Essex Senior Cup: Billericay Town 6 Romford 1
PUBLISHED: 21:57 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 21:57 08 February 2018
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Romford were hit for six as Bostik Premier Division leaders Billericay booked a county cup final meeting with Chelmsford City.
Boro were playing their first semi-final in the competition for 41 years, but had shipped 15 goals in a four-game losing run going into the tie.
And they were soon up against it, as Billericay’s Matt Paine headed wide in the very first minute, before Jake Robinson volleyed wide from a corner.
Having booked a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy only 48 hours earlier, Blues took the lead on five minutes when Dan Cossington hooked Robinson’s shot off the line only for Sanchez Watt to send the ball to the far post where Nicky Wheeler stole in to fire past James May.
Cossington fired wide from long range as Romford looked for a quick reply, but the home side were dominating and May held on to Robinson’s attempted lob before Billy Bricknell turned in the box and fired home on 12 minutes.
The visitors had a let-off midway through the half when May spilled Wheeler’s cross but recovered to save Robinson’s follow-up attempt.
And the Boro keeper was called upon again on 24 minutes to push Watt’s shot into the side netting, before Daniel Waldren volleyed wide from the corner.
May held on to a Robinson header, but was beaten by Billericay’s hot-shot striker before the half-hour mark, as Watt picked out Robinson and he fired into the roof of the net.
Paine and Bricknell had further shots blocked as Romford remained under heavy pressure, while former Arsenal striker Watt cut inside and fired over the crossbar and Louie Theophanous smashed an effort against the woodwork three minutes before the break.
But Boro hit back within a minute of the restart as Max Austin beat Jack Giddens in the Town goal, before Waldren had a penalty claim waved away and Robert Evans had a shot tipped over by May.
And Blues restored their three-goal cushion on 53 minutes when Bricknell fired a free-kick into the top corner for his second of the night.
May tipped another Bricknell free-kick over three minutes later, before the hosts made a double change, and it was 5-1 on the hour as Bricknell collected the ball, took a touch and angled a shot into the corner to complete his hat-trick.
Bricknell made way for Dan Cheema, with Jamie O’Hara firing a free-kick over, and Blues bagged their sixth when Cheema crossed for Wheeler to head home his second of the night.
Robinson missed an inviting goal after turning May in the box, then played in Theophanous with seven minutes remaining, but he fired wide.
And May denied Wheeler his treble when pushing a shot past the post on 86 minutes, as the Bostik North strugglers avoided any further damage ahead of their home match against Dereham Town on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Premier table-toppers Billericay visit Met Police this weekend, having extended their unbeaten run to 21 matches.
Billericay: Giddens, Evans, Urquhart (O’Hara 57), Butcher (Deering 57), Paine, Watt, Waldren, Bricknell (Cheema 68), Theophanous, Robinson, Wheeler. Unused subs: Julian, Cunnington.
Romford: May, Olukoga, Mvemba, Cossington, Finneran, Austin (Jeakins 70), Heather, Nzengo, Taylor, Atkinson (Hammond 46). Unused subs: Sykes, Martin, Gjini.