A JORDAN Parkes free-kick allowed Billericay Town to record a 1-0 victory over Basildon United and book their place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Town, who were being managed by Jamie O’Hara for the first time since his midweek appointment, found it difficult to break down the visitors in the local derby.

But Parkes came off the bench and grabbed the only goal of the encounter to ensure the hosts would get the post-Glenn Tamplin era off to a winning start.

Billericay, who ply their trade two divisions higher than Basildon in the National League South, thought they had taken the lead with 15 minutes on the clock.

Despite a bright start from the Isthmian North visitors, Doug Loft’s long range strike forced goalkeeper Clarke Bogard into a sprawling save.

Jake Robinson latched onto the rebound quickly and dinked the ball over Bogard, but the Billericay striker was ruled offside and the goal was disallowed.

Bogard then made a superb stop to deny Robinson at point blank range after being found by the marauding Sam Deering.

Basildon’s first meaningful effort came midway through the first half as Adam Vyse’s volley was easily kept out by Town custodian Alan Julian.

Former Billericay defender Gabby Adelowo then saw a diving header go wide after the hosts failed to clear a Reece Hewitt free-kick.

Basildon came even closer to breaking the deadlock when Vyse found a way past Craig Robson before testing Julian.

Billericay responded with Robinson evading Joe Turpin and seeing his attempt deflect inches past the post on the stroke of half-time.

The Bees’ Tom Anderson came within inches of applying the all-important finishing touch from close range after Jeffrey Cobblah used his pace and trickery to get away from Deering and Ben Nunn before sending a teasing delivery across the face of goal.

With Billericay struggling to find a way through the Basildon defence, O’Hara decided to bring himself into the fray on 66 minutes.

And, within two minutes, the hosts broke the deadlock as Parkes’ inch-perfect free-kick from 25 yards out found the top corner of the net.

Adelowo then made an impressive block to keep Emmanuel at bay, while Turpin superbly headed a goalbound curling effort from Jack Paxman over the crossbar as Billericay looked to put daylight between the two teams.

Robinson cut inside and struck the post with just seven minutes of the tie remaining.

However, a solitary goal proved to be enough as Billericay narrowly saw off John Sussex’s Isthmian North outfit.