Billericay Town 4-0 Eastleigh

Saturday 8th September 2012
Blue Square Bet South

Match report by Ray Murphy

With the sun again blazing this time on a September afternoon in the landscapes of the Essex countryside, the start to the Eastleigh season again failed to be jumpstarted as Eastleigh stumbled to their third successive league defeat this time against last season's Ryman League Champions and Essex Senior Cup winners.

Manager Ian Baird had to make some enforced changes to the side as well as some personnel changes in an attempt to return the side to winning ways and reinstall the confidence in the side. With Andy Forbes having withdrawn in the morning with a sickness bug, Mitchell Nelson, Callum McNish were both injured, leaving Baird to shuffle the troops with what was left at his selections. Glen Southam returned to the side along with Adam Everett, Damian Scannell and Dale Binns all being given their first starts of the season. Billericay welcomed new signing in full back Joe Anderson to the side.

Eastleigh started well with no signs of what was to follow evident in the opening twenty minutes. They had to be on their guard when in the fourth minute a long throw from Duran Reynolds was turned just wide by Chris Wild, but it was Eastleigh that had started the better side.

Everett playing in a central midfield role broke up a move in the middle of the park in the ninth minute before releasing Scannell, Everett then making up some sixty yards to take back a pass from Scannell that he was just unable to edge past Billericay goalkeeper Dale Brightly mainly due to the attention of centre back Rob Swaine.

On eleven minutes Craig McAllister saw his header from a Daryl McMahon corner bring an excellent stop from Brightly, the ball only being cleared to the edge of the box where Southam sent a rising drive aimed for the top of the net only for Brightly to readjust himself and tip the effort over the bar.

Former Staines Town striker Mark Charles-Smith saw a header from a Luke l’Anson cross go just over the bar on fourteen minutes before the afternoon started to turn for the worse for Eastleigh. On twenty-one minutes Nathan Greene held off his defensive cover and showed neat footwork to play the ball into Glenn Poole in side the area. Poole went to the ground under a challenge from Gary Elphick from which referee A Sannerude adjudged there was enough contact to award Billericay a penalty, their sixth award so far this season. Poole showed no mercy with his thundered penalty giving Jack Dovey no chance.

With the goal saw the confidence in the home side increase considerably whereas for Eastleigh their bright start suddenly elapsed. On twenty-seven minutes L’Anson's pass in behind Osei Sankofa, found Sam Lechmere though Sankofa recovered to take some of the venom out of Lechmere’s shot allowing Dovey to save. A minute later and Swaine saw his header from an Anderson cross saved by Dovey. Eastleigh were to fall a further goal behind on twenty nine minutes, Southam’s pass to Tom Jordan somehow bounced off the centre backs legs and fell invitingly for an unmarked Charles-Smith to coolly plant the ball past the outstretched Dovey for a second Billericay score.

A quickly worked free kick from McMahon and Southam on thirty eight minutes ended with a weak shot from McMahon being saved by Brightly but the half ended with The Spitfires trying to reduce a two goal deficit.

Half time substitutions saw Moses Ademola and Marvin Williams introduced to the action at the expense of Scannell and Everett. Billericay themselves were forced to make a change at the same time with full back Greg Oakes unable to continue through injury and striker Alex Osborn replacing him forcing the home side to change players’ positions.

The two Eastleigh introductions were soon to make an impression forcing a corner in the first minute of the second period. McMahon’s flag kick being cleared to the edge of the box where Southam’s control allowed him to send in a drive that rose just over the bar. Billericay immediately broke to the opposite end where Osborn saw a header from a Greene cross saved by Dovey.

Swaine tripped Williams just outside the area on fifty-six minutes allowing McMahon to fire in a curling free kick but the defensive wall blocked the attempt. The bright start to the second period though was halted two minutes later. A lofted cross in from the right wing by Sam Lechmere saw centre back Wild rise highest and head home a third goal for Billericay.

Worse followed for Eastleigh eight minutes later. The stooping Greene at the far post headed home goal number four for Billericay after Wild had helped on Reynolds’ long throw.

There could have been goals for both sides as the game as a contest was already decided. Billericay lost striker Charles-Smith with a dislocated shoulder on seventy-six minutes leaving the field on a stretcher after a lengthy stoppage. Elphick saw a header from a Jai Reason corner saved by Brightly on seventy-seven minutes, two minutes later Osborn for the home side got the better of Michael Green but shot wide of Dovey’s goal.

On eighty minutes a McMahon through ball was allowed to run by Reason and Ademola found himself in space in the area but Brightly saved his attempt. Two minutes later a corner from McMahon arrived at the far post where Reason laid the ball back across goal for Jordan to glance a header wide.

A rising thirty-five yard drive from Poole saw Dovey at full stretch again to tip the ball over the bar to deny the home side a fifth then Reason took the ball past his full back before curling an effort narrowly wide. Despite an added eight minutes of stoppage time there was no further addition to the score, Lechmere coming the closest to increasing the tally but his effort was saved by Dovey.
Billericay Town v Eastleigh - 08.09.12


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