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Bishop’s Stortford 2-0 Billericay Town Match Report

Bishop’s Stortford 2-0 Billericay Town Match Report 14/2/23

Hamish Arnold

Bishop’s Stortford continued to consolidate the top of the table position with a sixth win in the last seven games on Tuesday. Mark Haines and Frankie Merrifield were on the scoresheet, both in the first half, as the Blues beat Billericay Town 2-0 at home in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division. There were also wins for Aveley, Enfield Town and Canvey Island, but Hornchurch could only draw with Corinthian Casuals.

Stortford made a fast start against the Essex side, with Ollie Peters benefitting from an advantage played in the middle of the park, he dribbled towards the Billericay Town goal but couldn’t find the target with a powerful strike. Darren Foxley’s corner was punched away by Harry Seaden, but only as far as Peters on the edge of the box, he feinted to shoot but instead passed to Church on the right side of the box, who forced Seaden into a superb diving save at full stretch to his right. Instead of lofting the ball into the penalty box from a deep free kick, Sam Deering took it short to Foxley in space on the left wing, his low cross was fizzed into the six yard box and Haines stabbed home at the back post inside a quarter of an hour. A wayward kick from Seaden was intercepted by Jay Porter on the halfway-line, he passed early to Merrifield who flicked the ball to Ryan Charles on the left wing, who fired a low shot towards the bottom right corner, it was going wide as Peters arrived late but couldn’t reach the ball for a tap in, and was subsequently flagged offside anyway. Around the half hour mark and the Blues were controlling possession, especially in the build-up to the second goal when Ryan Henshaw clipped the ball over the midfield and defence into Merrifield’s path, he took at touch and slotted home calmly from the right side of the box, with the defence nowhere to be seen, expecting and offside flag. Merrifield’s strike was parried by Seaden into a dangerous area, but a defender quickly reacted to clear the danger, before Merrifield fired off target with his left foot, from Charles dribble into the box and cut back.

HT 2-0

The Blues would have been expecting a reaction to a below-par performance from Billericay Town in the first half, but after the break it was more of the same. It was a quiet night for Jack Giddens and his defence, for the Blues’ 18th clean sheet of the season. Peters cut the ball back to Merrifield early in the second half, and he dummied to Foxley but his first time effort was saved by Seaden. Lordon Akolbire continued a fine start to his Blues career with another energetic performance at right back, his powerful cross nearly crept in at the near post, with Seaden fumbling the ball for a corner. A long ball over the top to Merrifield was controlled well, he took the shot early but his half-volley was narrowly wide of the right post.

FT 2-0

TEAMS

Bishop’s Stortford XI

1 Jack Giddens

2 Jay Porter

3 Sam Deering

4 Anthony Church

6 Ryan Henshaw (c)

10 Frankie Merrifield (Goal 33’)

14 Darren Foxley (Johnson 83’)

15 Ryan Charles (Yellow card 37’) (Giles 67’)

17 Mark Haines (Goal 14’)

18 Ollie Peters (Thomas 73’)

19 Lordon Akolbire

Subs

7 Jonny Giles

8 Matt Johnson

9 Donell Thomas

11 Tosin Olufemi

20 Chris Harris

Billericay Town XI

1 Harry Seaden

3 Toby Stevenson

4 Montel Agyemang (Jeffrey 67’)

5 Marvel Ekpiteta

6 Michael Chambers (c) (Yellow card 90+4’)

7 Bradley Stevenson

10 Alfie Cerulli (Ufuah 67’)

12 Daniel Quick

15 Kareem Isiaka (Splatt 85’)

17 Anderson Pinto (Yellow card 90+4’)

19 Imran Uche

Subs

8 Eze Ebuzoeme

9 Javaun Splatt

11 John Ufuah

14 Rhian Fowler

18 Anthony Jeffrey

Attendance 370