Author Archives: John Chubb

PLAY-OFF HEARTACHE FOR CLARETS AS BEAVERS BEAT THEM TO THE FINAL

Vanarama National League South Play-off Semi-final

CHELMSFORD CITY 0 HAMPTON & RICHMOND BOROUGH 1

JOHN CHUBB at the Melbourne Community Stadium
@JohnCphoenixfm

Chelmsford City will have to play their football in the National League South again next season, as for the second year in a row they suffered play-off disappointment, Hampton & Richmond getting the better of Rod Stringer’s side who finished the match with 10 men following Jazzi Barnum-Bobb’s second half dismissal.

The best chances of the early period fell to City in the 8th and 9th minutes, Scott Fenwick hitting the bar then fellow striker Chris Dickson lobbing Hampton’s on-loan Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Seny Dieng, the latter of which was tipped over the bar very well.

Chelmsford went close again not long afterwards after they won a trio of corners, the first of which was cleared to safety by the Beavers’ Shaun McAuley after Kudus Oyenuga had gone close to putting City in front. Home captain Anthony Church then went close and the third corner was then cleared off the line by Max Kretzschmar.

Hampton’s first real chance came on 28 minutes after Brendan Kiernan picked up the ball on the right hand side and passed to Kretzschmar, but the former Wycombe Wanderers midfielder scuffed his shot and it rolled to the right of Chelmsford keeper Jake Jessup’s goal.

Clarets had a decent opportunity in the 35th minute when Kudus Oyenuga fired an effort towards goal, but his shot was well blocked.

Stringer’s side then won a free kick 6 minutes before half time when Oyenuga was brought down 25 yards outside the box. Michael Spillane stepped up to take it but his effort sailed well over the bar.

Then with only a couple of minutes until half time Barnum-Bobb, who had caused the visitors a few problems with his runs down the right wing whipped in a cross for Fenwick, who went close from around the penalty spot but was unable to open the scoring, and so the match remained goalless at the break.

Just after the break Hampton made a bright start as Kiernan broke away, running into the box and managing a shot but Jessup managed to stop his strike from going in.

Oyenuga managed a strike at the other end a few minutes later, but his shot was fired straight at Dieng who gathered the ball without any problem.

But disaster struck for Chelmsford in the 55th minute, when Charlie Wassmer had a shot cleared off the line by Barnum-Bobb but the Clarets’ right back was adjudged to have stopped the ball from entering the net with his hand, and was issued with a straight red card by referee Josh Smith.

Kretzschmar stepped up to take the spot kick and made no mistake, powerfully slotting the ball home to Jessup’s right to make it 1-0 to Hampton. The hosts, who had been much the better side until this point now had to face up to playing the rest of the match with 10 men.

City boss Stringer made a change with 25 minutes remaining, Johnny Giles making way for one of their stars of last season’s play-offs Bagasan Graham and then on 71 minutes fellow wide midfielder Michael West, just back from a loan spell at Kingstonian replaced the impressive Oyenuga as the Essex side strove to get back into the match.

Stringer made a final throw of the dice in the 78th minute but substituted one forward for another, with Phil Roberts coming on for the experienced Dickson.

But the match seemed to be drifting away from Chelmsford, along with their promotion prospects, and their one really good chance in the closing stages came a couple of minutes from time when Dieng lost possession of the ball and it came out to Elliot Omozusi, but he fired well over the bar.

So it was Hampton & Richmond who went through to next week’s final in which they will be at home to Braintree Town, who ran out 1-0 winners at Dartford in the afternoon’s other semi-final. City on the other hand were left to rue what might have been, following another fine league campaign but which again resulted in heartache just when it really mattered. They were very much on top during the first half and could have sewn the tie up then, but their lucklessness in finding the net and the opposing side’s man advantage for the final 35 minutes ultimately conspired against them.

Chelmsford City: Jake Jessup, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Craig Braham-Barrett, Max Porter, Michael Spillane, Elliot Omozusi, Kudus Oyenuga (Michael West 71), Anthony Church, Scott Fenwick, Chris Dickson (Phil Roberts 78), Johnny Giles (Bagasan Graham 65).

Hampton & Richmond Borough : Seny Dieng, Ben Wynter, Josh Casey, Jack Cook, Charlie Wassmer, Shaun McAuley (James Mulley 76), Max Kretzschmar, Shannon Baptiste, Shaun Jeffers, Brendan Kiernan (Elliott Charles 86), Bradley Hudson-Odoi (Taurean Roberts 71).

Attendance: 1651


BLUES CELEBRATE WITH A HARD EARNED DRAW

Bostik Premier League

BILLERICAY TOWN 2 FOLKESTONE INVICTA 2

JOHN CHUBB at the AGP Arena
@JohnCphoenixfm

The script for Billericay Town‘s promotion party clearly wasn’t quite read by visitors Folkestone Invicta, who proved tough opponents on the day the Essex club celebrated their Bostik Premier title triumph in front of their biggest league crowd of the season.

Billericay striker Jake Robinson with the club’s trophy haul for the season, and his player of the year award. Photo by kind permission of Nicky Hayes (@NickyHayesPhoto) 

Blues’ top scorer and player of the season Jake Robinson took less than 2 minutes to find the net, but his clearly offside effort was ruled out by referee Abigail Marriott.

And it was Folkestone who grabbed the lead with 6 minutes gone, when their centre forward Joe Taylor cut into the area and curled the ball past Billericay goalkeeper Alan Julian into the top left corner of the net to put the Kent side 1-0 ahead.

Robinson went close on 10 minutes when he connected with a Danny Waldren cross, but his close range shot was stopped by Tim Roberts in the Invicta goal.

It was proving in some ways to be the archetypal end of season encounter where arguably not much was at stake for either team, but Folkestone showed why they have made the play-offs and for a while were genuine title contenders in this league, as the home defence had to be alert enough to prevent them from increasing their lead.

Billericay’s players celebrate with the League trophy after the game. Photo by ekind permission of Nicky Hayes (@NickyHayesPhoto)

But Ricay equalised 5 minutes before half time via Ricky Modeste, who headed the ball over the line from Sam Deering’s cross to put his side level.

Then in time added on Nick Wheeler found himself in a close range one on one situation with Roberts, but the Folkestone keeper managed to stop his effort to ensure the scores remained level at the break.

Just after the hour mark in the second half Kieron McCann came close to putting the Kent side back in front, making a superb darting run into the box before firing in a shot which Julian did well to push away.

On 73 minutes midfielder Deering, one of Billericay’s most outstanding and consistent players this season shot powerfully from the left and forced a good stop from Roberts.

Then as the game entered the closing stages it looked like Invicta had claimed all 3 points, when Taylor sidefooted the ball into the net a minute from time to make it 2-1 to the visitors.

But just as the Kent side thought they’d completely wrecked the party up popped Jamie O’Hara, who equalised superbly from 25 yards in the final moments to ensure Billericay at least claimed a point.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Kevin Foley, Josh Urquhart, Danny Waldren, Joe Kizzi, Sam Deering, Ricky Modeste (Adam Cunnington 74), Robbie Evans (Billy Bricknell 55), Jamie O’Hara, Jake Robinson, Nick Wheeler (Liam Hughes 55).

Folkestone Invicta : Tim Roberts, Josh Vincent, Michael Everitt (Ian Draycott 66), Matthew Newman, Callum Davies, Sam Hasler, Ronnie Dolan, Jerald Aboaghe (Johan Ter-Horst 83), Joe Taylor, Adam Yusuff, Kieron McCann.

Referee: Abigail Marriott

Attendance: 2206

After the post-match presentations had been conducted on the pitch by club owner Glenn Tamplin, I spoke to head coach Harry Wheeler who acknowledged that the visiting team had proved tough opponents on the day, but he seemed really satisfied with the overall outcome: “They (Folkestone) are where they are for a reason, but the main thing was to keep our unbeaten run going, which we did” he said.

