Thursday, 6 September 2012

Billericay Town - New Lodge

Billericay Town FC
New Lodge
Blunts Wall Road
CM12 9SA

01277 652188

Matchday Number: 214
Tuesday 4th September 2012
Billericay Town 3-3 Tonbridge Angels

Blue Square South

As part of my attempted quest to complete every ground in the Conference South (amongst other divisions) I had to do Billericay Town. It was one of the ones I was more looking forward to than most actually. A nice traditional ground and a programme shop. I would have preferred to do it against Bath City or Hayes and Yeading. But I had other games arranged for these dates, and so had to select another. Not wanting to 'waste' a Saturday when it was fairly near and do-able on a midweek, I selected the game v Tonbridge Angels on the 4th September.

On the day of the game, I had the day off. I was in a 'can't be arsed' frame of mind, but luckily given what the match was going to be like, I decided to go anyway. I left home at 3PM and went shopping in Basildon, as there was a few shops I wanted to go to there. In the end I only picked up some stuff for the game, plus a copy of The Italian Job game for PS1 that would work on my PS3, a pretty decent game from my memory and only £1. After that I went to an Aldi to see if they had any Spanish Cider, which was unavailable when I went to the York store whilst up there last month. Happily there was, and so I got myself a couple of bottles as well as some cans so I could have one before the game. After that, it was just a short 20 minute drive to Billericay Town to see the game.

I arrived at the ground at 6.20PM with nearly an hour and a half to go before the game. So to pass time, I sat in my car, listened to TalkSPORT, had a can of cider and let my phone charge. Just before 7 I decided it was time to go in, £12 the cost. Firstly I took some pictures of the inside of the ground, as well as seeing a lovely friendly dog in the car park!. I then went to the club shop and got myself a pennant for £3.50 and a fairly unimpressive matchday programme for £2. I then want and got myself some chips from the teabar - "The best chips in the world" proclaimed the notice on the tea bar. They turned out fairly decent, but I have had better many times before. I then went and took a seat in the stand, read my programme and checked out what was going down on Facebook and Twitter. My battery died shortly after half time, pathetic as usual. Below I have cut and pasted the match report from the Billericay Town site as I couldn't capture notes on my phone with no power!

The Blues were denied a deserved victory as two late goals from Tonbridge ensured the points were shared.
Craig Edwards handed new signing Joe Anderson a debut at left back with Nathan Green pushing on a position whilst Alex Osborn was dropped to the bench.
The Blues got off to the worst possible start after just 90 seconds when Matt Lovell gave the Angels a headed lead following a fine whipped in free-kick. But the Blues were back on level terms after 8 minutes when Angels keeper Worgan dropped the ball onto the head of Nathan Green who duly headed home. A nervous glance to the ref, but he saw nothing wrong and Green celebrated his first goal for the club. A Glenn Poole free-kick caused panic in the visitors defence before Sam Lechmere snaked his way past the opposition only to see his shot deflected for a corner. From the resulting corner Rob Swaine went inches wide with a side footed shot.
At the other end Greg Oates was forced into a goaline clearance from a Lee Browning chip. But the Blues were on top and a massive goalmouth scramble which included two goaline clearances, a fine save from Worgan ended with Swaine heading against the bar. Tonbridge were now fully stretched and another scramble in the area saw Wild’s header cleared off the line. Lechmere forced Worgan into another good save but the Blues finally took the lead in the 38th minute. Dale Brightly had kicked the ball into touch for Duran Reynolds to receive treatment. Tonbridge refused to give the ball back but from the resulting break down of thier attack, the Blues broke forward and won a corner. From the corner Rob Swaine appeared to have headed home but Worgan clawed the ball from behind the line only for Chris Wild to shoot home. It was nothing more than the Blues deserved.
The second half started with Duran Reynolds skipping thru the Angels defence only to see his shot blocked whilst Luke I’Anson’s effort was easily saved by Worgan. Dale Brightly then had to be alert after a Lee Browning effort dipped in front the Blues No.1 with Brightly pushing the ball wide. In the 58th minute Greg Oates ran almost the entire length of the pitch as he danced his way into the Angels area before seeing his shot blocked, the rebound however gave the right back another chance and this time his shot was parried by a Tonbridge defender onto the post with Glenn Poole scoring from the rebound. The referee however had already pointed to the spot and Glenn Poole coolly scored his fifth penalty of the season.The Tonbridge defender received just a yellow card!
With the game seemingly petering out, the Blues fell to an Angels double blow. With five minutes to go, Joe Anderson up ended George Purcell in the area and Frannie Collin slotted home the penalty. Deep into stoppage time Tonbridge drew level from a cross to the back post that was headed across goal for Ben Judge to equalise. It was a cruel blow on the Blues who had dominated for long periods of the match playing some smart and attractive football with it.

After the game, I had a fairly straightforward drive home, having seen a really entertaining 3-3 draw and was back home by 11PM. I had a pint to try and send me off to sleep, but it didn't help much. I ended up having a restless nights sleep and was very tired the next morning.

NEW LODGE is a pretty traditional non league ground and appears to have had little change in some areas over the years. There is cover on all 4 sides. Firstly as you look straight ahead as you come into the ground, you see a small main stand with seating for 200 people, along with some covered standing next to it. There is also covered standing behind each goal in the form of metal arena type stands, though these are made better by being raised slightly above pitch level. The one remaining side is a mixture of covered standing and seating. The club shop has a small selection (around 4 boxes) of old programmes as well as the usual souvenirs. The bar has nothing special on tap, but is large and well furnished with big screen TV's, whist the tea bar has a good selection of food. There are some takeaways about 10 minutes walk from the ground that I noticed on my way out if you fancy something different, or have time to spare.

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