The only way is Chesterfield. Billericay look to break 138 year FA Cup record


The FA cup first round replays get under way this week and National League South’s Billericay Town are looking to go further in the competition than ever before. Having never past the first round in their 138-year history the Blues have their best chance yet.

This is the fifth time the Essex based side have reached the first round of the FA Cup, the most recent being last season where they lost to Leatherhead in a replay. This year they face Chesterfield who have their own FA cup history. Who can forget their magical semi-final run in 1997?

First Game

The first encounter by the two sides was a hard fought 1-1 draw at Chesterfield’s Proact stadium. An exciting open match with the both sides playing entertaining football despite playing in the fifth and sixth tiers of the football league ladder respectively. With ex-premier league stars the likes of Jamie O’Hara, Zavon Hines and Marc-Antoine Fortune featuring in the game, the experience the players those bought in was invaluable.

Goals from Chesterfield’s Lawrence Maguire, brother of Leicester City and England star Harry, and Billericay’s Moses Emmanuel who scored a screamer outside the box to equalise earned the Blues a replay at the AGP arena.

What to Expect?

Although both sides are in different divisions, they are closer than expected. Chesterfield who were relegated from the football league only in May, have struggled to adapt to the non-league life in the Conference. After 20 games in the league the Spireites are 19th and could be in a relegation battle come the end of the season. They are unbeaten in the last six games, however they are all drawn so they are consequently also without a win,

Billericay on the other hand are high flying.

After a  promotion from the Isthmian premier league to the Conference South last season, they lie in second place in the division with a game in hand on league leaders Woking FC. Since club owner Glenn Tamplin took over in December 2016 the club has been looking up and set great expectations for the future.

With the contrasting forms between the two sides this makes the match closer than many think. The clubs are only separated by six places and the draw in the first game showed just that. But with the game now being at Billericay, this could give the Essex side the slight advantage needed to progress.

For the victors a visit from league 2 strugglers Grimsby Town awaits.

They are 20th in the league and a win for the Mariners may not be a guarantee. This could be a motivation for either side as they could get to the third round when the big teams enter the frame. This is what the non-league teams dream of, a match of going to a premier league ground and giving the team a run for their money.

It’s why the FA cup is so popular and captures the magic of the country.


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