Saturday 8 April 2017 – Ryman Premier League
Billericay Town 2 – Enfield Town 4
Billericay’s play-off ambitions were left in tatters as they went down to fellow promotion chasers Enfield Town in front of another big crowd at a sun-drenched New Lodge on Saturday.
The Blues stuck with the side that had beaten Leiston a week earlier although there was a new face in the dug-out following the mid-week appointment of Harry Wheeler as Head Coach.
Billericay had the first attempt as Cunnington directed a header from a Robinson cross towards goal but McDonald made a straightforward save. The home crowd were stunned in the 2nd minute as The Blues lost possession cheaply in midfield and Shulton’s cross was turned goalward by Oliyide. Julian managed to save the initial attempt but the rebound fell kindly to Harold Joseph who made no mistake from close range.
The Blues came straight back and had a penalty shout turned down after Robinson’s cross appeared to strike a defender’s hand. The game had a really good flow to it in the early stages and Julian had to be alive to push Shulton’s shot away. Billy Bricknell hit a free-kick into the wall before The Blues equalised after 13 minutes with Joe ELLUL rising highest to turn his far-post header into the roof of the net. Billericay then had a good spell with Sprague seeing his shot blocked after good work by Cunnington and Bricknell. Robinson then smashed home after Swaine had flicked on a corner but it was ruled out for offside and Ellul went close again with another header but this time his effort just cleared the bar.
Byron Lawrence had a shot deflected behind, while at the other end Ottaway flicked just wide from a free-kick. Billericay were looking dangerous going forward and Cunnington got his head to a cross from the right but it lacked the power to seriously trouble McDonald. The Blues continued to press for the remainder of the half with Bricknell, Robinson and Cunnington all having decent efforts at goal.
Despite dominating much of the first-half Billericay’s recent penchant for double substitutions at the interval continued with Taaffe and O’Hara entering the fray. The visitors had come out with purpose and Billericay were fortunate not to concede when Swaine sliced Oilyide’s cross behind for a corner. Their luck didn’t last long however as Julian could only a parry a shot from the resulting corner into Ottaway’s path who had the simplest of chances to restore Enfield’s lead. The Towners were now finding plenty of space in midfield areas with Billy Crook becoming increasingly influential and the midfielder had a shot well saved by Julian before sending a second effort narrowly over the bar.
Billericay pulled level for a second time on 73 minutes in spectacular style as a superb bicycle kick from O’HARA from the edge of the penalty area sailed past McDonald and into the roof of the net. Unfortunately, The Blues barely had time to celebrate their goal before Enfield restored their advantage as a deep ball into the box was played back across goal by Ottaway for substitute Dernell Wynter to sweep home from six yards.
‘Ricay kept going in their pursuit of a third equaliser but Enfield made the game safe in stoppage time as Crook slid the ball into the corner following a quick breakaway. The result left the visitors ending the afternoon occupying a place-off place with Billericay’s hopes hanging by the thinnest of threads.
The Blues: Julian, Eyong, Sprague (Taaffe), Konchesky, Swaine, Ellul, Lawrence, Johnson, Bricknell (O’Hara), Cunnington (Assombalonga), Robinson. SNU Fitzsimons, Krasniqi.
Town Crier MotM: Tambeson Eyong Attendance: 1251