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Billericay Town grab away spoils as Osborn starts and scores

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

  • Billericay v Tonbridge BILLERICAY Captain ROB SWAINE saved this goal chance.CMUK20120905A-050_X.jpg

  • in hard: Rob Swaine towers over Hornchurch's Leon McKenzie

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GOALS from Alex Osborn and Rob Swaine saw Billericay record their first away win of the season at Staines in a game that was marred by a serious injury to the home side's Sam Bates.

With Marc Charles-Smith out for several weeks with the broken arm he sustained against Eastleigh, Town made just one change with Osborn coming into the attack and Junior Luke taking the vacant place on the bench.

The opening stages of the game were largely scrappy with neither side able to put together a sustained period of pressure. Town had the best of the early chances when Alex Osborn escaped his marker and go one-on-one with the keeper, but Jack Turner was equal to it and made a good save.

The flow of the game was not helped by an over-fussy referee who was happy to wave his cards around as Christmas had come early, somehow booking four players in the first half including Town's Nathan Green.

Staines went close on the half hour mark when David Wheeler's low cross beat Billericay's back four but the onrushing Reece Hall was unable to get a touch as he slid in at the far post with the goal at his mercy.

Town made Staines pay for that miss minutes later when a ball out from the back deceived Matt Drage and fell to Osborn who coolly slotted home his first goal for the club.

With half time approaching Town needed to hang on, but Wheeler capitalised on some slack marking to fire a low shot through a crowded area that Dale Brightly saw too late to do anything about and the two sides went in level at half time.

Town were presented with an excellent opportunity to regain the lead early in the second half when Drage's mis-directed header fell to Osborn in the box but instead of shooting he squared to Sam Lechmere, and the Staines defence were able to crowd him out.

The game had to be stopped for some seven or eight minutes midway through the half when Staines full-back Bates landed awkwardly and looked to be unconscious for some time. He was able to be carried off on a stretcher. It is to be hoped the injury is not serious.

When the game re-started, Staines went on the attack and Louis Theophanous found himself one-on-one with Brightly who stood up well and made an important save.

How vital that save was, was underlined as the game neared the 90-minute mark. A corner into the box somehow made it all the way to the far post where Swaine was on hand to bundle home.

The game moved into a lengthy stoppage time that saw chances for both sides. Brightly made another good save to deny Elliott Godfrey after a quick counter attack, and Turner made an excellent stop to keep out Junior Luke's effort with Craig Edward's shot from the rebound being blocked by a defender.

With the almost last kick of the game, Nathan Green picked up a second booking when he was judged to have kicked the ball away, but Town held on for another excellent win.

Billericay Town: Brightly, Oates, Anderson, I'Anson (Edwards), Swaine, Wild, Lechmere (Luke), Poole, Osborn (Hutchinson), Green, Reynolds

Subs not used: Halle, Bennett.

Star Man: Dale Brightly

Attendance: 363

Fixtures: AFC Hornchurch (home), Saturday, September 29, FA Cup second qualifying round, kick off 3pm.

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