Written by Leigh, @beakster99

Billericay Town host local neighbours, Concord Rangers, on Tuesday evening (kick-off 7.45pm) in the first League game of the season at the AGP Arena. BTFC start the 2018/19 campaign in eye-catching form after a 4-0 demolition of Truro City on Saturday. Concord who also began well with a 2-0, ten-man triumph at home to Gloucester City, should offer a stiff test of BTFC’s title credentials.

The arrival at Concord over the summer of ex-Leatherhead Management duo, Sammy Moore, and as assistant manager, Jack Midson, has signalled a desire to improve on last season’s disappointing 17th position. With strong backing from the Concord Board, player-manager, Moore, 30, has assembled a completely new side.

Concord were the most active of the Essex clubs in the National South in the transfer market. Without doubt, the signing that garnered most attention was that of attacking midfielder, Billy Knott. Installed as captain, he is a former England U-20 international. Once at the Chelsea academy and on the books at Sunderland, he has extensive League experience at Bradford City and Lincoln City. Still only 25, he announced himself with a spectacular goal from range against Leyton Orient. Knott’s undoubted pedigree constitutes a major threat.

With an emphasis on the collective, and attractive pattern of play, Sammy Moore’s side represent a dangerous proposition. Successful at Leatherhead, taking the club to 6th in the Isthmian Premier from 13th in the prior season, he returned to the Surrey side to snap up full-back’s Frazer Shaw and Sean Clohessy, and defence midfielder/central defender, Lee Minshull. Midfielder, Sam Blackman, also an ex-Leatherhead alumni last season, was signed from Margate.

The Concord scouting system does, however, extend well beyond Leatherhead. Impressive signings of experienced campaigners at National South level include ex-Dartford wide-man, Ryan Hayes, and former Chelmsford City right-sided midfielder, Danny Green. Both bring exceptional quality and goals from midfield. Chelmsford City also supply former Billericay Town goal-keeper, Sam Beasant, while ex-Concord keeper, Louis Wells now resides at BTFC, joining last week.

In forward areas, Concord can boast the experience of ex-AFC Wimbledon striker, Jack Midson. A hard-working front-man, aerial threat, and regular scorer, he was no stranger to the score-sheet versus the Blues last year. With 6ft 3ins striker, Alex Wall, joining last week, and getting off to a flying start with two goals against Gloucester City, Concord’s strike-force will keep the BTFC back-line busy. We should not also forget the pace of ex-Dulwich Hamlet striker, Nana Boakye-Yiadom, a clever signing that offers huge potential running in-behind.

With a convincing away win under the belt, and Jake Robinson back in the goals, Billericay Town will feel confident of a positive start against the boys from Canvey Island. Concord are, however, a much tougher proposition than a depleted Truro City side. Looking back at Moore’s success against Billericay Town last year for Leatherhead, in knocking a fancied Blues side out of the FA Cup, it is clear that BTFC will have a battle on their hands for supremacy.

With Gerring and Hunte still suspended, we expect BTFC to field a similar side and formation to that in action against Truro City. Simon Walton featured only as a late substitute so he may switch in for Danny Waldren who started at Truro.

Billericay Town FC Last Starting Line Up (Away V Truro City)
Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Scott Doe, Dean Inman, Callum Kennedy, Ricky Modeste, Danny Waldren (Jamie O’Hara, 46), Jake Howells, Sam Deering, Adam Coombes (Adam Cunnington, 64), Jake Robinson (Simon Walton, 74)

Concord Rangers Last Starting Line-Up (Home V Gloucester City
Sam Beasant, Sean Clohessy, Frazer Shaw, Sam Blackman, Lee Minshull, Tyrone Sterling, Ryan Hayes (Aron Pollock, 45), Danny Green (Jed Smith, 80), Alex Wall, Jack Midson, Billy Knott (D’Sean Theobalds, 86)

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