Wheeler was quick to acknowledge the contribution of Jamie O’Hara (“That goal at the end was really special”), the former Tottenham midfielder having endured a frustrating and injury hit campaign but who has performed outstandingly in recent games.

With his previous experience of coaching in the National League South with Welling United (“It’s the league I came from and a league I know very well”) Wheeler said he is looking forward to next season’s challenge and seems confident that the club can put up a strong challenge at the higher level. He spoke of assessing his existing squad, along with the budget that will be made available to him when making his plans over the summer months.

 


BLUES ARE THE CHAMPIONS

Bostik Premier League

BILLERICAY TOWN 2 HARLOW TOWN 0

JOHN CHUBB at the AGP Arena
@JohnCphoenixfm

Billericay Town will be playing National League South football next season having now been confirmed as Bostik Premier League champions, after winning at home to Harlow Town in front of almost 1700 fans and completing a treble of trophies for the 2017/18 campaign.

Billericay’s players celebrate clinching the league title. Photo by kind permission of Nicky Hayes (@NickyHayesPhoto)

Jamie O’Hara went close within the opening moments of the game after Ricay won a free kick on the edge of the penalty box, which was taken by the ex-Tottenham midfielder but Harlow goalkeeper David Hughes did a great job of punching his effort away.

Blues had another good chance on the quarter of an hour mark, when a great O’Hara ball found Dean Inman on the right, who set up Ricky Modeste but his resulting shot was way over the bar.

Then just after the halfway mark in the first half, a long Josh Urquhart throw found Imnan close to the goal but his effort went agonisingly wide to the left of Hughes.

Then after 32 minutes Harlow had their first genuine opportunity when Aaron Jones had a shot on target but Alan Julian in the Billericay goal, almost a spectator until that moment parried the ball away superbly to keep the score at 0-0.

Ricay finally broke their duck just before half time when a long range Sam Deering effort was pushed away by Hughes, but only as far as the incoming Joe Kizzi and the right back shot home to out the home side 1-0 in front, his first ever goal in Billericay colours.

Joe Kizzi celebrates his first ever Billericay Town goal. Photo by kind permission of Nicky Hayes (@NickyHayesPhoto)

Harlow often belied their lowly league position and poor away record in this match, proving a tougher nut to crack than many of the sides Blues have faced this season and the home side had to wait until the 56th minute for their first real chance of the second half as Billy Bricknell fired an effort from the right, but it travelled wide to the right of Hughes.

The Hawks came very close to an equaliser with around 20 minutes remaining, when Julian was called into action to push away an effort which he did superbly.

A couple of minutes later Jake Robinson nearly scored at the other end, when his shot from the left sailed across the face of the goal but went wide.

Blues substitute Adam Cunnington then had a shot on target with 9 minutes left on the clock, but he couldn’t get enough power behind it and the ball was comfortably gathered by David Hughes.

But Cunnington made amends 3 minutes from time, when he struck home from close range to make it 2-0 and seal the title and promotion for Billericay.

At her final whistle the jubilant home supporters poured onto the pitch to salute their heroes, having already seen them take the Essex Senior Cup and Velocity Trophy this season, and they now have the prize they wanted more than any other.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Matt Paine (Danny Waldren 73), Dean Inman, Sam Deering, Ricky Modeste, Robbie Evans (Liam Hughes 84), Billy Bricknell (Adam Cunnington 67), Jamie O’Hara, Jake Robinson.

Harlow Town: David Hughes, Paul Rodgers, Christian Scales, Sam Clarke, Joshua Pollard, Fabian Sims, Aaron Jones (Ibrahima Sonko 83), Syrus Gordon, Alexander Reid, Robert Martin (Charles Edwards 67), Jared Small.

Attendance: 1689


ANOTHER JAKE HAT-TRICK AS BLUES DOMINATE THE MARKET

Bostik Premier League

BILLERICAY TOWN 5 NEEDHAM MARKET 0

JOHN CHUBB at the AGP Arena
@JohnCphoenixfm

Billericay Town emphatically increased their determination to be Bostik Premier League champions, as well as their lead at the top of the table with a comfortable victory over Needham Market.


Billericay Town’s Jake Robinson. Photo by kind permission of Nicky Hayes (@NickyHayesPhoto)

Blues only took 4 minutes to take the lead. Top scorer Jake Robinson’s initial effort was pushed away well by Needham goalkeeper Daniel Gay, but the former Brighton and Hove Albion striker netted from the rebound to put the home side 1-0 in front.

Then midfield man Sam Deering doubled Ricay’s lead in the 10th minute, as he skilfully cut inside and curled a right footed strike to the left of Gay to put his side 2-0 ahead.

After a quarter of an hour former Tottenham man Jamie O’Hara wasn’t far away from making it 3, when Robinson cleverly laid the ball on for him but his goal bound effort was parried away well by Gay.

But O’Hara did score a third just after the half hour mark, heading the ball home and Billericay were looking more than comfortable by this point.

On 35 minutes Blues won a penalty after Ricky Modeste was clearly tripped in the penalty area. Up stepped Robinson, and his powerful spot kick made it 4-0.

Robinson netted again in time added on at the end of the first period, following more good work from O’Hara but this time his effort was disallowed for offside.

Robinson again came close to securing a hat trick just after the restart, with a strike which almost found the right hand corner of the net but Needham’s shot stopper Gay was alert enough to prevent the home team from scoring yet again.

But Robinson eventually managed his third in the 66th minute, striking the ball into the net after being set up by the busy O’Hara – who had an excellent game in the midfield – to put Blues 5-0 ahead and bag his 7th hat trick of the season.

Ricay found it harder to break down the Suffolk side in the second half, but they had done more than enough by half time and are now 4 points clear at the top of the league going into their final 3 games. If they can produce more displays of this calibre in those matches, the title – and promotion – should be theirs.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Matt Paine, Dean Inman, Sam Deering (Brendan Ocran 70), Ricky Modeste (Nick Wheeler 57), Danny Waldren, Jamie O’Hara, Jake Robinson, Adam Cunnington (Liam Hughes 46).

Needham Market: Daniel Gay, Jake Dye, Callum Sturgess, Jeremiah Kamanzi, Kieran Morphew (Daniel Morphew 45), Samuel Nunn, Luke Ingram (Kieran Turner 70), Gareth Heath, Jamie Griffiths (Tyler Rose 80), Charley Edge, George Exworth.

Attendance: 741


5 OUT OF 5 FOR CITY AS PLAY-OFFS BECKON

Vanarama National League South

CHELMSFORD CITY 3 WEALDSTONE 0

By JOHN CHUBB
@JohnCphoenixfm

Chelmsford City made it 5 league wins in a row at the Melbourne Community Stadium tonight, and as good as sealed a play-off spot with a comfortable victory over Wealdstone.

City boss Rod Stringer made 2 changes from the side that started in the 4-2 victory at East Thurrock United on Saturday, Joshua Wallen coming in for Taylor Miles at the back and Chris Dickson partnering Scott Fenwick in attack, in place of Shaun Batt.

And the home side went in front after only 14 minutes, Bagasan Graham finding the net after Dickson cleverly back-heeled the ball to set up the Ebbsfleet loanee to make it 1-0.

Graham nearly doubled the Clarets’ led a few minutes later, but Wealdstone goalkeeper Jonathan North saved his header.

Provider then turned goalscorer in the 28th minute, as Dickson struck the ball past North to put Chelmsford 2-0 in front.

Just after the break City striker Fenwick, whose scoring exploits in recent games have been a big factor in their climb up the table had a great chance when he beat 3 Stones players, before firing a shot which North managed to push before it was headed away.

