Hughes shines despite defeat
Billericay Town survived a scare after twice coming from behind against ten-man Harlow Town.
Andrea Mayasi had put the Hawks ahead direct from a free kick before Sanchez Watt’s header drew Billericay level.
Harlow’s Ibrahima Sonko saw red after two second half bookings, but the Hawks immediately re-took the lead through Junior Dadson.
The visitors equalised from the penalty spot before Adam Cunnington’s low drive put them ahead.
With Harlow pushing for a later equaliser, Billericay countered to hit their fourth and kill of any hopes of a point.
The visitors started the game strongly and only inspired goalkeeping from Harlow stopper David Hughes denied the Billericay forward line. Great close-range saves kept out Billy Bricknell and Sam Deering early on as the hosts soaked up the pressure.
Brickell then wasted a fine chance when the ever troublesome Nick Wheeler centred, but with the goal gaping the striker miss-hit the shot wide of the post.
David Hughes had to be quick on his feet once again when Wheeler collected a cross 12 yards out, but the stopper came flying out to close down the shot and make a great save.
Harlow settled into the game after furiously defending for the opening quarter of an hour, and took a surprise lead on 19 minutes. Andrea Mayasi’s free kick from the right evaded everone inside the box and crept in off the post.
Fabion Simms blocked an effort from Deering before Andrea Mayasi’s perfectly timed tackle dispossessed Bricknell inside the box as he shaped to shoot.
Deering unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot that had David Hughes diving across the goal to make yet another wonderful save.
Billericay drew level on 29 minutes when Nick Wheeler crossed to the back post and Sanchez Watt headed in from three yards out.
As the interval approached, David Hughes kept out Bricknell again, who had cut inside to release the shot, to keep the Hawks in the tie at the half-time whistle.
HT: Harlow Town 1-1 Billericay Town
David Hughes was on song in the second period again, diving to his left to deny former Josh Urquhart’s free kick.
What was already a difficult take became even harder for the Hawks’ with an hour played when they were reduced to ten men. Ibrahima Sonko received a second yellow card, having only been booked eight minutes previously, for an innocuous looking challenge.
Undeterred, Harlow Town went ahead again on 65 minutes when an inch-perfect pass from Jared Small split open the defence and Junior Dadson slid home the one-on-one chance.
Alex Read then tried his luck from 25 yards, but his curling effort went just wide of the post.
Billericay rang the changes with big-hitters Adam Cunnington, Jake Robinson and Louie Theopanous taking to the field, and Robinson immediately had an impact. A shot cannoned into the arm of Harlow defender James Baker from just a couple of yards away, and when the referee pointed to the spot Robinson blasted home the penalty.
With just eight minutes of normal time remaining the visitors edged in front for the first time. Theopanous picked up the ball on the corner of the area and drilled in a low shot that was turned inside the post by Adam Cunnington.
Harlow went three at the back to search for an equaliser, but when an attack was cleared Theopanous streaked up the pitch to finish off the counter-attack and end any hopes of Harlow salvaging a point.
FT: Harlow Town 2-4 Billericay Town
The Hawks remain second from bottom in the league table with 15 points from 17 games.
Next up, Harlow Town travel to Needham Market, a point and one place above the Hawks, on Tuesday 21st November. Kick off is at 7:45pm.