Thursday, 6 September 2012

Billericay Town - New Lodge


Billericay Town FC
New Lodge
Blunts Wall Road
Billericay
Essex
CM12 9SA

01277 652188
Official Website
Twitter
Ladies Team Twitter







Ground Number: 214
Tuesday 4th September 2012
Billericay Town 3-3 Tonbridge Angels
Blue Square South










BILLERICAY TOWN FC - A BRIEF HISTORY

The club was established in 1880 as Billericay FC, changing their name to Billericay Town in 1946. They started out in local leagues such as the Romford & District, MId-Essex and South Essex Combination. In 1966, the club became founder members of the Essex Olympian League. This bought about a highly successful period for the club. They were champions in 1970 and 1971 when they joined the Essex Senior League. During their six-season spell here, they were champions three times, runners-up twice and came third in the other season. The years 1977 to 1979 were spent in the Athenian League, finishing both seasons as champions before Billericay joined the Isthmian League. Starting in Division 2, they were champions in their first season before finishing as runners-up to Bishops Stortford to take a place in the Isthmian. The team would spend five seasons here before being relegated back to Division 1 in 1986. Two years later, they dropped down to Division 2 North, winning promotion back with a third-place finish in 1992. A runners-up spot behind Aldershot Town in 1998 saw them return to the Isthmian Premier. Having missed the cut for the Conference South the season before, they were runners-up behind Yeading in 2005. With no promotion place for this, they'd have to wait until 2012 for promotion as Champions but they only lasted a single season in the Conference South before being relegated back. December 2016 saw the controversial Glenn Tamplin take ownership of the club. In amongst tantrums, wars of words and big-money signings, Billericay Town won promotion to the Conference South in 2018, finishing 8th in their first season. Earlier this season, Tamplin sold the club, after completely transforming the ground and under new ownership, they sit in lower mid-table at present.



The FA Cup 1st Round has been reached six times, most recently this season when they lost 4-0 at Forest Green Rovers. The FA Trophy Quarter Final was reached in 2018 where Billericay beat Conference side Harrogate Town on the way to losing 5-2 at home to Wealdstone. The club is the second most successful club in FA Vase history, having won the competition three times. They beat Stotfold 1-0 at Wembley in 1976 and Sheffield in a replay at the City Ground, Nottingham the following year. The last of their three triumphs came in 1979 as Almondsbury Greenway were defeated 4-1. Local cup wins include the Isthmian League Cup (2017 & 2018) and the Essex Senior Cup (1976, 2011 & 2018). 

The record attendance of 4,582 came for a game against a West Ham United XI in August 2017. The Hammers also provided the club with their previous record attendance and also their record incoming transfer fee for Steve Jones who left in 1992 for £22,500. He went from working a soap factory to scoring against Spurs in the space of a few years and would later have an unsuccessful loan spell ay Wycombe, failing to score in five appearances. The town of Billericay has a population of around 28,000 and is the setting for the TV sitcom 'Gavin and Stacey'. It was also immortalised in the Ian Dury and the Blockheads song 'Billericay Dickie' Famous people to come from the town include footballer Paul Parker, comedian Lee Evans, singer Alison Moyet and  'Pointless' presenter Richard Osman.



Billericay Town Ladies play in the FA Women's National League Division 1 South East which is at the 4th level in women's football. They only joined last season, finishing as runners-up to Crawley Wasps in their debut season. Previously they'd played in the Eastern Region WFL Premier. They finished as runners-up four seasons in a row from 2012/13 until 2015/16, finally earning promotion as champions in 2018. Before that, they'd played in Division 1 South from 2008 - 2011 before a runners-up spot behind CK Basildon was good enough for promotion.

MV VISIT - 2012

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. 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 tea bar - "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.


It was a shame, as the game was a real cracker. Matt Lovell put the visitors ahead in the opening couple of minutes, heading in a free-kick. After 8 minutes, the scores were level, Nathan Green heading home after former Wycombe loanee keeper fumbled the ball. The glovesman made amends with a couple of good saves with their being multiple chances at both ends. Worgan made another great save just before half time but Chris Wild was on hand to put home the rebound. A great run by Gregg Oates saw him set up Glenn Poole for a goal, but it was ruled out and a penalty awarded instead. Poole did the honours from the spot and a 3-1 the game looked safe, especially coming into the final five minutes. Tonbridge had other ideas however and on 85 minutes Frannie Collin netted a penalty awarded for a trip in the area. Deep into injury time, Ben Judge bundled home from close range to give the visitors a happy trip home in what was an entertaining 3-3 draw. 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.


MY SECOND VISIT

I'd previously intended to visit Billericay back in January, however, their women's FA Cup game against Actonians was postponed an hour before kick-off. The stadium had seen a complete rebuild since my initial visit, but I'd got as far as Basildon shopping centre earlier this year, getting a new coat but getting back to my car to find that the game had fallen to a waterlogged pitch. They'd since had 3G installed, which virtually guaranteed game on but it was rare that I would finish work in time. Such an opportunity arose nearer Christmas, with me going in at 3 am, I would probably finish earlier. I made provisional arrangements with fellow hopper Colin on Saturday night and thankfully, work was all done by 10. However, I sent him a WhatsApp message at work and had no reply. I also sent a couple of texts when I got home, also with no replay. I had a bath and resigned myself to a day at home, assuming Colin had fallen asleep. That turned out to be true, however, he woke up at the last possible minute and I thought I might as well go to the game. I left at 11.30 and met Colin ten minutes later. Thankfully, we had a good journey and were there by 12.45. The club car park was full, so we had to park in the cricket club. It looked quite busy, but the attendance wasn't that big. Entry was an excellent value £3 and included a decent programme. I needed something to eat and so got some chips from the tea bar.


Billericay Town Women play in the FA Women's National League Division 1 South East. This sits at step 4 of the Women's Football Pyramid. They'd lost both their home league games so far, 0-3 to Ipswich Town and 3-4 to Hashtag United but they'd won 4-0 at Cambridge City. To get this far in the cup they had beaten Cambridge United 4-1 and Chesham United 2-1. Maidenhead United Women played in the adjacent South West Division and sat in 8th place. They'd played three games so far, winning 2-1 at Cheltenham Town, drawing 2-2 at Larkhall Athletic and lost 3-2 at home to Chesham United. It wasn't the greatest of games and although the hosts had plenty of the ball, they were shot-shy, at least in testing the keeper. They did hit the bar after 25 minutes through Ellie Jeffkins but didn't take the lead until a couple of minutes after the break when Therese Addison found the top right-hand corner from just outside the area. It was another screamer from Addison, this time from 25 yards that found the top of the net on 56 minutes to make it 2-0. Addison completed her hat trick on 68 minutes, this time advancing into the area before slotting into the bottom right-hand corner. Addison got her and Billericay's 4th on 80 minutes with a close-range finish. It was a richly deserved victory for the hosts as they controlled the game and restricted Maidenhead to a couple of chances on the break. It was 3 by the time we left and after stopping for petrol and dropping Colin off, I got home around 4.30.


THE GROUND - 2012

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, whilst 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.

2012 PHOTOS


THE GROUND 2020

The ground had completely changed for my second visit, thanks to the money of previous owner Glenn Tamplin. The ground now has a specified capacity of 5,000, of which 2000 are seats. Both sides are seated, whilst both ends are terraces. The ground is pretty much fully covered although the roof is done to a price and therefore has supports but these don't get in the way too much. The clubhouse and shop were closed on my visit but the tea bar was decent enough. At the back of one of the stands is an interesting an unique mural featuring paintings of various parts of the club's history and proposed future.


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