Following a bizarre incident when one of the Melbourne ball boys was sent off by referee Ian Fissenden, Clarets went 3-0 ahead in the 68th minute with an outstanding goal by Dickson, whose screamer of a shot hit the top corner of the net and put the game beyond the visitors’ reach completely.

Stringer’s side are now all but assured of a play-off spot as local rivals Braintree Town – the only side outside the top 7 who can mathematically overtake City – today had a point deducted for fielding an ineligible player. At best the Iron can now only equal Chelmsford’s current haul of 71 points, and have an inferior goal difference by a margin of 11 so are highly unlikely to overtake them.

Chelmsford City: Sam Beasant, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb (Danny Green 89), Craig Braham-Barrett, Joshua Wallen, Eliot Omozusi, Michael Spillane, Jonny Giles, Anthony Church, Scott Fenwick, Chris Dickson (Kudus Oyenuga 83), Bagasan Graham (Cameron James 61).

Wealdstone: Jonathan North, Eddie Oshodi, Ryan Sellars, (Matty Whichelow 46), Glenn Wilson, Jerome Okimo, Jake Sheppard, Rickey Wellard, Sam Cox, David Pratt, Bradley Bubb, Sam Fitchett (Jeffrey Monakana 46).

Attendance: 695


BILL STUNS THE BILL AS BLUES WIN THE CUP

Velocity Trophy Final (played at Aveley F.C.)

BILLERICAY TOWN 5 METROPOLITAN POLICE 3 (AET: 3-3 at 90 minutes)

By JOHN CHUBB
@JohnCphoenixfm

Billericay Town secured their second item of silverware so far this season, with an extraordinary comeback after extra time against Metropolitan Police in this League Cup final having been 3-1 down with 5 minutes of normal time remaining.

Jake Robinson opens the scoring for Billericay. Photograph by kind permission of Nicky Hayes (@NickyHayesPhoto)

Following his record breaking exploits against Staines 48 hours previously- when he became the first player in the club’s history to score 52 goals in a season – Billericay’s Jake Robinson was on target again after just 12 minutes of this match, when his shot beat Thomas Williams in the Met Police goal to put the Essex side 1-0 ahead.

But 12 minutes later the Police were awarded a penalty when Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick was fouled inside the box, and Tom Bird sent Blues keeper Jack Giddens the wrong way to bring the scores level.

Not long into the second half the Billericay management made a double change, Matt Paine and Sam Deering replacing Luke Rooney and Nick Wheeler but it was Met Police who got their noses in front in the 58th minute when Hippolyte-Patrick, who had been causing Ricay all sorts of problems with his pace set up striker Jonny Wright to score.

Then just after the hour Blues failed to clear a corner and Wright pounced again, firing the ball home to make it 3-1 to the Police.

Billericay made what seemed to be a final throw of the tactical dice in the 67th minute, bringing on fresh attacking legs in the form of Adam Cunnington who replaced Liam Hughes. But the Police continued to make chase, and only a couple of fine Giddens saves prevented them from increasing their lead further.

Then after Dean Inman had gone close with a header, Blues grabbed a lifeline 3 minutes from the end when striker Billy Bricknell volleyed home.

With 4 minutes added on, the clock was ticking and in the 3rd minute of stoppage time Bricknell pounced again to bring the scores level, and take the game into extra time.

And it took just 6 minutes of the additional half hour for Bricknell to claim a hat-trick, as he big number nine smashed home to make it 4-3 and put Blues in the driving seat.

And 3 minutes later captain Danny Waldren completed an extraordinary turnaround by scoring Ricay’s 5th.

Billericay’s players celebrate with the trophy. Photograph by kind permission of Nicky Hayes (@NickyHayesPhoto)

Ricay held on to become the first side to win the Isthmian League cup twice in a row since Sutton United in 1984, and can now place another trophy alongside the Essex Senior Cup they won last month. It was clearly an extraordinary comeback, with Bricknell the star turn with his 3 goals.

Blues now hope to add the Bostik Premier League title trophy to their cabinet. With 6 games remaining they are now 5 points clear at the top, following Dulwich Hamlet’s defeat against Tonbridge Angels last night so Billericay and their supporters can feel optimistic of this happening.

Billericay Town: Jack Giddens, Dean Inman, Josh Urquhart, Robbie Evans, Danny Waldren, Liam Hughes (Adam Cunnington 67), Jamie O’Hara, Billy Bricknell, Luke Rooney (Matt Paine 54), Jake Robinson, Nick Wheeler (Sam Deering 54)

Metropolitan Police: Thomas Williams, Aaron Goode, Sam Gallagher, Will Salmon, Oliver Robinson, Jay Gasson, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick (Rylan Myers 82), Luke Robertson (Jeremy Arthur 88), Jonny Wright (Calum Kealy 84), Tom Hickey, Tom Bird.

Attendance: 626


ROBBO’S RICAY RECORD AS BLUES HIT FIVE

Bostik Premier League

BILLERICAY TOWN 5 STAINES TOWN 3

By JOHN CHUBB
@JohnCphoenixfm

Billericay Town kept their quest for the Bostik Premier League title going after this 8-goal thriller saw them claim all 3 points against Staines, and also saw their striker Jake Robinson take his place in the club’s record books.

Billericay’s Jake Robinson celebrates his record haul of goals for the club this season. Photograph by kind permission of Nicky Hayes (@NickyHayesPhoto)

Blues took an early lead after just nine minutes when Matt Paine powered a header past Staines goalkeeper Conor Hudnott to put his side ahead, and Billy Bricknell doubled the lead 5 minutes later when the big striker doubled the lead, also with his head.

The two goalscorers both had further chances but just after the half hour mark Elliott Buchanan, one of the leading marksmen in the Bostik Premier pulled one back for the Swans. The former Chelmsford City striker scored from the edge of the box for his 28th league strike of the campaign to make the score 2-1.

But another ex-Claret, Ricky Modeste made it 3-1 to Ricay on 36 minutes when the winger curled a shot into the top right hand corner of the net.

Max Worsfold once again reduced the deficit in the 41st minute, when his free kick beat Billericay number 1 Alan Julian to make the score Billericay 3, Staines 2 going into half time.

Blues made a change straight after the break as Jamie O’Hara made way for Danny Waldren, They then lost Modeste after he was on the receiving end of a high challenge from Tyrell Miller-Rodney, who was perhaps lucky to only receive a yellow card and Jake Robinson came on to replace his injured team mate.

Miller-Rodney was himself withdrawn and replaced by Josh Webb after becoming involved in an argument with a group of home supporters, Staines manager Johnson Hippolyte clearly not wanting to risk playing the final half hour with 10 men.

Billericay’s introduction of their goalscoring phenomenon Robinson proved inspired as he made it 4-2 with 72 minutes on the clock, finding the net from 30 yards out.

But the visitors were not throwing in the towel, as Buchanan scored his second and his side’s third with 12 minutes remaining from a header to make it 4-3.

But Robinson secured all 3 points for Ricay in the 88th minute when he scored his second of the game to make it 5-3. It was the former Brighton and Hove Albion forward’s 52nd goal of the season, and with this strike he broke the all-time club record for the number of goals from one player in a campaign, previously held for two decades by Leon Gutzmore who bagged 51 for Blues in the 1997/98 season.

Billericay are now five points clear at the top of the league with six Bostik Premier fixtures left, but they next have the chance to claim the Velocity Trophy this Wednesday evening as they face Metropolitan Police in the final.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Robbie Evans, Kevin Foley, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Sam Deering, Ricky Modeste(Jake Robinson 59),Matt Paine, Billy Bricknell, Jamie O’Hara (Danny Waldren 46), Adam Cunnington (Dean Inman 79).

