BILLERICAY Town boss Kevin Watson was prouder than ever before after seeing his young side hold promotion chasing St Albans to a 2-2 draw at New Lodge on Saturday.

With Town’s contracted players still on Furlough, Watson handed six of the club’s under 23 players their first team debuts.

And Watson was thrilled to see how the teenagers dealt with stepping up into National League South action.

“To say I’m proud would be an understatement,” said Watson.

“I’ve managed at Bishop’s Stortford and I managed at Ebbsfleet last year but I just had to compose myself in the dressing room because I couldn’t speak for five minutes.

“I was thinking about what those boys have achieved and to say I’m proud wouldn’t even come close.

“St Albans came here fully loaded if you like and we were, in effect, playing our under 23s.

“That is the biggest achievement in my managerial career so far.

“Watching what they’ve produced almost brings tears to your eyes because of how proud you can be of a group of players.

“I really can’t overstate what they have achieved. There were six debuts and 17 and 18-year-olds playing.

“Darren Foxley at 23 was almost a veteran in that dressing room , it was just a fantastic performance from beginning to end.”

Billericay broke the deadlock with striker Rowan Liburd on target in the 36th minute but St Albans, who sit third in the standings, hit back in the second half with Shaun Jeffers equalising just before the hour mark.

The visitors went in front in the 66th minute with Solomon Nwabuokei hitting the back of the net.

However, Town reacted strongly and made sure of a share of the spoils four minutes from time with Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo on target.

The draw kept Billericay 13th in the standings and attention now turns to Monday night's trip to Essex rivals Chelmsford City, if the game goes ahead amid poor weather conditions.

“It will probably be the same group I have to pick from,” said Watson.

“We know Chelmsford will be a tough game. These boys haven’t played for a long while either so maybe I will have to shuffle the pack.

“I’ll see how they are but I have to say Brownie (Danny Brown) has done a great job with them with his coaching ability.

“It bodes really well for the future of the club moving forward that we have a group of young lads who can step up to the plate when called upon.”

Saturday’s clash was Billericay’s first in 18 days after the competition had been halted due to issues surrounding the funding of the National Leagues. However, a club statement before the game confirmed Town would be returning to action with their youngsters stepping up into the first team to maintain a ‘financially stable position.’