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Billericay Town 0-1 Concord Rangers
Lewis Simper’s second-half strike handed Concord Rangers a dogged derby success and three priceless Vanarama National League South points against a strangely subdued Billericay Town side at New Lodge.
Blues stopper, Dion-Curtis Henry, superbly denied Alex Wall, while Ruben Soares’ attempt was blocked by Aron Pollock as opportunities came at a premium with defences ridged and on top of proceedings.
Michael Chambers and Joe Felix passed up reasonable chances for the hosts, while Soares nodded over from close range as the Blues began to offer the greater threat. While Laurie Wilson’s electric pace wasn’t matched by his delivery as Billericay continued to press after the restart.
Henry again thwarted Wall, while Beach Boys keeper Adam Przybek was relieved when Jayden Randell’s intervention found his midriff as opposed to his own net after Soares had tried to pick out Jake Robinson.
Frazer Shaw and Wall were off target as Concord – resolute and industrious – probed. But it only served notice for what was to come. Simper – on loan to the Canvey-based club from Cambridge United – superbly lifted over the backpedalling Henry to open the scoring after Wall had fashioned an opening.
Soares lifted a great chance over after Przybek’s punch was unconvincing. Then Jake Robinson and Shaw found themselves in the book, squaring up after the Blues frontman believed he should have had a spot-kick following some close attention.
Robinson – usually so lethal in these situations – dragged wide from close range as the home side frantically looked for a way back into the contest.
Billericay pressed, but their miserable afternoon was compounded when Luke Wanadio was shown a red card in stoppage-time after a foul on Concord substitute, Temi Babalola.
The result saw Concord leapfrog Billericay in the table – moving up to fourteenth, six points clear of the dropzone.
Billericay Town returns to Vanarama National League action on Wednesday, January 5 when Oxford City are the visitors to New Lodge (7:45pm). Meanwhile, Concord Rangers are back in action on Saturday 9 when they visit Hampton & Richmond Borough (3pm).
Billericay Town: Dion-Curtis Henry, Louis Ramsay, Joe Felix, Ronnie Henry, Michael Chambers, Billy Knott (Kyle Reid 60’), Jai Reason (Shamir Fenelon 81’), Jake Robinson, Luke Wanadio, Ruben Soares JR, Lawrie Wilson Subs not used: Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo, Lewis Knight
Booked: Jake Robinson (dissent)
Sent-off: Luke Wanadio (foul)
Concord Rangers: Adam Przybek, Jayden Randell, Frazer Shaw, Sam Blackman (James Blanchfield 75’), Aron Pollock, Tyrone Sterling, Jack Bridge, Ashley Charles, Alex Wall (Temi Babalola 83’), Lewis Simper, Ryan Charles Subs not used: Odei Martin, Tosan Popo, Danny Green
Booked: Alex Wall (dissent), Frazer Shaw (dissent), Adam Przybek (dissent)
Goals: Lewis Simper 65’
Referee: Jack Packman
Assistants: John McKay and Valentine Anekwe