Saturday 18 March 2017 – Ryman Premier League
Kingstonian 0 – Billericay Town 3
A Billy Bricknell brace helped bring Billericay to within three points of a play-off place as they comfortably saw off Kingstonian at Kingsmeadow on Saturday.
Kresh Krasniqi was given a start on the wing and there was a debut for midfield playmaker Byron Lawrence, which allowed Paul Konchesky to move into a more familiar role at left full-back with Ollie Sprague playing in front of him.
The opening period was something of a sparring session with Billericay largely dominating possession but not being able to puncture the hosts’ defence. Bricknell saw a shot deflected behind after Konchesky’s cross had been headed back across goal by Cunnington and then Krasniqi’s fierce drive was blocked. Keir Dickson hit a free-kick well over the bar for Kingstonian and Billericay’s defenders had to keep their concentration as first Ellul and then Eyong were called into action to make timely challenges.
After half an hour Ollie Sprague burst forward before being unceremoniously upended just outside the box by Page who was rightly cautioned. Sprague took the free-kick himself but could only fire his effort straight into the wall. Page and his central defensive partner Charlie Wassmer had been guilty of any number of fouls up to that point so it was little surprise that the referee finally lost patience and awarded Billericay a penalty as Wassmer hauled down Ellul in the box. BRICKNELL took the spot-kick, which found its way into the bottom corner despite K’s stopper Rob Tolfrey getting a good hand to it. Billericay added a second in first half stoppage time as Cunnington laid the ball off into BRICKNELL’s path who found the corner of the net from 20 yards with a trademark finish to record his 19th goal since returning to the club.
Billericay again chose to replace their wingers at half-time with McLeod and Taaffe the beneficiaries but it was Kingstonian who started the half brighter. Julian made an excellent save to tip Banya’s shot over the bar and The Blues were forced to defend a series of corners, which they did well. Debutant Byron Lawrence was growing into the game and he saw a free-kick deflected behind for a corner, which he took himself, leading to Matt Johnson sending an effort over the bar.
Alan Julian made a fantastic save on 71 minutes to claw away a header from a corner that looked destined for the back of the net and this close shave seemed to spark Billericay back into life. Lawrence sent a raking cross-field ball out to Taaffe on the left flank and his cross was met by Assombalonga, who had replaced the limping Cunnington, but his header didn’t have enough power on it to seriously trouble Tolfrey.
Billericay were finishing strongly and Bricknell slipped the ball through to Taaffe whose shot seemed goal-bound But Tolfrey saved well. It looked like Assombalonga would score from the follow-up but Tolfrey made another fine stop. The Blues put the icing on the cake in injury time as Johnson put MCLEOD away down the right-hand side and the young winger finished powerfully into the bottom corner to seal the game as Billericay brought another vital three points back to Essex.
The Blues: Julian, Eyong, Sprague (McLeod), Konchesky, Swaine, Ellul, Lawrence, Johnson, Bricknell, Cunnington (Assombalonga), Krasniqi (Taaffe). SNU Giddens, Fitzsimons
Town Crier MotM: Billy Bricknell Attendance: 412
Julian, Eyong, Sprague (McLeod 1), Konchesky, Swaine, Ellul, Lawrence, Johnson, Bricknell 2, Cunnington (Assombalonga), Krasniqi (Taaffe)
SNU: Giddens, Fitzsimons
League Cup Final
The BTSA will be announcing details for the coach to Carshalton next month. More to follow.
Billericay Town v AFC Sudbury
Eastern Regional Premier Division. Sunday 19 March 2017, 2:00pm
The Ladies host Sudbury on Sunday afternoon.
Thursday 23 March 2017, 7:30pm
The clubhouse will be open this Thursday for the second Fans Forum. All Blues fans are invited to come to the club and put their questions to Glenn and Dan regarding the club and it’s future, whether that is on or off the field.
Dulwich Hamlet v Billericay Town
Isthmian League Premier Division. Saturday 25 March 2017, 3:00pm
The Blues travel to fellow promotion chasers Dulwich Hamlet for the first of two meetings within a few days.