Regent Hold The Leaders
Brightlingsea Regent welcomed high flying Billericay Town to the Taydal on an entertaining Thursday evening!
Brightlingsea Regent’s biggest crowd of the season saw a resolute and disciplined performance from Tom Rothery’s team against a Billericay side top of the table and chasing automatic promotion to the National Leagues.
Much has been written about this Billericay side and its owner. There is no doubt it is packed full of talented players many of whom have plied their trade at higher levels. To get anything from this game the R’s would have show the togetherness and spirit that is the trademark of Regent football and show this they did.
Surprisingly the early exchanges were a little scrappy, the visitors struggling to get into their stride much due to the work rate of the men in red and black who broke up Billericay’s possession time and again.
When the visitors did get forward it was the pace and trickery of Ricky Modeste in wide areas that was causing Regent the most problems and when the ball broke loose in the Brightlingsea box from one of his crosses the prolific Jake Robinson pounced on it turned and shot, his effort flashing just wide of James Bradbrook’s goal.
Billericay were creating chances and forcing corners but whenever the ball found its way into the R’s box the defence held firm particularly the centre half duo of Cripps and Gould who were superb all evening.
Regent did cause problems going forward themselves with both Ricky Griggs and Aaron Condon testing Alan Julian in the Ricay goal. The visitors were getting more and more frustrated at not taking the chances that were coming their way with Robinson volleying another opportunity over the bar and R’s keeper Bradbrook saving smartly from Liam Hughes and Callum Butcher. HT 0-0
The game really came to life at the start of the second half when Robbie Evans unleashed a pile driver of a strike from the edge of the Regent box. His shot looked destined to open the scoring but a fantastic finger tip save from man of the match Bradbrook deflected the ball on to the bar and away.
Just seconds later as Regent broke into the Billericay half Ricky Griggs fired his own long range effort towards the visitors goal, a deflection forcing keeper Julian to readjust and make his own fine save palming the ball onto the woodwork.
Brightlingsea were showing more belief and confidence as the game wore on and with their fantastic fans in fine voice they finally got the break they had worked so hard for. Skipper Matt Cripps volleyed from a corner and when his effort was blocked it was Built Hunt who followed up smashing the ball into the Billericay net.
1-0 Regent .
The Billericay bench introduced the creative Adam Cunnington to the action replacing Jake Robinson who had had a frustrating night In front of goal. The visitors were looking to up their tempo and exploit the pace of Modeste and Ocran in wide areas but despite increasing possession the visitors were still finding it hard to break this determined R’s team down.
Billy Bricknell was brought into the action on seventy minutes and it was his penalty strike just a few minutes later that salvaged a crucial point for Billericay after the referee saw a foul on the edge of the box.1-1 .
As Billericay pushed on in search of a winner Brightlingsea managed to break in behind on several occasions but couldn’t quite find the quality to force their own chance of a second goal.
To a man the R’s had proved that they can compete with the best at this level gaining a vital point in their quest to stay in the Premier Division for next season.
Report By Gavin Aplin