Billericay Town 1-1 Enfield Town
Saturday 12 September 2015
by Ken Brazier
Town put in a markedly improved showing in comparison with their last appearance at New Lodge and go into the hat for the Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying draw. Although the replay is at the QEII on Tuesday, this tie could still of course go either way and it will be another very tough test.
Olumide Durojaiye had Town’s first attempts on goal – after 3 minutes his chip from the right went just wide of the far post and then, a minute later, he was off target with another effort. There then followed a lengthy stoppage for an injury to Blues skipper George Beavan, who went on to have an eventful, if somewhat brief, afternoon. He was booked, rather harshly, for a handball in the 12th minute, before his side took the lead a minute later with a simple goal from Onome Sodji, who latched on to a through ball ahead of Harold Joseph and placed the ball over Nathan McDonald and into the net.
After a quarter of an hour, Harry Ottaway, making his full Town debut, did well to get his head on the end of a difficult driven ball from George Brislen-Hall, who then went on to head just wide himself. McDonald kept Town in the game with a save at the feet of Connor Hubble after 22 minutes and then, at the other end, a Nathan Livings inswinging corner caught the woodwork. Claudiu Vilcu, making his first appearance since 10th August following a hernia op, then had a shot deflected over the bar as Town grappled to get back into the game. In the 28th minute, home defender Beavan clattered Bobby Devyne and was rightly shown a second yellow card, Callum Dunne taking the captain’s armband as he departed.
In first half stoppage time Ottaway, back in his own box, did well to clear another dangerous Blues threat and, following that clearance, home keeper Mikhel Kharshiladze saved well from Brislen-Hall, Bobby Devyne’s back header struck the Billericay bar and then Kharshiladze smothered a Ricky Gabriel effort.
Half-time: Billericay Town 1 Enfield Town 0
Town had a let-off early in the second period when Sodji got round Joseph, but McDonald was equal to the shot. Ryan Doyle made way for Tyler Campbell as Town pressed to make their man advantage count. Their reward came in the 57th minute when, following a Town free kick and a subsequent miscued clearance by Teddy Nesbitt, Devyne waited for the high ball to drop and squeezed it into the net low down past Kharshiladze’s right hand for a typical poacher’s goal.
Just beyond the hour mark, Vilcu made a superb interception to deny Tom Derry after the home forward had made a great incisive run and soon afterwards home sub Alex Stephenson robbed Dernell Wynter with a crucial tackle as Town pressed for the winner. Billericay had the last clear-cut chance of the game when Derry shot over from a promising position as the two sides shook hands at the final whistle all-square.
Full-time: Billericay Town 1 Enfield Town 1
Photo courtesy: Enfield Town website