HARRY Wheeler praised Billericay Town's resilience after scoring a last-gasp winner to enjoy an opening day victory over Eastbourne Borough.

Jake Robinson grabbed the only goal of the National League South contest in stoppage time.

And, having conceded in each of their pre-season outings, Wheeler was happy to keep a clean sheet.

"Clean sheets win leagues and we said after the final friendly at Hornchurch that we hadn't kept a clean sheet throughout pre-season," said the Billericay boss.

"We questioned whether the first clean sheet would come on the opening day of the season and it worked out that way.

"I'm really pleased that we kept a clean sheet.

"We didn't play well in the first half, but it's important that you don't concede when it is like that.

"We got in at half-time goalless and so we were still in the game.

"The best teams find ways of winning games when they're not at their best and that's what we did.

"We were resilient and got better as the game went on, so that is a big positive for us."

A lacklustre first half display saw Billericay get the campaign off to a disappointing start.

And Wheeler struggled to pinpoint why Town were far from their best before the break.

"I don't know what to put the first half performance down to," admitted Wheeler.

"Our shape against their shape could have been wrong.

"They set themselves up well and we adjusted ourselves at half-time.

"It's a new group. Some of them have only played together once and it looked like that for a while, but we got better as the game went on and that was pleasing."

Robinson claimed the stoppage time winner by converting Moses Emmanuel's centre.

And Wheeler was pleased to see the striker make a goalscoring start to the new term.

"I'm really pleased for Jake and it's well known that I have a big fondness for him," added Wheeler.

"He's a great lad and great footballer.

"Jake is a goalscorer and he is one of those players that can not affect the game for 89 minutes and then score the winner.

"He gets his goals and was much better in the second half. I thought he was excellent."