Chesham United 4, Billericay Town 2

Billericay Town’s miserable start to the new season continued unabated at Chesham as they crashed out to two late goals.

In the Ryman Premier, the New Lodge side lie worryingly third from bottom with just eight points from 10 games.

They have scored just five goals but admittedly have conceded only seven.

But their goalscoring worries were put on the back burner in the FA Cup when they netted three without reply in the previous round at AFC Hornchurch.

However, their usual defensive solidarity deserted them at their Zamaretto Midland Division hosts in this second qualifying round tie against a side playing a level below them in the non-league pyramid.

Chesham, nicknamed the Generals, and Billericay were heading towards a replay with the scores level at 2-2 on 90 minutes.

But Leon Archer and Steve Wales both scored in stoppage time to earn Chesham a place in today’s third qualifying round draw and £4,500 in prize money.

Billericay’s faithful fans travelled in large numbers to Chesham’s Meadow ground to give the home side their best attendance of the season so far at 422.

Slough took the lead after just five minutes when John Kyriacou crossed for Darrell Cox whose header fell to Wales to fire home to make it 1-0.

Town manager Brian Statham, who played more than 100 games for Chesham, was forced to reshuffle his side to try and find a way back into the game.

Billericay had their first effort on target after 20 minutes when Billy Bricknell fired in a shot which Richard Hayward was forced to palm away.

Slough captain Danny Talbot nearly doubled the home side’s lead with a fierce free-kick which drew a brilliant save from Town goalkeeper Andy Walker.

On 33 minutes a Town corner fell to captain Ian Cousins who controlled well and took the ball past the sliding Sam Ledger to fire well into the top corner to make it 1-1.

The visitors then took the lead seven minutes later when a collision between Ledger and former Billericay centre-back Ollie Adedeji allowed Joe Flack to run clear and exquisitely lob Hayward to make it 2-1.

Billericay nearly went further ahead minutes later when Bricknell saw his shot cleared off the line by Talbot.

But Chesham levelled on the stroke of half-time when Archer played a one-two with Cox before being brought down by Walker.

Talbot scored from the spot but Billericay nearly went ahead on the resumption when a mix-up between Hayward and Adedeji saw the ball fall to Bricknell who shot over with an open goal gaping.

Chances were being created at both ends and Cox should have scored on 65 minutes when another slick move with Archer saw him break free in the box but unable to get a shot away before Walker saved at his feet.

Both sides wearied in the sunshine and a Tuesday night replay at New Lodge looked odds-on.

But that twin-goal late show saw Chesham through to challenge for a £7,500 prize in the third qualifying round.

On the bright side, Billericay had popular ex-Southend United defender Dave McSweeney coming on as a substitute for his first senior action after a year out injured.

But now they must quickly start improving their league form with a visit next Saturday from a rampant Ashford Town (Middlesex) side who won 10-0 in the FA Cup at home to Badshot Lea at the weekend.

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