Staines Town: Conor Hudnott, Leon Solomon, Tyrell Miller-Rodney (Josh Webb 59), Bayley Brown (Daniel Brown 64), Ugo Udoji, Tommy Brewer, Sam Hatton, Wadah Ahmidi, Elliott Buchanan, Mo Bettamer, Max Worsfold.

Attendance: 580


Bostik Premier League: BILLERICAY TOWN 2 TONBRIDGE ANGELS 1 (Played at Aveley F.C.)

By JOHN CHUBB @JohnCphoenixfm

Billericay Town returned to the top of the Bostik Premier League, after a victory by the odd goal saw them beat Tonbridge.

Blues had a couple of good chances to score in the first half, Ricky Modeste hitting the post and a Jake Robinson effort going just wide, whilst Joe Turner went close for the Angels, but the match remained goalless at half time.

Just after the break Sam Deering put the ball in the net for Ricay, but his effort was disallowed due to a handball.

But with 53 minutes on the clock Deering put the ball past Jonathan Henly in the Tonbridge goal to out his side 1-0 ahead.

The same player chipped Henly 4 minutes later, nearly doubling his and his side’s lead but his effort hit the bar.

On 66 minutes defender Liam Smith equalised for the Angels, but 3 minutes later substitute Liam Hughes – who had replaced Billy Bricknell 4 minutes previously- put Billericay back in front with a close range header.

In injury time Modeste almost added a third for the ‘home’ side, and Tonbridge’s Turner was denied by Blues goalkeeper Alan Julian in the final moments but the score stayed at 2-1 to take Glenn Tamplin’s side back to the summit.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart , Danny Waldren, Dean Inman, Sam Deering (Brendan Ocran 79), Robbie Evans (Matt Paine 70), Jamie O’Hara, Billy Bricknell (Liam Hughes 65), Ricky Modeste, Jake Robinson.

Tonbridge Angels: Jonathan Henly, Liam Smith, Craig Stone (Luke Blewden 12), Tom Whitnell (Luciano Osbourne 83), Sonny Miles, Callum Adonis-Taylor, Sam Bantick, Xavier Vidal, Tashi-Jay Kwayie (Nathan Elder 40), Alex Akrofi, Joe Turner.

Attendance: 505


Vanarama National League South: CHELMSFORD CITY 1 CONCORD RANGERS 0

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB at the Melbourne Community Stadium
@JohnCphoenixfm

Chelmsford City took the honours in this all-Essex clash and moved back towards play-off contention, as they dealt Concord Rangers a blow in their fight for National League South survival.

City manager Rod Stringer made a couple of changes from his side’s last game, which was the defeat against Billericay Town in the Essex Senior Cup final nearly a fortnight ago. Danny Green and Chris Dickson made way in the starting line up for Jazzi Barnum-Bobb and Scott Fenwick, neither of whom had been eligible for that game.

Concord boss Adam Flanagan made one change from his side’s home defeat to East Thurrock United last Tuesday, Femi Akinwande replacing Steve Cawley who dropped to the bench.

Fenwick, making his home bow for the Clarets made an instant name for himself after just 11 minutes, when he latched onto a cross from the right flank and scored with an extraordinary overhead kick to make it 1-0 to the home side.

Fenwick, Shaun Batt and Taylor Miles had opportunities to extend the Clarets’ lead, and Akinwande had the Beach Boys’ first chance but the score remained 1-0 at half time.

After the break Akinwande had a further chance for Concord on the hour, his low shot going just wide. This followed a lengthy pause as home defender Craig Barham-Barrett received treatment for a head injury.

There was another opportunity for the visitors to equalise on 72 minutes when Ben Greenhalgh beat Danny Green – who had just come on to replace Jazzi Barnum-Bobb – but his initial effort was stopped by Chelmsford goalkeeper Sam Beasant, and a further attempt went over the bar.

Green then had a decent goalscoring opportunity 10 minutes from the end, after being laid on by fellow substitute Chris Dickson but his effort went wide of the post.

Concord won a corner in injury time, which Greenhalgh floated into the area but Billy Roast’s header went over the bar.

So City took three points and other results meant they moved up a place to 8th in the league, a point away from the play-off spots.

Chelmsford City : Sam Beasant, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb (Danny Green 71), Craig Barham-Barrett, Elliot Omozusi, Michael Spillane, Chris Smith, Taylor Miles (Joshua Wallen 74), Anthony Church, Scott Fenwick, Shaun Batt (Chris Dickson 60), Jonathan Giles.

Concord Rangers: Louis Wells, Rob Girdlestone, Jordan Brown, Billy Roast, Lewis Knight, Adam Topley, Andy Freeman, Lewis Taaffe (Emmanuel Ighorae 77), Femi Akinwande, Ben Greenhalgh, Khale Da Costa (Steve Cawley 46).

Attendance: 831


Bostik Premier League: BILLERICAY TOWN 2 HARROW BOROUGH 0 (played at Aveley F.C.)

By JOHN CHUBB

Billericay Town achieved a second league victory in three days, as they saw off Harrow Borough.

Blues once again switched venues to Aveley’s Parkside Stadium and Its 3G playing surface to ensure the game went ahead, and they had lots of chances to go ahead themselves in the first half as Jake Robinson, Dean Inman and Jamie O’Hara all went close, but Harrow goalkeeper Melvin Minter made some vital saves for his side and the score remained goalless at the halfway mark.

In the second half visitors Borough had a couple of chances via George Moore, and Billy Bricknell had a close range effort for Ricay stopped by Minter.

Then Blues’ top scorer Robinson finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute to put them 1-0 ahead. He nearly doubled his and his side’s lead 2 minutes later, with a lob beating Minter but bouncing off the crossbar.

Moore again nearly found the net for Harrow, his close range effort being stopped by Alan Julian.

With a quarter of an hour remaining Billericay made the last of three substitutions, Jamie O’Hara making way for Luke Rooney.

It was a change that paid off handsomely within three minutes, as the ex-Gillingham and Swindon man was set up by Bricknell before firing the ball past Minter to make it 2-0.

Blues held on to move back into second spot in the league, two points behind leaders Dulwich Hamlet and with three games in hand.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Dean Inman, Kevin Foley (Josh Urquhart 46), Matt Paine (Robbie Evans 57), Rob Swaine, Sam Deering, Ricky Modeste, Calum Butcher, Billy Bricknell, Jamie O’Hara (Luke Rooney 75), Jake Robinson.

Harrow Borough: Melvin Minter, George Moore, Lewis Cole, Sean Preddie, Adam Pepera, Howard Hall, Charles Banya, Mark McLeod, Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan, Kurt Cumberbatch.

Attendance: 313


BLUES BACK ON TRACK AS THEY WIN AT WINGATE

Bostik Premier League

WINGATE & FINCHLEY 1 BILLERICAY TOWN 3
By JOHN CHUBB

Billericay Town placed their title challenge back on the rails with a fine victory away to Wingate & Finchley.

Both sides enjoyed some decent possession in the first quarter of the match, Reece Beckles-Richards having an early opportunity for the hosts and both Jake Robinson and Sam Deering going close for Ricay.

Tommy Tejan-Sie of Wingate & Finchley wasn’t far from opening the scoring just before the half hour mark, his shot being deflected just wide, before he fired over the bar from the resulting corner.

But the visitors went in front on 36 minutes, Danny Waldren finding the net from a Jamie O’Hara cross.

Calum Butcher had a couple of decent chances to add to Ricay’s lead, but the score remained 1-0 to Billericay at half time.

The visiting Blues didn’t take long to add to their led once the match restarted, as they were awarded a penalty within a few minutes of the second half, which was netted by Billy Bricknell to double the scoreline.

The spot kick marked a tremendous personal milestone for Bricknell, as it was the forward’s 100th Billericay goal of his two spells with the club.

