricknell, Cunnington, Taaffe (Krasniqi). SNU Diallo, Giddens
Town Crier MotM: Rob Swaine
Kingstonian v Billericay Town
Isthmian League Premier Division. Saturday 18 March 2017, 3:00pm.
With Kingstonian planning to ground share with Leatherhead from next season this could be Blues fans last chance to visit Kingsmeadow Stadium.
AFC Dunstable v Billericay Town
Eastern Region Premier Division. Sunday 19 March 2017, 2:00pm.
The Ladies travel to Dunstable this weekend ahead of four home matches on the bounce.