Billericay Town are through to the quarter finals of the Isthmian League Cup after overcoming AFC Hornchurch at New Lodge on Monday night.
With a line-up boasting two recently released Colchester United players in Billy Roast and Nnamdi Nwachuku, Ryman Premier Hornchurch were never going to be a pushover, but Craig Edward’s men add a league cup quarter final to their Essex Senior Cup semi final place.
The first action of note came after 4 minutes as Ryan Melaugh made a lovely run down the Billericay left, but couldn’t pick out Ricky Sappleton in the middle. In the 11th minute, a Harry Baker ball from the right side of the box was knocked down to Obafemi, but he put the chance over. Hornchurch’s first real chance came after 21 minutes as Tobi Joseph pulled a shot wide of Joe Wright’s goal. After 33 minutes, an injured Sappleton was replaced by Rowan Liburd, and the change in personnel seemed to swing the half towards Hornchurch, with a header being cleared off the line and the Urchins also pulling a shot wide after a scramble in the box. The teams went in at half time 0-0. Billericay had enjoyed the majority of possession but without generating a clear cut opportunity.
The second half started with a moment of controversy. Harry Baker looked to have been fouled, but the referee played on and Hornchurch had a chance through Nwachuku, which he put over the bar. Billericay saw their best chance so far fall to Gerald Akosa who put the ball narrowly wide on 54 minutes.
On the hour mark, the breakthrough came. A ball was hit low across the box and Rowan Liburd was in the right place to tap home, following his brace at the weekend. The talking point of the game came in the 67th minute. Obafemi broke clear and looked destined to score. Hornchurch keeper Callum Chafer made a challenge and looked to have missed the ball. It looked a certain red card, but referee Elliott Kaye instead booked Obafemi for simulation.
Luckily, Billericay didn’t suffer as a result and Harry Baker had another good chance on 75 minutes, narrowly missing the target when attempting to chip Chafer. In added time, Hornchurch had a set piece opportunity. The ball was pumped into the box, but the Billericay goal survived and Town went on to record the 1-0 win.
Billericay now face Ryman South Whyteleafe in the quarter final, talking place on Monday at New Lodge.