Ricay were clearly buoyed by their two-goal advantage as Bricknell, Robinson and skipper Rob Swaine all came close to adding a third.

Marc Charles-Smith wasn’t far away from getting the home side back in contention on 57 minutes, but Billericay goalkeeper Alan Julian made a fine save.

The hosts had another excellent chance to get back into the game several minutes later, only a goal line clearance from Josh Urquhart preventing the deficit from being reduced.

But in the 68th minute Jake Robinson made it 3-0 to the Essex side, scoring goal number 48 of his season from the edge of the penalty area.

Wingate pulled a goal back a couple of minutes from the end of the 90 minutes, second half substitute Irnti Rapai – who had come close to scoring five minutes previously- beating Julian with a close range header from Ben Pattie’s cross.

But Billericay took all three points back to Essex to boost their confidence after a turbulent recent run of league form.

Wingate & Finchley: Shane Gore, Luke Ifil, Layne Eadie, Jake Eales, Sean Cronin, Ahmet Rifat, Rob Laney (Irnti Rapai 69), Freddy Moncur (Afolabi Obafemi 53), Marc Charles-Smith (Ben Pattie 76), Reece Beckles-Richards, Tommy Tejan-Sie.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Danny Waldren, Rob Swaine, Sam Deering (Luke Rooney 72), Robbie Evans, Calum Butcher (Nick Wheeler 72), Billy Bricknell, Jamie O’Hara (Matt Paine 68), Jake Robinson.

Attendance: 240


Essex Senior Cup Final: Billericay Town 2 Chelmsford City 1

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from the Weston Homes Community Stadium

(Photograph by kind permission of Nicky Hayes)

Billericay Town are the new holders of the Essex Senior Cup, after edging out last year’s winners Chelmsford City in what turned out to be a fiercely competitive final.

For Billericay Jack Giddens replaced Alan Julian in goal, and there were returns to the starting XI for Josh Urquhart and Adam Cunnington, whilst Nick Wheeler and Danny Waldren dropped to the bench.

Chelmsford welcomed back Lee Barnard, the former Southend United and Southampton striker returning to Rod Stringer’s squad after injury.

Missing from the Clarets squad were Scott Davies, who yesterday left the club to sign for Slough Town whilst Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Scott Fenwick, Phil Roberts, George Lapslie and Cameron James were all ineligible having arrived at Melbourne Stadium after the Clarets’ semi-final win over East Thurrock in January.

There were few genuine chances in the somewhat scrappy opening 20 minutes of the match, Jake Robinson of Billericay probably going closest when a shot of his landed on the roof of Chelmsford goalkeeper Sam Beasant’s net.

But Glenn Tamplin’s men broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when Robbie Evans found the net to put the Blues ahead. The former Wrexham midfielder’s goal was allowed to stand in spite of claims by some of the City players of offside.

The goal made the game spring into life, and Clarets almost replied on the half hour mark, when Danny Green crossed a ball into the penalty box which found Michael Spillane, who struck the left hand post.

And on 35 minutes City, who had been pushing for an equaliser got their reward, when Danny Green’s effort from the edge of the penalty box found the net to make it 1-1.

Four minutes later Chelmsford weren’t far from taking the lead when forward Chris Dickson – Clarets’ matchwinner against East Thurrock United in last season’s final – cheekily lobbed the ball over Giddens’ head and wasn’t far away from putting his side in front.

In time added on at the end of the half Ricay’s top scorer Robinson almost made it 2-1, his close range effort being superbly being tipped over the bar by Beasant to ensure that the scores remained level at the break.

After the interval City were looking the side more likely to go in front, especially on 50 minutes when a great through ball from Dickson found Jonathan Giles, whose shot was blocked.

Tamplin and Billericay head coach Harry Wheeler decided just before the hour mark that a more attacking formation was the order of the day, so on came midfielder Danny Waldren and ex-Chelmsford striker Billy Bricknell for Matt Paine and defender Kevin Foley.

Almost immediately after this the Bostik Premier League men were back in front through Calum Butcher, the Mansfield Town loanee’s effort initially striking the post before rolling into the net to make it 2-1.

Chelmsford boss Stringer made an attacking change for the final quarter of an hour, Kudus Oyenuga replacing former Millwall and Leyton Orient forward Shaun Batt, after introducing Ebbsfleet United loanee Bagasan Graham in place of left back Craig Barham-Barrett a few minutes previously.

And the Clarets came agonisingly close to an equaliser with 8 minutes remaining, Taylor Miles firing in an effort from the edge of the box which smacked against Giddens’ crossbar before rebounding into play.

Dickson almost did the same in the 85th minute, the former Ghana international setting off on a pacy run into the area before his shot was gathered by Giddens.

With time running short Stringer introduced another Chelmsford forward as a final throw of the dice, with Green making way for Barnard.

But in spite of referee Dean Skipper adding on six minutes of injury time, the National League South side could not find a way through and Blues took the county crown to claim another scalp against a team from a higher league.

Billericay Town: Jack Giddens, Josh Urquhart, Kevin Foley (Billy Bricknell 58), Joe Kizzi, Rob Swaine, Sam Deering, Robbie Evans, Matt Paine (Danny Waldren 58), Calum Butcher (Jamie O’Hara 70), Jake Robinson, Adam Cunnington.

Chelmsford City: Sam Beasant, Elliot Omozusi, Craig Barham-Barrett (Bagasan Graham 72), Taylor Miles, Michael Spillane, Chris Smith, Danny Green (Lee Barnard 87), Anthony Church, Shaun Batt (Kudus Oyenuga 76), Chris Dickson, Jonathan Giles.

Attendance: 2528

“I’m absolutely over the moon for all those fantastic fans who turned up tonight.

“It’s our first piece of silverware this season – one of three, hopefully. I won this cup a few years ago with Canvey Island, nothing can take it away from you. Some footballers go through their careers without winning anything. We’ve got an opportunity to go and win three, plus we went a long way in the FA Trophy and FA Cup too, obviously we are very happy.
“If we can add the Bostik Premier League and League Cup it will have been a successful season for us, with the league being our main priority.

“But nights like this, if you could bottle them it would be fantastic.” – Billericay assistant manager/coach Danny Hazle

“I’m proud of my players. I’m proud to be the manager of Chelmsford City”.

“What a great spectacle of a game it was.

“If people don’t know what this level is all about, they have come here tonight they have come here tonight and witnessed two good sides.

“It was a fantastic crowd, and I thought it was a good game of football”. – Chelmsford manager Rod Stringer


Bostik Premier League: BILLERICAY TOWN 1 DORKING WANDERERS 0 (played at Aveley F.C.)

By JOHN CHUBB

Billericay Town returned to the top of the league and ended their recent poor run of results, although they left it late and had to work hard against a Dorking Wanderers side who had their own fair share of opportunities in this match.

Continuing concerns about the condition of the pitch at their AGP Arena home prompted Blues to switch this game to Aveley’s Parkside stadium, where the 3G surface provided no such issues.

Blues welcomed Kevin Foley back into their side, the former Republic of Ireland defender having recovered from injury and making his first appearance since September. Wanderers included ex-Billericay midfielder Luke Moore in their line up.

Dorking had a couple of chances in the first five minutes via free kicks before Nick Wheeler had Ricay’s initial opportunity in the 11th minute, with a shot that was pushed away by the away team’s Slovakian goalkeeper Slavamir Huk.

A couple of minutes later Blues thought they had a claim for a penalty when Sam Deering went down in the box, but referee Simon Finnegan thought otherwise and play continued.

The next chance fell to Dorking with the game nearly a quarter of the way through, Dan Walker firing a shot but this was saved by Billericay keeper Alan Julian, just before Mansfield loanee Calum Butcher’s effort for Blues went just wide at the other end.

