When the FA Cup First Round draw was made, I didn’t expect to get to any of the games. And I certainly didn’t expect to get to Chesterfield vs Billericay Town! Today was one of them rare Saturday’s when Easington didn’t have a game and so I was left with a choice to make. I definitely wanted to get to a new ground. Ideally, if either Whitby Town or Queen of the South had been at home, I would have done one of them but neither were at home. Sunderland Town End was the only easy new ground I could get to (Redcar Athletic was an option, but I’ll be there with Easington in a few weeks anyway) but I fancied a game at a slightly higher level and a ground that isn’t just a pitch! That left me with basically no choice and I would probably just have ended up at either Harton & Westoe CW vs Horden CW or Ryhope CW vs Newcastle Benfield if I hadn’t gone to Chesterfield. It was last night when I found out that Katie Wallace and Lee Stewart were going to Chesterfield and when Katie invited me, I took the offer of a new ground. As I said on Twitter, it definitely isn’t a ground that was high on the to-do list, but it’s a new tick! A new ground and a new team (I had never watched Billericay before today) is a good Saturday in my books! I watched Chesterfield at Hartlepool in August and to be honest, I thought they were poor. Although their fans don’t seem to think today’s performance was great, it seemed better than at Hartlepool. Chesterfield is a tidy little ground. It isn’t exactly full of quirk, and it is quite like a typical new build. But, it’s tidy and is probably very functional for the club.
Replay beckons as Billericay claim impressive draw at Chesterfield
Billericay Town will host Chesterfield in an FA Cup First Round replay at New Lodge as Chesterfield were held to a 1-1 draw at home to the National League South outfit on Saturday afternoon.
Laurence Maguire’s header put Chesterfield ahead in the 17th minute, but Moses Emmanuel’s 52nd minute strike ensured both sides will be in Monday night’s second round draw.
Although Chesterfield probably edged it over 90 minutes, Billericay more than held their own against the Spireites.
The Essex outfit started brightly and Emmanuel had a chance within two minutes. The former Dover Athletic man opened fire from 16 yards, but Callum Burton got down to save.
Chesterfield’s first chance came from a fifth minute corner. Maguire rose to meet a Kyel Reid corner, but his header was saved by Alan Julian.
Marc-Antoine Fortuné and Zavon Hines both had efforts saved by Julian as Chesterfield looked for an opening goal, but their breakthrough did come in the 17th minute. Joe Rowley’s wide free-kick picked out the towering Maguire who planted a header into the bottom corner.
A quiet spell followed as Chesterfield seemed content with a single goal lead. The visitors slowly built their way into the game. Jake Robinson fired harmlessly wide from 30 yards, before the same man’s header was saved by Burton.
Curtis Weston went close for Chesterfield in the 34th minute, but the former Barnet man’s effort darted wide.
Dean Inman headed over for Billericay as half-time approached, before Haydn Hollis failed to find the target for the hosts.
Robinson drilled a Billericay free-kick over the crossbar with the final effort of the first half.
Following the break, Billericay equalised with the first real chance. A quickly taken free-kick found Sam Deering who in turn found Emmanuel. He turned his man on the edge of the penalty area before drilling an effort into the top corner giving Burton no chance.
Other than the goal, there wasn’t a great deal of action early in the second half. A dangerous free-kick found Fortuné as Chesterfield looked to regain their lead in the 65th minute, but his effort was blocked.
Only two minutes after being subbed on, Levi Amantchi had a chance for the hosts but a crucial block prevented the former Wallsend Boys Club man.
As time wore on, a draw looked more and more likely. Maguire blasted an effort over the crossbar after a corner had been half cleared, before Deering headed over at the other end.
Amantchi was lively following his introduction, and he went close again in the 78th minute. After darting past his marker, he took aim from the edge of the penalty area but his effort failed to find the target.
Jonathan Smith went close after Jerome Binnom-Williams’ pullback, but his effort was deflected narrowly wide.
Chesterfield were pushing for a winner late on and they went close again six minutes from time. Shaw was played in on goal, but a good Julian saved kept Billericay in it.
Hines then had an effort saved, and that proved to be it as Billericay held out for a deserved draw.
Full-time: Chesterfield 1-1 Billericay Town
Next up for me is Sunderland Ladies vs Stoke City Ladies tomorrow.
Chesterfield: Burton, Evans (c), Binnom-Williams, Maguire, Hollis, Weston (Denton, 86′), Smith, Reid (Shaw, 66′), Rowley, Hines, Fortuné (Amantchi, 66′)
Unused subs: Nelson, Anyon, Muggleton, Kiwomya
Billericay Town: Julian, Kizzi, Kennedy, Doe, Hayles (Inman, 75′), Deering (c), Emmanuel (O’Hara, 70′), Waldren, Robinson (Jahraldo-Martin, 60′), Lafayette, Howells
Unused subs: Wells, Modeste, Shokunbi, Hunte
Admission: £10 adults, £5 concessions
Attendance: 2,952 (255 from Billericay)
Steak and ale pie: £3
Referee: Martin Woods