Semi-Final: Isthmian Cup
Reporter: Paul Tandy
QUITE WHO was the underdog in Tuesday’s Ryman League Cup semi-final was debatable given the injury-ravaged nature of Premier League Billericay’s young side.
But what was indisputable is how well Division One North Tilbury played to achieve their place in the final, where they will meet Harrow Borough.
Tilbury have now beaten three sides from the Ryman top flight en-route to the final and if they show the same sort of commitment as they did on Tuesday, then the fourth will hold no fears.
Tilbury had a first-half hero in keeper Andy Hall, who saved Joe Flack’s weakly-struck penalty after Luca Frankis – brought on after Billy Bricknell limped out of the action in the early stages – had been brought down by Ricky Hayes.
The 23rd minute foul was about the only thing the Tilbury defender did wrong, though it would be hard to separate him from fellow centre back Junior Baker when dishing out the praise.
Both sides had other chances in a fast-paced first half, most notably when Rashid Kamara forced a save from Billericay’s Tony Tucker.
In the second half Tilbury began to press more, with Greg Cohen providing much of the ammunition with teasing runs on the left.
They got the break they wanted when Dean Etchell fouled Kamara as he bore down on goal and Joe Keith smashed home the 56th minute spot kick that followed.
Billericay threw men forward in search of an equaliser but Hall was only really tested by a cross-cum-shot that he pushed over the bar and Tilbury sealed a famous victory when Manlee Brown slotted home from close range in the closing stages.
Billericay will feel somewhat aggrieved that they went into a cup semi-final on the back of a horrendous run of injuries.
But Tilbury, for whom skipper Jamie Wallace was simply magnificent in the heart of midfield, thoroughly deserved their win.
SPECIAL NOTE: ISTHMIAN CUP FINAL TRAVEL AND TICKET ARRANGEMENTS
The Dockers have managed to find a Coach Company that will take fans to the Cup Final on the 8th April for £10.00 per head.
Would interested parties contact Secretary Mark Southgate on his mobile 07979 525117.
Fans can purchase their entrance ticket through Mark.