Further Ricay opportunities were thwarted by some good defensive work from the Surrey side, then with six minutes left of the first half Wanderers’ young midfielder Sam Beard had an effort on goal, but it was easily caught by Julian.

A Danny Waldren header just before half time wasn’t far over the bar, but the game remained goalless at the end of the first period.

After the break Jake Robinson had the first goalscoring effort of the second half, the Blues’ leading scorer firing just over Huk’s bar.

This sparked a period of end to end action with Walker and Tom Tolfrey both going close for Dorking, before Butcher and Robbie Evans did the same for the ‘home’ side.

Tolfrey nearly broke the deadlock on 56 minutes, but the Wanderers striker was brilliantly denied by Julian who made an excellent double save.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes Dorking were still creating chances and again came close to taking the lead, but at the opposite end Adam Cunnington went close for Ricay, Huk making a fine save from his close range effort.

Just afterwards in the 81st minute there was finally a goal. And it was the Blues fans who were celebrating, thanks to midfield man Deering who found the net from 10 yards to put his side 1-0 ahead.

Wanderers pushed hard to level the score. Sole went close, then they substituted full back Isaac Philpott for a striker in Gareth Chendlik.

And as the game entered the 90th minute Billericay’s Joe Kizzi stopped what looked like it would be the Surrey team’s equaliser on the line.

But Glenn Tamplin’s men held on, and their supporters went home happy but relieved to see their side return to winning ways.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Robbie Evans, Kevin Foley, Joe Kizzi, Rob Swaine, Sam Deering, Danny Waldren (Jamie O’Hara 73), Matt Paine, Nick Wheeler (Adam Cunnington 54), Calum Butcher (Ricky Modeste 67), Jake Robinson.

Dorking Wanderers: Slavamir Huk, Isaac Philpott (Gareth Chendlik 85), Chris Boulder, David Ray, Jerome Beckles, Luke Moore, Sam Beard (James O’Sullivan 68), Dan Walker, Giuseppe Sole, Tom Tolfrey (Ben Dyett 64), James McShane.

Attendance: 279


Bostik Premier League: BILLERICAY TOWN 1 DULWICH HAMLET 3

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from the AGP Arena

Billericay Town’s poor run continued as they lost their fourth league match in a row, Dulwich Hamlet forgetting their off the field troubles for the evening as they left Essex with all 3 points, in a match overshadowed by a serious injury to visiting striker Reise Allassani.

In the 4th minute Billericay had the first chance of the game, Ricky Modeste’s cross finding Jake Robinson whose header was superbly saved by Dulwich goalkeeper Cory Addai.

The resulting corner found the head of Blues captain Dean Inman, who powered in a header of his own but again Addai made a fine stop.

Ricay’s continued pressure paid off as they took the lead in the 9th minute, Inman flicking home a header from Josh Urquhart’s long throw.

The home side found the net for the second time on 22 minutes, Robinson’s clever back flick finding Sam Deering who slotted the ball past Addai into the right hand corner of the net, but the linesman flagged for offside.

Despite the visitors’ attempts to hit Blues on the break, Addai was at this point having a much busier night than his opposite number Alan Julian. Both Calum Butcher and Adam Cunnington almost doubled Billericay’s lead in the 25th minute, but the Hamlet keeper made fine saves.

But out of the blue, and in spite of the home team’s dominance Dulwich grabbed an equaliser 2 minutes before half time. Former Crystal Palace youngster Allassani, scorer of 16 goals since arriving at Champion Hill in the autumn outfoxed the Ricay defence to cross the ball for Afolibi Akinygmi to find the net, much to the delight of the sizeable contingent of visiting supporters.

In the early stages of the second half Hamlet, clearly buoyed by their equaliser started to find momentum and show creativity, in spite of the difficult pitch. Allassani came close to grabbing the lead for them on 55 minutes, only a superb defensive intervention from Billericay right back Joe Kizzi preventing this.

But Allassani was badly hurt in the process, and such was the concern that managers Glenn Tamplin and Gavin Rose both agreed to lead the players back to the dressing room, whilst the Dulwich forward was attended to by the medical staff. It looked a nasty injury and the bloodied Allassani, who appeared to be unconscious was then stretchered off.

Play recommended shortly afterwards and the visitors had the first real chance after the restart, when Julian had to be alert to clear a strong effort from Akinygmi.

Then in the 70th minute Nyren Clunis broke clear with a powerful run all the way up the field, then passed to ball to Akinygmi on his right who beat Julian to score his and the visitors’ second, and cue wild celebrations from the players and fans of the South Londoners.

Billy Bricknell, a second half substitute for Cunnington came very close to an equaliser minutes later, his effort bouncing off the post.

Clunis then had a long range effort at the other end which Julian managed to clear.

Due to the lengthy stoppage that had taken place 17 minutes of injury time were added on and as the game entered the 101st minute Dulwich grabbed their third goal, the lively Clunis rounding Julian to seal all 3 points for his side.

This was a nightmare result for the hosts, who had the majority of possession and 14 shots on target to Dulwich’s 4. The only consolation Tamplin and his men can take from this game is that they still have 4 games in hand on Hamlet, with one point separating the clubs.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Dean Inman, Rob Swaine (Nick Wheeler 90), Sam Deering (Liam Hughes 54), Ricky Modeste, Danny Waldren, Calum Butcher, Jake Robinson, Adam Cunnington (Billy Bricknell 68).

Dulwich Hamlet: Cory Addai, Quade Taylor, Tanasheh Abrahams (Nathan Green 90), Ibrahim Kargo, Rickie Hayles, Mark Weatherstone, Nyren Clunis, Ashley Carew (Kenny Beaney 60), Reise Allassani (Nathan Ferguson 58), Afolibi Akinygmi, Sanchez Ming.

Attendance: 988


FA Trophy Quarter final: BILLERICAY TOWN 2 WEALDSTONE 5

By JOHN CHUBB

Billericay Town’s Wembley dream is over, after they were well beaten by National League South outfit Wealdstone this afternoon.

After his side’s midweek Bostik Premier League defeat by Folkestone Invicta Blues’ owner/manager Glenn Tamplin threatened to sack himself if they lost today’s tie, so it remains to be seen if he will remain in charge of the team after this performance.

Billericay had an early attack with top scorer Jake Robinson almost scoring as early as the third minute, but his shot struck the bar instead.

On 11 minutes the Stones had a good chance with Bradley Bubb firing in a powerful shot, but the former Ebbsfleet forward’s effort was pushed away by home goalkeeper Alan Julian.

But Bubb made no mistake 9 minutes later, when he broke through and this time slotted the ball past Julian to make it 1-0 to the Middlesex outfit.

Ricay bounced back not long after, Rob Swaine’s 27th minute close range header bringing the score level again but their joy only lasted two minutes, as Bubb grabbed his second goal and put Wealdstone back in the lead.

But things were to get even worse for the home team. In the 38th minute Ricky Wellard made it 3-1 to the visitors when he smashed the ball home from close range, then two minutes before half time the Stones added an extraordinary fourth when Matty Whichelow scored directly from a corner.

Robinson almost reduced the deficit in injury time though, his effort being well stopped by Wealdstone goalkeeper Jonathan North.

Billericay used all three substitutions at half time with Calum Butcher, Jamie O’Hara and Billy Bricknell coming on to create a more attacking formation. But the visitors added to their lead only four minutes after the restart, Bubb securing his hat trick and making the score 5-1.

Robinson, Swaine, Sam Deering and Dean Inman all had chances as Blues came back into the game and had the better of things going towards the final quarter. Their perseverance was rewarded in the 66th minute, when Ricky Modeste headed home at the back post for the home side’s second goal.

