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Know Your Opponents- Billericay- History

Know Your Opponents- Billericay- History

Aveley Football Club2 Mar 2015 - 10:11
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We face Billericay Town tonight in the Essex Senior Cup Semi Final (pitch condition depending) at Mill Field.

Billericay Town Football Club was formed in 1880 making it one of the oldest clubs in Essex. It moved into the Romford & District League in 1890 competing in this league until 1914.

After the 1st World War, Billericay entered the Mid-Essex League where they remained until 1947. Between 1947 and 1966 they played in the Southern Essex Combination League.

Between 1947 and 1966 they played in the Southern Essex Combination League.

In 1966 they became founder-members of the Essex Olympian League.

For the start of the 1969/70 season Billericay appointed their most successful manager to date, John Newman. In his first season he won the Essex Olympian League and Cup double and repeated the same feat again next season. By this time the club had moved from its ground in Laindon Road to it’s current position at New Lodge.

In 1971, Billericay Town Football Club became founder-members of the Essex Senior League and the club’s six-year stay in that competition saw them win the Championship three times and be Runners-Up twice (finishing third the other season).

The League Cup was won four times and they were Finalists once. In addition they won the League Challenge Cup the only time that it was competed for. The Essex Senior Cup was won for the first time in 1976 with a 3-2 victory over Epping Town.

Full Membership of the Football Association was achieved in 1993, twelve years after obtaining Associate Membership in 1981.

The Club then spent the next five seasons knocking on the promotion door finishing 8th, 6th, 5th, 6th and 5th respectively.

The Blues eventually gained promotion back the Isthmian Premier Division in 1997/98 on the last day of the season with a 4-0 victory over Thame United.

With the Blues back in among the non-league elite, they finished a respectable mid-table after briefly topping the table at the start of the season.

During the summer of 1999 John Kendall was controversially sacked after ten years as Blues boss, by then Chairman, Rod Moore. Gary Calder was put in charge and in his first season led the club to their highest and still highest-ever league position in the pyramid structure; 7th place. He also guided the Blues to the FA Trophy 4th Round before bowing out to Rushden & Diamonds after a replay.

The following season would see the club go further in the Trophy, this time to the 5th round, before succumbing to Telford United 3-2 at New Lodge. This still remains the clubs best ever FA Trophy run. In the following three seasons in the league they finished in 8th, 9th and 12th places.

The arrival of Steve Kent saw the renovation of many of the club’s facilities, notably the building of new boardroom with office facilities and the refurbishment of the clubhouse.

The 2003/2004 season ended in disappointment for Billericay as they were unable to escape the bottom four and failed to earn a place in the newly formed Conference South league.

In the 2004/05 season the Blues finished runners-up to Yeading and were subsequently beaten 2-0 at New Lodge in the play-off semi-finals to Leyton.

In the 2006/07 season, Jones took his side into the play-offs where the Blues would travel to local rivals Chelmsford City in the semi-finals. In a night of high drama, captain Jamie Dormer sent the Blues through on penalties in front of 1,000 travelling supporters.

Billericay then went to Bromley backed by an estimated 1,000 following, for the final where a tense and exciting game was eventually settled on penalties. Bromley won the shoot-out 4-2.

The 2007/08 season was most notable for the clubs 3rd appearance in the FA Cup 1st round and its first game against League opposition. League One side Swansea City, managed then by Roberto Martinez, came away 2-1 victor’s at a sell-out New Lodge, where Wayne Semanshia had given the Blues a 20th minute lead.

The 2008/09 season saw Jason Broom and Grant Gordon take control as joint managers; a stint that would last until March 2009 when Jason Broom was relieved of his duties. After a season in which the club had flirted with relegation, Grant Gordon and player Lee Hodges took over the reigns for the remainder of the season.

In the summer of 2010/11 Craig Edwards was handed charge of the Blues and in his first season the Blues flirted with the play-offs before finishing mid-table. The most memorable game though would be the lifting of the Essex Senior Cup. Adam Flanagan and Harrison Chatting claimed the goals in a 2-0 victory over fellow Ryman Premier side Aveley.

But Edward’s finest hour was yet to come. On Saturday 21st April 2012, the Blues eventually made it to the Conference South when a 2-2 draw at Margate was enough to see them claim the title in the penultimate game of the season. It was fitting that captain Rob Swaine would head home in the dying minutes to achieve the clubs biggest moment in recent history.

The start of the 2012/13 season saw the Blues embark on their first ever Conference South league campaign. Despite an encouraging start, a run of postponed matches due to the weather and a lengthy injury list saw them struggle to keep pace with those above and were relegated at Weston-Super-Mare almost a year to the day that promotion was achieved. It was one of fifteen defeats suffered on the road. With relegation, the club now prepares to embark on another season in the Ryman Premier League.

Club Honours-

Isthmian League Premier Division
Winners 2011–12
Playoff finalists 2006–07
Runners-up 1980–81, 1997–98
Isthmian League Division One
Runners-up 1980–81, 1997–98
Isthmian League Division Two
Champions 1979–80
Athenian League
Champions 1977–78, 1978–79
Essex Senior League
Champions 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76
Runners-up 1971–72, 1973–74
Essex Senior League Reserve Division
Champions 1974-75
Runners-up 1972-73, 1975–76
Third 1973-74, 1976–77
Essex Olympian League
Winners 1969-70, 1970–71
Chelmsford & District League Division Three
Winners 1932-33

Cup Competitions-
FA Vase
Winners 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79
Essex Senior Cup
Winners 1975–76, 2010–11
Runners-up 1985–86, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96
Essex Senior Trophy
Winners 1977-78, 1979–80
Isthmian League Cup
Runners-up 2005–06
Athenian League Cup
Winners 1977–78
Essex Senior League Cup
Winners 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1976–77
Runners-up 1974–75
East Anglian Cup
Runners-up 1979-80
Essex Olympian League Senior Division Cup
Winners 1970-71
Essex Olympian League Challenge Cup
Winners 1970-71, 1971-72 (Shared)

Club Records-

Biggest victory: 11-0 v Stansted (away), Essex Senior League, 5 May 1976
Biggest defeat: 3-10 v Chelmsford City (away), Essex Senior Cup, 4 January 1993
Highest Attendance: 3841 v West Ham United, Friendly, 1977. 3193 v Farnborough, Competitive, 1976
Most league goals in a season: 105 in 34 matches, 1969-70

Most appearances: 418 - J. Pullen
Most goals: 275 - Freddie Claydon
Most goals in a season: 51 - Leon Gutzmore, 1997-98

Further reading