DORCHESTER TOWN 6 BILLERICAY TOWN 1
FOUR goals in the space of 13 second-half minutes saw the Magpies romp to an emphatic thrashing of the men from Essex at the Avenue tonight.
After a brace from Charlie Clough put the hosts 2-0 up, Nick Critten-den, Sam Malsom, Ben Watson and Nathan Walker all found the net with Charlie Taylor getting Billericay’s only reply.
Despite battling to avoid relegation from Blue Square Bet South, the visitors looked a real threat in the first half but as soon as Clough got his second following a mistake by keeper Sam Beasant, son of former Wimbledon hero Dave Beasant, the fight went out of the away side.
The win moved the county town side up to seventh in the table just three points behind Boreham Wood in the last play-off place.
Magpies’ boss Phil Simkin had the luxury of naming an unchanged side from the one that started the win at Tonbridge Angels on Saturday, meaning there was still no sign of Kieffer Moore who wasn’t able to shake off a thigh injury.
Keeper Benjamin Büchel made his home debut for the Magpies while on the bench Nick Crittenden and Harry Bell came in for Dan Way and Calvin Brooks.
And it was Büchel who was arguably the busier of the two goalkeepers during the first half although he was never really fully tested by a Billericay side that enjoyed plenty of possession but didn’t seem to have their shooting boots on.
Fighting near the foot of the table, Billericay’s task was made that much harder when the hosts took the lead with only four minutes gone.
Sam Malsom swung in a cross from the right, Beasant chose to come and claim it but could only flap at the ball, Jamie Gleeson saw his shot blocked and Clough kept his cool to fire home.
There was almost an instant reply from the visitors when a long ball over the Magpies’ defence sent Taylor clear but Arran Pugh recovered superbly to hack the ball away from the striker.
Billericay then enjoyed a decent spell with the ball, keeping Dor-chester pinned in their own half having come back well from going a goal down so early in the game.
Büchel was called into action when Jay May blasted an effort from 25 yards straight at him then the Billericay man had a great chance to equalise but sliced well wide after linking up neatly with Taylor and Paul Semakula.
The first booking of the match was dished out to Neil Martin when he was adjudged to have taken a dive when challenged by visiting full- back Paul Rodgers.
Beasant was nearly left red-faced on 35 minutes as a speculative long-range blast from Malsom took a wicked bounce off the Avenue turf. The keeper, however, was alert to it and spooned the ball over his bar for a corner.
Pugh became the second Dorch-ester player to receive a yellow card for a foul on Taylor and minutes later Billericay’s Craig Edwards suffered what looked to be a nasty knee injury in an innocuous clash with Clough. Edwards was stretchered off and replaced by Sam Lechmere.
Looking to avoid a repeat of their start to the first half, Billericay, and Beasant in particular, began the second period in the worst possible fashion when a howler by the keeper gifted a second to Clough.
Receiving a regulation back pass from a defender, Beasant took a touch that was far too heavy and allowed Clough to nip in, take the ball off him and finish from a tight angle.
Clough’s night didn’t end on a positive note, though, when he hobbled off and was replaced by Critten- den.
But that didn’t result in the goals drying up for the Magpies and on 66 minutes a Malsom cross was headed in by Crittenden to make it 3-0. That instigated a flurry of five goals in 13 minutes.
Taylor pulled one back two minutes after Crittenden netted but the Magpies’ three-goal cushion was restored when Malsom swept home a Martin free-kick with a sweetly-struck half-volley into the roof of the net.
Billericay left-back Richard Hall was having a bad night and his failure to deal with a long ball let Watson in to make it 5-1 with an assured finish then on 79 minutes Nathan Walker used his height advantage to out-muscle Hall and head a sixth.
Magpies: Buchel, Jermyn, Smeeton, Pugh, N Walker, Gleeson, Malsom, Nicholls, Watson, Clough (Crittenden 55), Martin. Subs not used: Bell, S Walker, Morgan, Matthews Billericay: Beasant, Rodgers (Osborne 75), Hall, Edwards (Lechmere 44), Douglas, Beckles (Benjamin 72), Luke, Poole, May, Taylor, Semakula. Subs not used: Adewunmi, Rossis