On 71 minutes Ricay’s attempt to reduce the deficit further was thwarted by North, who made a great save from a Bricknell free kick. After the game entered injury time North stopped another home effort, this time from Deering but Wealdstone were home and dry by this point, and go through to the semi-finals.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Robbie Evans (Billy Bricknell 46), Dean Inman, Rob Swaine, Sam Deering, Danny Waldren (Calum Butcher 46), Matt Paine (Jamie O’Hara 46), Ricky Modeste, Jake Robinson, Adam Cunnington.

Wealdstone: Jonathan North, Reagan Ogle, Jerome Okimo, Glenn Wilson, Eddie Oshodi, Sam Cox, Matty Whichelow, Ricky Wellard, Mustafa Tiryaki (Dan Fitchett 78), Daniel Green, Bradley Bubb (Harry Goodger 86).

Attendance: 1823


RICAY SINK THE TRAWLERBOYS

Bostik Premier League

BILLERICAY TOWN 5 LOWESTOFT TOWN 0

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from the AGP Arena

Billericay Town scored a comprehensive victory over Lowestoft Town this evening, in spite of a pitch and weather conditions that made the task of playing quality football difficult for both teams.

Changes were made from the Blues side that lined up in the 2-2 draw away to the Metropolitan Police on Saturday, a performance described by head coach Harry Wheeler as ‘terrible’. Calum Butcher, Robbie Evans and Nick Wheeler were rested (although former Wrexham man Evans started on the bench) and Sam Deering, Danny Waldren and Billy Bricknell returned to the starting line up.

Blues got off to a flying start with only two minutes on the clock, Deering the scorer.

Deering came close to adding to his tally eight minutes later, but his shot was blocked, and on 14 minutes a Bricknell shot went wide as Ricay continued to push forward. He also went close on 21 minutes, firing a shot over the bar after being laid on by Ricky Modeste, who was causing Lowestoft problems with his pacy runs on the right flank.

On 38 minutes leading Billericay marksman Jake Robinson had his first real chance of the game, and managed a powerful shot on goal but the Trawlerboys’ goalkeeper Ben Dudzinksi did well to block it.

Billericay owner/manager Glenn Tamplin – making his first appearance at a match for some weeks – and Wheeler made two changes for the start of the second half, Modeste (who had taken a knock) and Jamie O’Hara making way for Matt Paine and Sanchez Watt.

And former Arsenal midfielder Watt made an immediate impact straight after the restart, with a powerful shot that Dudzinksi had to be alert to stop. Then on 49 minutes Waldren’s close range strike made it 2-0 to the home side.

Then on 61 minutes, following a foul Blues win a free kick on the left edge of the penalty box. Deering took an inswinger which was on target. Dudzinksi managed to push the ball away but Bricknell netted the rebound to make it 3-0 to the home side.

Then after 68 minutes the consistently lively Deering increased the scoreline to 4-0, finishing off an excellent run into the box by slotting the ball past Dudzinksi and into the net.

Deering was then on hand to lay on the ball for Jake Robinson in the 72nd minute, and Blues’ top scorer made no mistake as he was in target for his 45th goal of the season, and put the home side 5-0 up.

Paine wasn’t far away from making it 6-0 once the game went into injury time but his effort was saved by Dudzinksi.

So Billericay extended their lead at the top of the table to four points and by the end were cruising against the Suffolk side, who rarely looked like scoring.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Danny Waldren, Rob Swaine, Sam Deering, Ricky Modeste (Matt Paine 46), Jamie O’Hara (Sanchez Watt 46), Billy Bricknell, Jake Robinson, Adam Cunnington (Robbie Evans 63).

Lowestoft Town: Ben Dudzinksi, Daniel Humphreys, Harry Barker, Jacek Zielonka, Rory McAuley, Travis Cole (Adam Smith 49), Harvey Hood (Emmanuel Machaya 79), Robert Eagle, Jake Reed, Matthew Foy, Shaun Bammant.

Attendance: 643

After the final whistle I spoke with Glenn Tamplin, who paid tribute to head coach Harry Wheeler.

“Harry’s been doing a tremendous job…he’s an amazing manager, an amazing person, and I’ve got such a good friend in Harry”.

Talking about the nights performance by his players, Tamplin said: “As Harry said, they just didn’t turn up on Saturday so tonight was about making a statement, showing me how much they want it and showing Harry how much they want it…so I’m very proud of the boys, difficult surface, difficult conditions and they dug in and did very well”.

I asked him whose performances stood out for him, and he singled out Sam Deering and Danny Waldren:

“Sam (Deering) was tremendous today. Danny Waldren was incredible as well, breaking everything down winning everything in the air, and I couldn’t actually pick man of the match tonight (so) Sammy Deering and Danny Waldren were both joint man of the match”.

“But everyone on that pitch played well…(we) didn’t carry anyone”, said Tamplin.


Sky Bet League One: SOUTHEND UNITED 3 WIGAN ATHLETIC 1

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Roots Hall

The Southend United revival under new manager Chris Powell gathered further momentum this afternoon, as they ended League One pacesetters Wigan Athletic’s run of 16 games without defeat in all competitions, with a superb victory at Roots Hall.

The home side got off to the best possible start with only 3 minutes on the clock, when Centre half Michael Turner headed home from a free kick to out Southend 1-0 in front.

Wigan then attempted to create chances of their own, and after 10 minutes Nick Powell had a chance but Blues goalkeeper Simon Oxley was alert to the danger, and punched the ball to safety.

On 18 minutes striker Simon Cox had a chance for the Shrimpers, but his shot was well wide of the goal.

With just after half an hour gone the Latics had an opportunity from a Max Power free kick from a few yards outside the area, which was on target but once again Oxley was on hand to prevent an equaliser.

On 36 minutes Marc-Antoine Fortune made it 2-0 to the home side, after being cleverly laid on by his strike partner Cox. The wet and blustery conditions, combined with the poor condition of the Roots Hall pitch were hardly conducive to flowing football, but this didn’t seem to bother Southend who were now playing with a great deal of confidence.

Blues’ first real chances of the second half came in the 52nd minute, Stephen McLoughlin’s effort following a corner being punched away by Wigan keeper and former Roots Hall loanee Christian Walton, then Anton Ferdinand also went close.

Just after Latics boss Paul Cook had made a double substitution in an attempt to get his side back into the match, it was the home side who were once again on the attack with Fortune using his physical presence to get past Nathan Byrne and fire a shot, but his effort hit the side netting on this occasion.

But after 67 minutes Wigan pulled a goal back, substitute James Vaughan finding the net after only being on the field for just over five minutes.

Then, with seven minutes to go Michael Kightly made it 3-1 to Southend, netting from close range following a move that had started with Ben Coker’s cross, which was picked up by Cox whose shot was parried away by Walton, before Kightly netted the rebound.

Shrimpers’ late substitute Shayon Harrison almost made it 4-1 as the match entered injury time, the on-loan Tottenham forward’s effort just going wide of the post to Walton’s left.

The Latics had a shout for a penalty turned down during the period of added on time, their players alleging a foul inside the box by Jason Demetriou but referee Andy Woolmer waved play on.

This was an outstanding result for Southend, and one which moved them up to 14th place in the table. Also, Chris Powell made history by becoming the first manager in the club’s history to win all of his first three matches in charge.

Southend United: Mark Oxley, Jason Demetriou, Anton Ferdinand, Michael Turner, Ben Coker, Stephen McLoughlin, Dru Yearwood, Michael Timlin, Michael Kightly (Jermaine McGlashan 90), Simon Cox (Shayon Harrison 85), Marc-Antoine Fortune (Freddie Ladapo 70).

Wigan Athletic : Christian Walton, Nathan Byrne, Callum Elder, Sammy Morsy, Max Power, Will Grigg, Gavin Massey (James Vaughan 61), Michael Jacobs (Gary Roberts 61), Chey Dunkley, Nick Powell (Ryan Colclough 87), Dan Burn.

