19 August 2012

The Only Way Is Billericay

After all the soap opera comings and goings at Truro City during the close season, it was nice to get back to football on the pitch.
Picture by Simon Birch

First game of the season......Billericay away. Another long trip to the land of orange tans, false boobs and hairdresser cars. ESSEX. A mirror image of the previous season when we was sent to Chelmsford City for the first game of the season.

With news that many players were out injured,including Stewart Yetton, Andy Watkins, Marcus Martin, Steve Adams and Martin Watts.  Lee Hodges suspended, players embargo still in place, news trickled through that Truro City would field no more than 13 players for the seasons opener.

Team line up, T.Sandercombe, D.Green, B.Williams, A.Pugh, C.Cooke, J.Ash, A.Kelly, L.Afful, B.Adelsbury, K.Moore, J.Broad. Subs D.Carne and D.Hall.

On a very hot sunny day with temperatures in the 30s, it was never going to be a classic. As per expected, the opening minutes became a cagey affair. It was like watching two boxers weighing each other up, finding their oppositions weak points, whilst floating around the pitch, finding space to express their natural talent to break down the defence.

The home side took the lead after 21 minutes through a deep corner that Truro City was unable to keep out. Glenn Poole crossed the ball in for centre half, Chris Wild to head past Tim Sandercombe. The home crowd went wild.

With this Truro City piled the pressure on. Young Keiffer Moore should have equalised for Truro City after the home keeper, miss kicked, which gifted Keiffer a clean cut chance only to see his shot rebound of the post. Both teams continued to attack, like boxers, with jabs followed by a hook whilst defending valiantly.

Half time arrived for a welcome rest bite for the players, away from the sweltering heat of the English summer.
With home and away fans exchanging chants, Truro City equalised only minutes after the restart. Little Les Afful crossed a peach of a ball into the Billericay Town area, with scorer of the first goal Chris Wild having a mare, sliding the ball past his own keeper under pressure from Kieffer Moore. 1 - 1. Truro fans went wild like Truro fans do. Things started to look up again.

With an off the ball incident involving our very own superman, Jake Ash, Billericays Jay May was shown the red card for an early bath, much to the displeasure of the home fans but delight of the away fans. Truro City used their extra man with intent and piled on the pressure. Cody Cooke blasted the ball over the bar. Kieffer Moore having a fair amount of chances that would have given the away team the lead and victory assured.

Truro City looked to tire as the game progressed. Lee Hodges only admitting days ago that his team were at least three weeks behind in their fitness due to problems of the pitch recently. Billericay had the advantage to bring on fresh legs to battle for a result against the draining heat.

With a share of the points looking increasingly likely, Billericay Towns Nathan Green ran down the left wing to deliver a ball into Truro Citys area for Sam Lechmere to turn into Truro Citys goal. With only minutes left, the full three points went to the home side, leaving the away fans wondering whether the result would have been different had the earlier Truro Citys chances been taken.

The first game of a very long season. Victory should have been Truro Citys but I'm sure we will gain full points in another game that we won't deserve.

A special note must be made of the home fans. What an incredibly friendly bunch. A community club that involve their fans. The ex club chairman, who reigned whilst Billericay Town won three FA Vase trophies from 1975 to 1979, his sons and the chairman of the supporters club treated us away fans to some refreshments for our long journey home to Cornwall. A brilliant insight also of how a football club is run by an ex chairman. I could have stayed there all day listening.

Poor result but top marks to Billericay Town and everyone involved in the club. We was made to feel very welcome and part of their special day. One day, we may have that feeling at our own football club.

Yours, the Latte Lad.    

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