A single goal just before half time was enough to end the Peacocks’ Emirates FA Cup dreams for another season against the National League South leaders. It was a sterling effort from Town over 180 minutes to run such a good side so close but on the night clear chances were hard to come by.
A highly impressive crowd of over 1500 wedged into the Viridor Stadium to witness the second meeting of the sides after the 2-2 draw in Essex four days earlier, with the Peacocks boosted by the return of the previously suspended Ryan Brett and Pierce Mitchell. There was little occurring in the opening stages, Callum Buckley seeing a shot deflected for a corner whilst Jamie O’Hara fired over the top after Lloyd Irish had punched clear Kennedy’s free kick. Brett sent a drive too high at the opposite Invest Southwest End before Town inched closer when Mitchell swung in a cross from the right and the ball fell loose for Matt Buse to turn and fire goalwards, only for Ross Lafayette to stick his leg out to divert away.
With neither team able to assume total command, there continued to be forays at both ends. Brett sent a shot wide from around the 25 yard mark while Irish was equal to Howells’ header after he connected with Joe Kizzi’s scooped cross. The Peacocks keeper then turned away Lafayette’s effort from the right side of the box and two goal striker from the first tie Moses Emmanuel fired into the side netting. The deadlock was eventually broken two minutes before the break, Kizzi’s cross from the right reaching Billericay skipper Sam Deering who sent a 12 yard shot past the dive of Irish into the far corner.
Matt Wright nearly responded immediately, heading Brett’s corner narrowly over but Town retreated to the changing rooms trailing by the single goal. Emmanuel saw a shot whistle just wide when play resumed before the Peacocks stepped up a gear and began to claim the majority of possession. Some good approach play though went unrewarded, firstly when Rocky Neal did well on the left to win the ball but sent his cross behind and then Ollie Chamberlain’s burst setting up Buse for an attempt which was miscued over the angle.
Dan Sullivan replaced Josh Nelmes to add extra spark to Town’s attacks just before the hour as the hosts kept probing. Another Wright header sailed inches over the bar but Billericay posed a threat on the counter, Lafayette just failing to connect with Deering’s angled shot and Kizzi’s centre across the face being met by no-one.
A neat Neal sidestep gave him space to fire in a 20 yard shot just past the upright while an improvised backheel from Mitchell’s cross also missed the target as Town continued to launch the ball into the area at every opportunity. A ricochet from Brett’s drive fell to Wright but he hooked the ball wide and then Buse put another effort over from Mitchell’s cross. However Billericay showed their quality by rarely conceding possession and defending efficiently as the minutes ticked by whilst Town just couldn’t find the right key to fit the lock, leaving the Essex side to claim the £25,000 prize money and prepare for a trip to Chesterfield in the First Round Proper.
Match: Taunton Town v Billericay Town
Date: October 24, 2018
Competition: Emirates FA Cup | 4th Round Qualifying Replay
Venue: Viridor Stadium
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Match Sponsor: Terence Ball Kitchens, Viridor, Invest Southwest, Intersport Tony Pryce Sports, Berry Coaches
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Shane White, Ben Adelsbury, Keith Emmerson, Matt Buse, Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (captain), Josh Nelmes (Dan Sullivan 55), Andrew Neal. Unused subs: Brett Trowbridge, Nuno Felix, Harry Gardner, Douglas Camilo, Matt Villis, Mike Davies.
Billericay: Alan Julian, Joe Kizzi, Callum Kennedy, Scott Doe, Ricky Hayles, Sam Deering (captain) (Dean Inman 87), Ricky Modeste (Danny Waldren 23), Jamie O’Hara, Moses Emmanuel (Ethan Stewart 65), Ross Lafayette, Jake Howells. Unused subs: Adam Cunnington, Ademola Shokunbi, Calaum Jahraldo-Martin, Louis Wells
Referee: Dean Hulme (Farnborough)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Daniel Flynn (Bristol)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Oliver Spender (Gloucester)
Fourth Official: Andrew Evans (Trowbridge)