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Billericay 2 Hamlet 1

By Pink Panther (legacy user)1/9/2014 11:45Mon Sep 1 11:45:18 2014In response to Lost 2-1

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Hamlet were still missing all six of the injured players who missed the Leatherhead game (James, Samuels, Ottaway, Clunis, Lodge, McDonald) but were reinforced by new striker Bagasan Graham, previously with QPR, Cheltenham Town (8 Football League appearances and Chelmsford City. This was more disappointing than last Monday's defeat for me, as Leatherehead played well to defeat us whereas I didns' think Billericay looked all that good and felt they were there for the taking. If we'd had maybe three of the missing six available I think we could have turned them over. (In fairness I've no idea whether or not our opponents were at or close to full strength.)

The first half was uneventful on a poor bumpy pitch. Hamlet passed the ball well in the middle third whiel Billericay's more direct approach exerted more obvious pressure on our goal without really leading to clear chances. Our best effort of the half was a fierce 30 yard drive from Hibbert that unsettled the keeper, who shovelled it around the post for a corner. Graham had one decent chance that went just wide of the near post.

The second half began in exciting fashion as Echepare made a great save with Patterson clearing a follow up effort of the line with a spectacular flying header. Within a minute Patterson was releasing Grahm through the middle with a fine through ball and the debutant coolly drew the keeper before chipping his shot into the oppostie corner of the net. For a while we seemed comfortable defending against anything Billericay could offer, and Graham was close to doubling our lead with a downward header from a corner that flashed just wide, but after Echepare had made a brilliant diving save we conceded the equaliser from a near post corner. We might have had a penalty when an off the ball spat ended with a defender stupidly shoving Hamici to the floor while the ball was in play twenty yards aay, but understandably the officials' attention was elsewhere. By now we were looking second best and the decisive goal came when a near post cross eluded Echepare and was scrambled over the line. Billericay had one of ther substitutes sent off for a second yellow card following a crude foul on Mansaray on the far touchline, but there wasn't enough time left to take advantage. The referee added a rather skinny four minutes of stoppage time in a half that included three goals, six substitutions, two significant stoppages for treatment to injured players, several bookings and a red card as well as some blatant timewasting, notably when the dismissed player covered the seventy yards to the tunnel at the speed of a luggage-laden tourist changing platforms at a Central London tube station.

Team (4-3-3): Echepare - Kamara, Forbes, Pinnock, Gonsalves - Carew, Hibbert, Vidal - Neita, Graham, Patterson.
Subs used: Hamici (for Graham), Mansaray (for Neita), Boyle (for Carew), Hysi, Reid (not used)
Attendance: 345

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