Why Billericay Town can compete for promotion

It is fair to say that Billericay Town have had a rollercoaster of a season so far. The Blues were relegated from the Vanarama National League South last season in a disappointing campaign for everybody involved at the club – meaning they returned to the Isthmian Premier Division. They were last in this division in the 2017/18 campaign under Glenn Tamplin when, under his ownership, Billericay Town won the title with 99 points.

Dan Brown came in for the last few games of last season to try and keep the Blues up but despite wins over Eastbourne Borough and Braintree Town, it wasn’t enough to keep Billericay Town in the National League South. It was a tough start for his side this season but now, the Blues have found a winning formula and they have started to climb the table.

Billericay Town players in a huddle (Credit: Nicky Hayes)

A flurry of new additions arrived in the summer which included former Southend United goalkeeper Harry Seaden, Welling United’s Bradley Stevenson and many more. Players like captain Michael Chambers and Marvel Ekpiteta remained at New Lodge after they had started to form a good centre-back pairing last season. It was always going to take time for many new players to gel and settle in but following an opening day 2-1 victory over Cray Wanderers, Billericay Town only managed one win in five games. That win was a 4-1 win over Leverstock Green which was essential to bring back some confidence to the squad.

From the Leverstock Green victory onwards, the Blues went on a great run of six games unbeaten in the league which propelled them up the table. The team togetherness and spirit showed in a 3-2 win over Bognor Regis Town. With ten minutes of normal time remaining, Billericay Town came from two goals down to win 3-2 in a dramatic affair. Their good run in the Isthmian Premier Division came to an end when Kingstonian narrowly beat the Blues but, at the time of writing, they sit in tenth place.

Into the squad now and Seaden has started every game for the Blues this season and he is getting some much needed game time – something he didn’t get at Southend United. George Wind has had a superb season so far at right back with the young defender impressing after being on loan at Bowers & Pitsea for a period last season. The centre back pairing, as I alluded to earlier, is usually Chambers and Ekpiteta who have been going from strength to strength this season. Toby Stevenson joined the Blues on a permanent basis after previously being on loan with the Blues last season from Bromley.

Montel Agyemang, brother of Terrell who plays for Manchester City, is a robust, powerful midfielder who keeps improving in each game this campaign. Agyemang’s midfield partner usually is Eze Ebuzoeme who joined in the summer having previously played at Getafe B and Millwall’s youth teams. Bradley Stevenson has scored over ten goals this season in the attacking midfield role and he has been magnificent since joining from Welling United on a free transfer.

Upfront, Matt Price and Chris Dickson battle it out for the striker position with the latter having experience of playing in the UEFA Champions League. Price is a clinical striker who had an excellent spell with Canvey Island last campaign as they earnt promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division via the play-offs. Anthony Jeffrey is a great asset to have at New Lodge and his pace is one of his best attributes and he has caused nightmares for defenders on multiple occasions this season. John Ufuah and Alfie Cerulli have also impressed at Billericay Town since joining the club in the summer.

Similar to the National League, only one team is promoted automatically and one team through the play-offs. Billericay Town’s most likely route back the the sixth tier would be through the play-offs but there is a lot of teams competing for the same places in the league. There is a settled squad at New Lodge and Dan Brown often goes with a 4-3-3 formation but it is a long season ahead and many matches are still to be played so players will likely come and go. But do you think Billericay Town can return to the National League South at the first time of asking?

Alternative link to this article – Fan in the stand: Why Billericay Town can compete for promotion


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