Billericay Town manager Craig Edwards was disappointed that his Ryman Premier side could not close the game out after their 2-1 victory, against their local rivals Brentwood Town in the Robert Dyas League Cup second round on Monday evening.
“I’m disappointed with the way we closed the game out, it should have been comfortable and we made hard work of it,” said Edwards.
This match saw Brentwood’s joint-boss Adam Flanagan return to his former club where he won the Essex Senior Cup and was voted player of the year in the 2010/11 season under Edwards.
“I really enjoyed my time at Billericay. Craig was the manager at the time; I won’t lie we clashed a few times but we got on and we still talk now. I think we clashed because we were both really passionate people and both wanted to do well,” said Flanagan.
Edwards praised Brentwood’s performance: “Fair play to them, they never turned it in at all, I can see why they’re doing so well, they work hard.”
He added: “I thought Brentwood were very competitive, they were in the ascendancy in the final 10-15 minutes.”
This was the first meeting between the clubs in many years, despite there being just a stone throw away from both clubs.
The first half lacked any real clear-cut chances, but as expected the Ryman Premier side had the majority of possession without really testing the Brentwood goal.
“First half we must have had 75% possession but didn’t create enough chances,” said Edwards.
The game came to life three minutes after half-time when Billericay took the lead through striker Rowan Liburd who was recently brought back from a loan spell at Ryman League North Division club Thamesmead Town.
“At half-time we said to them we needed to be more adventurous and ruthless, a bit more positive around the box and we come out and got off to a flyer”.
Brentwood equalised two minutes later when captain for the night Sam Bantick’s lofted cross found its way straight in.
“Then we have conceded probably the worst goal we have conceded in two years here. It was abysmal… because we were so dominate I think we just switched off”.
Billericay regained the lead ten minutes later with a well worked move which was finished off with a great strike from Richard Halle, his 11th goal of the season from centre-back.
“I thought overall it was a fairly even game. We had to dig in first 20 minutes, they put us under a lot of pressure, but as the first half went on we grew into the game and started to knock the ball around a bit better,” said Flanagan.
“It’s the final third we are struggling with at the moment, whether it be our passing selection or movement. That is the one area which I think can take us from a good team to becoming an even better team.”
“It’s not something we can do immediately, unless we get more experienced players in with the knowledge and the knowhow, but we can’t afford those types of players this season but we will get there.”
“I’m pleased as Great Wakering came here and lost 8-2 and we came here with six first teamers out and lost 2-1.”
Brentwood will be hoping to continue their push for promotion with a victory over Barkingside at The Arena on Saturday, but Flanagan is unsure on whether he will have his strongest eleven.
He said: “We might have a few out for the Barkingside game but we will go with our best team.”