Billericay only required a solitary penalty to go through to the Velocity Trophy semi-final at the expense of Wingate and Finchley. Affluent Ricay, second in the Bostik Premier League and able to boast a starting XI that included ex-Premier League talents Jamie O’Hara, Jermaine Pennant and Sanchez Watt, had the better chances throughout.
But it was Jake Robinson’s questionable penalty on the hour mark that gave them the breakthrough they needed to see of the Blues, despite missing a second penalty in the closing stages. Billericay must wait a while to find out their semi-final opponents with one Third Round tie still to be played, but Tuesday’s match proved to be Wingate and Finchley’s last shot at cup glory for the season.
Shane Gore was kept busy in the opening stages and, after tipping Watt’s free kick out for a corner, was thankful to see Nathan Mavila hook the resulting shot off the line after 10 minutes. And the goalkeeper – making his first appearance in this season’s Velocity Trophy - was bailed out after a smart save again, this time Sean Cronin hoofed Pennant’s goalbound effort off the line to keep the scores level at the break.
Quentin Moville ensured Alan Julian’s shirt got muddy when his low cross was palmed away by the Billericay goalkeeper early in the second half. Rob Laney came closest to opening the scoring for the Blues but his header looped over Julian and scraped the roof of the net after 57 minutes. But just five minutes later Ahmet Rifat was harshly adjudged to have pushed over a player as a free kick came in and Jake Robinson sent Gore the wrong way from the penalty spot.
With Wingate pressing for an equaliser, a late Billericay counter attack saw O’Hara go down under a challenge in the box, though this time Robinson put his penalty the other way and wide of Gore’s post. Such a close game was always going to be decided by a single moment and this time it went the way of the visitors. But due to postponements the sides are yet to meet in the league, meaning Wingate have chances at revenge both home and away.
The next side to visit the Maurice Rebak stadium is Met Police on Saturday.
Report by Andrew Gerlis