BILLERICAY TOWN v BRAINTREE TOWN
Havant 1-0 Braintree
Saturday 19 December 2020
P23 W11 D5 L7 F41 A38
Monday 28 December 2020, 3:00pm
Blunts Wall Road
Braintree Town were founded in 1898, as Manor Works. This was the works team for the Crittall Window Company. The club’s name was changed to Crittall Athletic in 1921. Two years later they moved to a new ground at Cressing Road.
Crittall had started competing in the F.A. Cup in 1929 and were founder members of the Eastern Counties League for the 1935-36 season, winning the league title the following year.
Athletic left the Eastern Counties League in 1937 to become founder members of the Essex County League. They finished as runners-up in 1938 and switched back to the Eastern Counties League.
In 1946 they joined the London League and had their best run in the F.A. Cup, reaching the Second Qualifying Round, before being knocked out by Barking.
In 1952 they re-joined the Eastern Counties League, in 1964 they were founder members of the Greater London League and in 1966 became members of the Metropolitan League.
Another name change saw the club become Braintree & Crittall Athletic in 1968, and a year later they had a run in the F.A. Cup which took them to the Fourth Qualifying Round, brought to an end by Kettering Town. In 1970 they re-joined the Eastern Counties League again and stayed as members throughout the 1970’s.
The first meeting between the two clubs took place on 18 December 1979 as New Lodge hosted Braintree & Crittall Athletic for the Second Round of the East Anglian Cup. Fred Clayden scored twice with Steve Philcox and Terry Sharpe adding to the score line in a 4-1 victory.
The football club severed links with the window company, becoming Braintree F.C. in 1981, and then Braintree Town in 1983.
In 1984 and then 1985 Town finally won the Eastern Counties League title. They finished as runners-up four times before switching to the Southern League in 1991. The clubs best run in the F.A. Vase took them to the Fifth Round, losing to Collier Row. Three seasons later they were knocked out by Sudbury at the same stage.
Town switched to the Isthmian League in 1996 finishing as runners-up in Division Three and then Division Two. Braintree beat Billericay 2-1 in the Final of the Essex Senior Cup, held at Dagenham & Redbridge. Paul Battram scored for The Blues.
A third-place finish in Division One at the end of the 2000-01 season gave them a place in the Premier Division.
During 2001-02 they beat Basingstoke, Dulwich Hamlet and North Ferriby United in the F.A. Trophy, losing in a replay to Margate in the Fifth Round.
They finished third in their first season in the Premier Division, and eventually won the Division in 2006 and were promoted to the Conference South.
They made their first appearance in the First Round of the F.A. Cup during 2005-06, losing 4-1 at Shrewsbury Town.
Another promotion followed in 2011 and spent six seasons in the Conference Premier.
For four seasons in a row, from 2012, they reached the F.A. Cup First Round, until 2016-17 when they beat Eastbourne Borough to face Millwall at The Den in the Second Round. The hosts won 5-2.
It was in February 2012 that The Irons loaned Britt Assombalonga from Watford for a month. He scored on his debut against Lincoln City before being sent off. He ended his time in North Essex with 5 goals in 5 appearances.
Billericay and Braintree met twice last season before the coronavirus brought everything to an early end.
The two teams met on a Tuesday evening during the opening week of the season. Matt Rhead put Town ahead from the spot to equalise just minutes after The Irons went ahead. Moses Emmanuel put Billericay ahead on the hour mark with Braintree then quickly equalising. Ten minutes later Charlie Wassmer out jumped his marker to head home from a corner and seal a 3-2 away win.
The most recent meeting took place at New Lodge on 15 December. Ruben Soares Jnr gave The Blues the lead in the F.A. Trophy match but Braintree equalised. The match went straight to penalties, which the visitors won.