Lowestoft Town 1-2 Billericay Town
A stacked Billericay team featuring ex-Premier League stars Paul Konchesky, Kevin Foley and Jermaine Pennant condemned the brave Trawlerboys to a second straight league defeat
Lowestoft went toe to toe with the odds on title favourites for most of the game but were undone late, as Louis Theophanous backheeled home after a scrap in the box from a corner.
The visitors found themselves on the back foot in the opening stages but were able to soak up the pressure nicely, and on the tenth minute mark grabbed an opening goal; Jake Robinson popping up with a precise finish into the bottom corner. To be fair, some sides might have rolled over on their tummies at that point but Lowestoft showed enough spirit to get back in the game. Callum White's menacing run down the right-hand side was rewarded when Jake Reed applied the finish from his cross and all of a sudden the scores were level again.
It was a great response to going down a goal but Billericay still looked the side most likely to add another and brilliant movement from Theophanous set him up for the shot, which could only be dragged wide. Former Chelsea youth player Sam Deering's strike would hit the target though, only for Ben Dudzinski to deny him. Although Lowestoft did not have the chances that their opponents could muster; they stuck in the game well, defending like lions and competing strongly in the midfield area. A 1-1 scoreline at the break was of no discredit to them.
Billy Bricknell was introduced by Billericay in the second half and he almost made an instant impact. First, the striker fired over from close range and then he headed into Dudzinski's arms, one of the many commanding catches made by Lowestoft's goalkeeper. The Trawlerboys were doing well to endure this overload but Billericay really should have been wheeling away in celebration again; Theophanous unable to hit the target after going clean through on goal. The lively Theophanous did eventually get his goal but could have scored a hat-trick if it wasn't for a combination of things. Travis Cole showed the bravery and heart, which saw him pick up last year's Player of the Season, to jump in front of Theophanous' shot and produce a massive block.
If the Trawlerboys were going to nick a winner then you'd have put your house on the fact that Jake Reed would be involved; the striker working tirelessly up front. A deft flick over Paul Konchesky's head was denied any end product as Kevin Foley knocked Reed to the floor, much to the frustrations of the home faithful who realised that this was a good chance to break away. Unfortunately minutes later Theophanous backheeled past Dudzinski and Billericay were back in front. Lowestoft tried to get back in the game but could only squander up a looping header from substitute Declan Daniels in injury time which was comfortably caught by Alan Julian.
Overall it was an impressive showing in defeat and one that, even so early in the term, has to be respectfully dubbed as the best performance of the season. Perhaps the current stature of Billericay made everybody step up their game or maybe this is just a sign of things to come but either way Lowestoft did themselves proud. If owner and manager Glenn Tamplin had a tad more class at the end of the match and hadn't distastefully taunted the home fans then things may have gone down better, however Billericay shall be kept in the back of our minds until the away day in October and attention switches to Worthing on Saturday, where both sides shall look to claim their first points of the season.