Match report: Billericay Town vs Wingate and Finchley

Chris Cummings on a dramatic late win for the Blues

Action from the game between Billericay Town and Wingate & Finchley on March 23rd 2024
Credit – Martin Addison

When Zack Newton was laid through on goal by Elliot Long in the 95th minute on Saturday in Billericay, he kept his composure, kept his focus, and buried the ball past Billericay goalkeeper Dan Wilks to rescue what looked, at that stage, to be a vital point in the ever-increasing scramble for the playoff places in the Isthmian Premier League.

Fast forward 3 minutes, and this time it was Joe Boachie who found his composure when all around him were losing theirs, popping up to tap home a brilliant ball from Anointed Chukwu and seal the unlikeliest of three points for the Blues. There were no other thoughts than pure elation at that point, as Boachie’s team-mates, and Blues fans behind the goal all mobbed the forward.

Plaudits also went to Chukwu, who found himself bearing down on goal with the chance to win the game, much to the annoyance of the 1,100 Billericay fans in attendance, he chose to square the ball to Boachie for the tap in.

Billericay, who had come into the game winless in their last seven, came out of the blocks flying, and throughout the course of the game created three significant chances of their own. The first, their goal, was a well worked ball across the face of goal for Bradley Stevenson to place into the bottom corner just 10 minutes in.

Stevenson had another good chance at the start of the second half, but a combination of Alex Solomon and goalkeeper Ben Goode were able to block and smother his attempt from the edge of the six yard box.

But the hosts will feel most aggrieved by their chance just after the Blues had dragged themselves level. Boachie’s winner aside, it was the best chance of the game, as it fell to Richie Asamoah six yards out. The slight bobble may have affected him, as he put his foot through it, to the extent that the ball ended up going over the stand and handsomely wide. Contrast it to the composure shown by the Blues forwards, who took the ball down the other end, and won the game for the North London side.

It is this clinical finishing that manager Ahmet Rifat will be hoping is on display as Wingate & Finchley face a tough run-in to finish the season, looking to cement a playoff place. Starting with Bognor Regis, champions-elect Hornchurch, and local rivals and in-form side Potters Bar Town over the course of a week.

There are just four home games remaining, the first of which is the local derby on Easter Monday against Potters Bar.

Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Solomon; Cracknell; Bani (Frimpong 77’); Frempah; Achuba; Garrett-Douglas (Newton 59’); Deslandes (Boachie 73’); Chukwu; Long; Biler

Unused Subs: Seager; Ifil

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