Billericay 2, Truro City 1
BILLERICAY showed the battling spirit which made them champions last season as they scored a late goal to claim a debut win in the Conference South, despite playing the majority of the second half with only 10 men.
It was a tale of two contrasting halves for the Ryman Premier champions as they held a lead at the interval but then had to keep the visitors at bay as they pushed forward in search of a winner following home striker Jay May’s 55th minute dismissal.
It was the only card brandished in the game and it was a straight red for use of the elbow.
At that stage it was 1-1 and Truro looked to make their man advantage count.
But the hosts stood firm and we rewarded with an 88th minute winner from winger Sam Lechmere.
It came when the increasingly impressive Nathan Green crossed from the left and the former Braintree man smashed home a sweet volley, much to the delight of the majority of the 401-crowd packed into New Lodge.
The centre back headed home after the ball was headed back across goal by Truro’s Jake Ash, following a corner from Glenn Poole.
The game started to open up after the goal and Alex Osbourne had a golden opportunity to double the lead when he was put through by May, but his control let him down when in on goal.
At the other end a miskick from keeper Jake Larkins gifted Keiffer Moore a chance, but he shot against the post with the goal at his mercy.
Then Les Afful came close to levelling the match right on the stroke of half-time, but Town held their lead at the break.
The second half was only minutes old when Truro drew level and Wild was again involved as he turned the ball past his own keeper after Afful’s cross caused panic in the home defence.
Things got even worse for Town when May was sent off for a clash with Ash, and minutes later Cody Cooke blazed over with the entire goal in front of him as Town’s back four went missing. And just as it seemed the game would end in a draw, Green escaped down the left and delivered a deep cross that was turned in by Lechmere.
Town could have even added a third but substitute striker Tunde Adenwunmi shot wide of advancing keeper Tim Sandercombe and the post after nicking the ball from a defender and running in on goal.
Echo MOM: Nathan Green (Billericay).