Chris Evans reports…
Billericay Town 6-1 Romford, Thursday 8th February 2018, Kick-Off 7:45pm, New Lodge, Essex Senior Cup Semi-Final
Billericay Town joined Chelmsford City in the final of the Essex Senior Cup after defeating Romford 6-1 in the second Semi-Final.
Under the ownership of Glenn Tamplin, Billericay are certainly making waves both locally and nationally and they have steered their ship into the Senior Cup Final thanks to a hat-trick from former Chelmsford striker Billy Bricknell, a brace from Nick Wheeler and a strike from prolific front man Jake Robinson.
It’ll be the first time in over 30 years that Billericay have met their former tenants in the Senior Cup Final – City emerging as aggregate winners in 1986 – when they lock horns at Colchester United FC’s Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday 20th March.
Ultimately, Billericay had few problems overcoming a Romford side who had enjoyed an excellent run to the semi-final, dispensing of Maldon & Tiptree, Canvey Island and Grays Athletic along the way. However, Bostik North Boro always had an uphill task against their high-flying Premier Division hosts after going behind with just 6 minutes played.
Romford’s Dan Cossington did well to hook Robinson’s shot off the line, but Sanchez Watt sent the ball back in for Wheeler to loop an effort inside the far post. Romford did come a whisker away from levelling when Kai Heather burst through before rifling an attempt from distance inches past the post. But it became 2-0 on 13 minutes when Wheeler’s low centre found Bricknell, who turned and fired in.
Watt later sprinted into the Romford area and saw his drive deflected into the side netting, with the subsequent Wheeler corner volleyed just wide by Daniel Waldren. Then Billericay’s third arrived with 29 minutes played. Robinson swept in Watt’s cross at the far post before Louie Theophanous struck the crossbar just before half time.
A spirited Romford side pulled a goal back just 45 seconds into the second half as substitute Connor Hammond teed-up Max Austin to drill in from close range. Resilient Romford defending then kept out Robinson on the goal line but, on 53 minutes, Billericay made it four when Bricknell curled home a 20-yard free kick.
Another Bricknell set piece was tipped over by away goalkeeper James May. But the forward wasn’t to be denied his trio. Bricknell took a neat touch on the hour mark before steering a low finish into the corner. Robinson then squandered a great opportunity – hitting the near post after dispossessing May – but Wheeler completed the scoring on 73 minutes as he nodded in Daniel Cheema’s cut back cross.
There was still time for Robinson to create another opening but the hit man, who has 40 goals to his name this season, rolled the ball past an open goal having been set-up by Jamie O’Hara. However, the damage had already been done long before.
Billericay Town: Jack Giddens, Robert Evans, Josh Urquhart (Jamie O’Hara, 57), Calum Butcher (Sam Deering, 57), Matt Paine, Sanchez Watt, Daniel Waldren, Billy Bricknell (Daniel Cheema, 68), Louie Theophanous, Jake Robinson, Nick Wheeler. Unused Substitutes: Alan Julian and Adam Cunnington.
Romford: James May, Ayogeji Alukoga, Sam Mvemba, Dan Cossington, Michael Finneran, Max Austin (Craig Jenkins, 73), Kai Heather, John Nzenga (Mario Gjini, 62), Nick Reynolds, Chris Taylor, Hugo Atkinson (Connor Hammond, 46). Unused Substitutes: Josh Sykes and Paul Martin.
Referee: Robert Whitton (Braintree).
Assistant Referees: Peter Wilson (Chelmsford) and David Harrison (Wickford).
Fourth Official: Richard Carter (Chelmsford).