Attendance: 7623 (474 from Wigan)


FA Trophy 3rd round replay: BILLERICAY TOWN 3 HARROGATE TOWN 2

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from the AGP Arena

Billericay Town reached the last eight of the FA Trophy after overcoming Harrogate Town at the second attempt, in spite of having to play the final 20 minutes with 10 men following Calum Butcher’s dismissal.

Blues began with the same 11 that drew 2-2 at the CNG Stadium on Saturday. Harrogate boss Simon Weaver, whose side currently lie second in the National League North made one change from the weekend, with Leeds United loanee Liam Kitching making his debut.

There were few chances in the early stages of the match, Harrogate coming closest when Simon Ainge headed wide from close range from a cross, and his strike partner Dominic Knowles who had a shot blocked.

But it was Billericay who opened the scoring on 21 minutes, Ricky Modeste thumping a left foot screamer into the back of the net from the edge of the penalty box to make it 1-0 to the home side.

Modeste wasn’t far away from adding a second on the half hour, when he stole possession from visiting right back Ben Middleton but goalkeeper James Belshaw gathered the ball to safety.

In the 33rd minute Blues’ lead was doubled when left back Josh Urquhart set up the remarkably prolific Jake Robinson, who fired past Belshaw for his 43rd goal of the season in all competitions.

Then Harrogate were awarded a penalty on 38 minutes when Ainge was fouled inside the box. The former Bradford City striker then stepped up to take the spot kick and fired it past home keeper Alan Julian to reduce the deficit.

After the break striker Adam Cunnington made it 3-1 to Ricay on 54 minutes, ending a goalmouth scramble by slotting the ball past Belshaw from close range.

Blues were now in full command against their higher ranked visitors. On 69 minutes Robinson cleverly flicked the ball out left to Modeste whose shot was on target, but was caught by Belshaw.

A minute later the hosts were reduced to 10 men with Butcher’s sending off for a second bookable offence, the Mansfield Town loanee having already received a yellow card only 4 minutes previously.

George Thomson had a good chance for the Yorkshire side with 8 minutes remaining when he had only Julian to beat from close range, but saw his shot blocked by the Billericay keeper.

Then in the 87th minute, after Julian had punched the ball over the bar the resulting corner was headed home by Harrogate substitute Mark Beck to make it 3-2 and set up a nervous finish for the home team, especially in the five minutes of injury time when the visitors piled forward. But their attempts to equalise were in vain, and Billericay go through to the quarter finals and a home tie against Wealdstone of the National League South.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Dean Inman, Rob Swaine, Sam Deering (Matt Paine 74), Ricky Modeste, Jamie O’Hara (Danny Waldren 64), Calum Butcher, Jake Robinson (Robbie Evans 90), Adam Cunnington

Harrogate Town: James Belshaw, Ben Middleton, Ben Parker, Josh Falkingham, Liam Kitching, Warren Burrell, George Thomson, Jack Emmett (Mark Beck 80), Simon Ainge, Dominic Knowles (Jordan Thewlis 63), Joe Leesley.

Attendance: 820


FA Trophy 2nd Round: BILLERICAY TOWN 3 STOURBRIDGE 2

By JOHN CHUBB

Billericay Town staged a superb comeback against Stourbridge of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division to seal a place in the last 16 of the FA Trophy, thanks to Billy Bricknell’s injury time winner.

After Matt Paine and Sam Deering had had early chances for the home side it was leading scorer Jake Robinson – back in Blues’ starting line up after sitting out two games with a hamstring injury – who put Glenn Tamplin’s men ahead after 19 minutes, finding Josh Urquhart’s cross and placing the ball into the corner of the net for his 38th goal of the season.

But although Ricay held on to this lead to have the upper hand at the break, their Midlands opponents had other ideas and it was the Glassboys who turned the game on its head in the first five minutes of the second half.

First of all Leon Broadhurst equalised in the 47th minute, then after Stourbridge goalkeeper Matt Gould saved a Joe Kizzi header at the opposite end, Stuart Pierpoint put the visitors in front on 50 minutes.

After Gould’s save from an overhead kick by Billericay’s Danny Waldren, the home side equalised in the 65th minute with Ricky Modeste finding the net from close range.

This set up a tense final quarter of the match as Blues began to push for a winner, home substitute Billy Bricknell forcing another save from Gold and Waldren going very close as he hit the post.

Then with four minutes of time added on by referee Carl Brook, Bricknell pounced in the dying seconds to put the home team through to the 3rd round of the Trophy, for the first time in 13 seasons.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Rob Swaine, Dean Inman, Sam Deering, Danny Waldren (Jamie O’Hara 89), Matt Paine (Billy Bricknell 59), Ricky Modeste (Sanchez Watt 79), Jake Robinson, Adam Cunnington.

Stourbridge: Matt Gould, Aris Christophorou (Aaron Forde 26), Darryl Westlake, Paul McCone, Stuart Pierpoint, Tom Tonks, Matt Dodd, Leon Broadhurst, Luke Benbow, Luke Shearer, Connor Gater (Jack Duggan 73).

Attendance: 1081


Bostik Premier League: BILLERICAY TOWN 1 MARGATE 1

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from the AGP Arena

In what proved to be a somewhat scrappy contest Billericay Town had to make do with salvaging a point against Margate, courtesy of a late Adam Cunnington equaliser.

Blues owner/manager Glenn Tamplin was boosted by the return to his squad of Jamie O’Hara, the former Tottenham midfielder having been missing from action since the end of last season due to a long term injury. He took one of the places on the home side’s substitutes’ bench, as did leading scorer Jake Robinson who had been nursing a minor injury.

In the first quarter of the match Ricay looked the stronger of the two sides, with Ricky Modeste and Sam Deering both having chances to score, but then the Gate started to seize a few opportunities and it was the visitors who went in front in added time at the end of the first half, David Martin firing a low shot into the corner of the net from close range to put the Kent side ahead.

Billericay rang the changes in preparation for the second period with a triple substitution, Robbie Evans Billy Bricknell and Louie Theophanous coming on to signal the home side’s attacking intentions.

After the restart Matt Paine had a couple of chances for Blues, one of which hit the post and captain Dean Inman had a header that went just wide, before Margate’s Frannie Collins had a shot pushed away by home goalkeeper Alan Julian on 65 minutes and 10 minutes later Collins’ strike partner, former Concord Rangers forward Jordan Chiedozie also had a chance to equalise, but Julian made another fine save.

Paine had another opportunity with 10 minutes remaining but young visiting keeper Sam Sargeant – making his debut for the Gate after signing on loan from Leyton Orient – managed to tip the ball over the crossbar, before Collins fired inches wide for the visitors a few minutes later.

In the 85th minute Billericay had a shout for a penalty, with Theophanous appearing to be tripped inside the box but referee Stephen Bates waved away the home side’s claims for a spot kick. Then with 3 minutes left, Blues striker Cunnington headed home from a corner to make it 1-1 and claim a point for his side.

So Billericay remain in 2nd place and five points behind table toppers Dulwich Hamlet, due to the South Londoners’ 4-3 home victory over Folkestone Invicta but the Blues have five games in hand, so the keen contest for first place continues.

Billericay Town: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Rob Swaine (Louie Theophanous 46), Dean Inman, Sam Deering, Danny Waldren (Robbie Evans 46), Matt Paine, Jermaine Pennant (Billy Bricknell 46),Ricky Modeste, Adam Cunnington.

Margate: Sam Sargeant, Jack Evans, Tom Wynter, James Rogers, Liam Friend, Ben Swift, Kane Haysman, Sam Blackman, Jordan Chiedozie, Frannie Collins, David Martin.

Attendance: 1570