BBC Essex Senior Cup 4th Round
Billericay Town 3 Basildon United 0
Thursday 30th November
Basildon United put on a brave and at times defiant display against Billericay Town at the AGP Arena on Thursday evening – but in the end the hosts made their pressure count taking the lead in the 70th minute via Sam Deering and then adding further goal from Jake Robinson and Nick Wheeler, which saw Ricay run out 3-0 winners.
The hosts had their first effort when Danny Waldren drilled wide after only 2 minutes after a nice passing move saw him laid off. Dan Walker also had a low shot stopped by Connor Wheatley. The Bees keeper also cut out a Louie Theophanous cross that was played along the six yard box. However the Bees kept at the task despite not managing to venture out of their own half in the opening ten minutes. Not that that meant they were overawed as their defence and midfield worked hard to keep their opponents out and also passed the ball around nicely once they did gain possession.
Tommy Barton fired the first Basildon chance over the bar after a free kick had been headed clear by the Ricay defence. That sparked up the Bees fans behind the goal who turned up in good numbers and were in good voice.
Theophanous had a shot kicked clear by Danny Dafter on the quarter hour and the resulting corner was caught by Wheatley. Then on 17 minutes Theophanous delivered a fine free kick that Joe Kizzi rifled home but the goal was soon ruled out for offside. Further Ricay pressure resulted in Sanchez Watt having a shot blocked with Wheatley saving Theophanous strike on the rebound.
Ollie Spooner showed some good skill to go past two Blues players that culminated in winning a corner but the Bees couldn’t use it to much effect and the ball drifted away from the danger zone. However the Bees had shown that they could be dangerous if they put an attack together and another one involving Marcus Bowers and Tommy Barton looked promising until Dean Inman cleared.
Theophanous had a free kick in the 27th minute which was blocked firstly by Danny Dafter and then Chris Charlery as the Bees continued to face Billericay pressure but they had stood firm enough to prevent the hosts having any clear-cut chances. Dan Walker burst down the left on the half hour mark but his speculative shot floated high and wide of Wheatley’s goal.
Bowers was nearly played in by some indecisive defending, laying it off to Tommy Barton but Billericay recovered to clear the danger. Then the ball went up the other end where Billericay were awarded penalty after a challenge in the box but Sanchez Watt’s shot towards the bottom left hand corner was tipped away by Wheatley.
The penalty save was cheered mightily by the Bees fans but Ricay were soon back in attack mode as Joe Kizzi tore down the right wing, laying it off to Theophanous, who quickly laid it off to Adam Cunnington but he couldn’t fire a shot off and the ball was hooked clear. But Kizzi was soon delivering another cross from the right flank that was knocked away for a corner. That started a succession of corners that the Bees had to withstand before half time.
Billericay introduced all three substitutes to start the the second half and they had their first attack early on when Dan Walker cut inside and let fly with a shot that wasn’t too far wide. Jake Robinson placed a glancing header wide and Theophanous did similar in the 55th minute. It had all been one-way traffic although Jack Giddens had to come and kick away a wayward back pass under pressure from Bowers.
Basildon were not able to create much in the opening exchanges; that looked to have changed in the 56th minute when Burgess was laid off by Bowers and his run took him past the Ricay defence, crossing to Spooner who rifled home from close range. But the linesman had his flag up and so yet another goal was ruled out for offside.
On the hour Theophanous tested Wheatley with a low shot at the near post which the Bees keeper tipped away. Deering also had a poke after a loose ball came his way but it was blocked and scrambled away and then Robinson headed an effort over the bar.
The goal that Billericay were threatening to score finally came in the 70th minute when Danny Waldren let fly from outside the box and his sweetly struck shot sailed past Wheatley.
Billericay should have doubled their lead moments later when Theophanous cut inside the box, took the ball to the byline, centred to Robinson who somehow missed with the goal begging in front of him.
Robinson made amends in the 75th minute after Wheatley had saved Waldren’s free kick but the Ricay substitute put the ball away to give his team a two-goal cushion.
Basildon kept at their task and went close with a Barton free kick. But Billericay were soon back on the front foot and Dan Walker sent over a cross that was met by a Robinson header that was charged down and cleared; the hosts continued to work their way into position with Wheeler dinking a shot that was only an inch too high as the game entered its final ten minutes.
It became 3-0 on 86 minutes when Wheeler had a double-dip effort after his first shot was parried by Wheatley who was then powerless to prevent Wheeler finishing off the rebound. Basildon had given it a go and had held out for 70 minutes but once Billericay had taken the lead it looked like there was only going to be one winner and so it proved but the Bees can hold their heads up after this performance and their fans were superb throughout.
Billericay Town: Jack Giddens, Joe Kizzi, Josh Urquhart, Leo Chambers, Dean Inman (Capt)(Sam Deering 46’), Matt Paine (Nick Wheeler 46’), Sanchez Watt, Danny Waldren, Adam Cunnington (Jake Robinson 46’), Louie Theophanous, Dan Walker.
Scorers – Danny Waldren (70’), Jake Robinson (75’), Nick Wheeler (86’)
Basildon United: Connor Wheatley, Jamie Selby-Knight, Joe Burgess, Danny Dafter, Chris Charlery, Charlie Pardoe (Billy Willis 82’), Grant Cumming, Tommy Barton (Capt), Marcus Bowers, Ollie Spooner (Jack Renew 76’), Charlie Kendall (Ashley Blackburn 65’).
Report by Scott Lanza/Photo by Sherry Cumming