Leatherhead 3-2 Billericay Town
(Daniel 8’, Moone 53’, Boakye-Yiadom 82’: Ellul 20’, Bricknell 84’)
From Fetcham Grove
Ryman Premier League
BILLERICAY Town’s play-off hopes are all but over after they were surprisingly beaten by Ryman Premier League strugglers Leatherhead.
Goals from Joe Ellul and Billy Bricknell weren’t enough, with Town now six points off the play-offs. The visitors misery was compounded when midfielder Jamie O’Hara appeared to be involved in an altercation with a home supporter at the final whistle.
Town had destroyed Tonbridge Angels on Wednesday to win the Ryman League Cup, but manager Glenn Tamplin had called for consistency after the 8-3 demolition in the final.
And he wouldn’t have been impressed with the opening 15 minutes of this encounter, against a side still looking to guarantee their league status.
Town had the first opportunity of the match, with Byron Lawrence’s flick superbly tipped onto the crossbar.
But the Tanners took an eighth minute lead and what a goal it was.
Kadell Daniel took aim from 30 yards and sent an unstoppable strike beyond Alan Julian in the away goal.
Town were rattled and were extremely lucky not to have been two goals down. A foul by Ellul saw Leatherhead awarded a penalty but Luke Moore, who started the season at Billericay, struck the resultant kick off the face of the post.
That was the spark Town needed and they started to click into gear.
First, a Lawrence effort rolled just wide of the post before O’Hara’s free-kick was tipped just over the crossbar.
But Town were to level. Ellul netted for the second match in succession with a header to tie the scores after 20 minutes.
It was end-to-end stuff, with only Julian’s smart stop stopping Leatherhead from restoring their advantage.
A lull followed, with Billy Bricknell producing the best opportunity but his shot flashed wide of the post.
Tamplin introduced Mekhi McLeod at half-time, with the winger available once again after a three match suspension.
But, after Jake Robinson had shot over the bar, Town were behind once again.
Charlie Moone’s run saw him beat several players before finishing smartly beyond Julian.
Leatherhead hit the post as they looked for the decisive third goal and they deservedly got it with eight minutes remaining.
Town’s defence was split in half by a through ball and Nana Boakye-Yiadom raced through to score.
That looked to be it for Billericay, but two minutes later they were back in with a shout.
Bricknell drove home his 32nd goal of the season but it had come too late for the Essex side.
Billericay Town: Julian, Eyong, Lawrence (Assombalonga 70’), Konchesky (Krasniqi 70’), Fitzsimons, Ellul, O’Hara, Johnson (McLeod 45’), Bricknell, Cunnington, Robinson