BILLY Clifford is eager to nail down a regular spot in Billericay Town’s midfield after scoring his first goals for the club.

Clifford, who joined from Hemel Hempstead Town in November, claimed a hat-trick in Billericay’s 6-2 Essex Senior Cup quarter-final win over Southend United.

And the midfielder believes competition for places spurs him on.

“It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet and it’s actually my first goals for Billericay,” said Clifford.

“Scoring goals is something I need to add to my game and I want to help the team out in terms of goals and my creativity from midfield.

“It’s always nice to score no matter what the competition you’re playing in and it’s a case of building on that now and taking that into the league.

“I need to hit the target and be more technical with my shooting.

“I’ve tried to work at it and it came off, which is nice.

“There have been a lot of new signings recently and there is competition for places.

“That’s only healthy and I think this is our squad going forward.

“There are a lot of good players and we are training hard.

“You have to play well in each and every game and when there are competition for places, it spurs me on even more because I want to nail down a place in the team.”

Ross Lafayette, Kieron Cadogan and Adam Coombes were also on target as Billericay booked their place in the semi-finals, where they will travel to East Thurrock United on February 5.

Town went into the tie with Southend’s youngsters having lost six of their last seven outings.

And Clifford admits retaining the Essex Senior Cup, having won the competition last season, would be the perfect way to thank the fans for their continued support during a difficult period which culminated in the club parting ways with boss Dean Brennan and assistant manager Stuart Maynard yesterday.

“We won this competition last season and it’s a good day out for the fans,” added the 26-year-old former Chelsea trainee.

“It’s good to get bragging rights and, once again, they came out in numbers against Southend.

“They have been behind us through this sticky period over Christmas and into the start of the year.

“They have been nothing but supportive and behind their team.

“It’s important that we give them something to look forward to.

“These cup games can spur us on to go on a run in the league.”