Article by Luke Lambert: Billericay Town returned to the top of the Isthmian Premier League after seeing off the challenge of Tonbridge Angels.
Town were 2-1 winners, with Liam Hughes netting the winner shortly after climbing off the substitutes’ bench. The result moves Glenn Tamplin’s team two points ahead of Dulwich Hamlet in the race for promotion.
Town needed a point to return to top spot but knew nothing less than three would do from their clash against an Angels side that had beaten them just a fortnight ago. But it was a low key start to the encounter. The first chance was 15 minutes in arriving and it so nearly brought the first goal.
Fresh from another goal for Grenada, Ricky Modeste picked up the pieces from a corner and lashed against the near post.
From the resulting counter-attack the ball was worked to Joe Turner and the striker struck narrowly wide of Alan Julian’s upright. Ten minutes later Jake Robinson powered a low drive past the post of goalkeeper Jonathan Henly. But it was a half devoid of any further chances, with the closest either side coming a Billy Bricknell header that was well blocked in the penalty area.
Billericay needed a faster start after the break and they got just that. After Sam Deering, moved into a more offensive role, had seen a shot ruled out for handball the midfielder broke the deadlock.
Some quick-thinking from Jamie O’Hara saw his deep free-kick picked up by Robinson and the latter’s low cross was swept home at the near post by Deering.
Robinson hit the bar two minutes later as Town piled forward in search of the second goal but, against the run of play, Tonbridge drew level.
Three times Billericay failed to clear a corner and former striker Nathan Elder was on hand to bundle home. But Town refused to lay down and 60 seconds later they had regained the lead.
Modeste, lively all night, sent in a left wing cross that substitute Hughes headed in from eight yards just three minutes after entering the fray.
Town closed out the game, albeit Sam Bantick missed a golden chance late on for the visitors when a poor first touch allowed Julian to smother the ball.
Town are back in action in just 48 hours against Brightlingsea Regent.
Score and squad line-up
Billericay Town 2–1 Tonbridge Angels (Deering 53, Hughes 68: Elder 67)
Billericay Town: Julian, Kizzi, Urquhart, Waldren, Inman, Deering (Ocran 80), Evans (Paine 70), O’Hara, Bricknell (Hughes 65), Modeste, Robinson
Article by Luke Lambert, The Echo