As Louie Theophanous made his return to Clarence Park, Billericay Town edged St Albans City 3-2 in a close pre-season friendly.
As teams are gearing up for the new season, Billericay Town made the relatively short trip to face St Albans City in a pre-season game. Both teams fielded effectively two much-changed XIs in each half but the main focus was on the highly-anticipated return of ex St Albans’ striker Louie Theophanous who signed for Billericay recently.
The Saints got the match underway and it only took Theophanous 8 minutes to create a chance as his low shot was matched by a good save from Saints’ keeper Russell, who got down to his left sharply. However, Billericay broke the deadlock in the 27th minute as Theophanous slotted past Russell comfortably giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Their lead lasted less than two minutes as a brilliant passing move from City opened up the Billericay defence, leaving Zane Banton through on goal who smashed it into the roof of the net – supplying the home team’s equaliser to make it 1-1. This gave the Saints momentum and they managed to turn the game around to make it 2-1 in the 43rd minute after a rapid run from Monlouis found Murrell-Williamson, who scored with a beautifully powered shot off the underside of the bar that gave Billericay keeper Julian no chance. An entertaining 1st half finished 2-1 to St Albans City.
In the second half, both sides made several changes such as the inclusion of Merson and Lucien for the Saints and Giddens in goal for the visitors. Early on it was quiet with neither team creating many chances. However, in the 68th minute, Lucien tested Giddens with a decent shot but it was matched with a good save, the keeper getting down low to prevent the City’ forward from scoring. The home team were continually pressing but nothing came from their chances and they were unable to add to their lead. Despite the Saints’ domination, Billericay managed to start their own counter attack which gave them an unexpected equaliser in the 83rd minute with Charlie Cole slotting the ball under keeper Snedker. As the game was coming to an end, it seemed that the teams would be settling for a draw but after Billericay’s equaliser it took them only 3 minutes to find a winner with Deering finding space in the home team’s box and his calm finish beating Snedker.
Billericay Town came out 3-2 winners against St Albans City at Clarence Park on a cloudy Saturday afternoon.
Match reporter: Xavier Clement-Kelly