Billericay arrived late at Priory Lane requiring a 15 minute delay for kick-off, and the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse with Boro forced to defend against the late arriving wind and rain for the first 45. The visitors started well despite, their very late arrival, no doubt assisted by the conditions. However the constructive football was being played by Boro and Josh Scowen created a great crossing opportunity on 6 minutes, delivered into visiting keeper Dale Brightly's hands. Billericay came back with a low right wing cross, Jay May denied by a solid Boro defending as the ball was angled towards his run. Josh Scowen was really causing the visitors problems in the opening exchanges. His twisting and turning evaded the rather static visitors on 13 minutes and his chipped cross was just above Charles Ademeno and beyond the late arriving Simon Johnson
With the strong wind at their backs Billericay enjoyed a 10 minutes spell of positional dominance but Chris Shephard
and Simon Johnson
conjured an opening for Ademeno. After losing his marker his shot across the goal beat Brightly but also the far post on 25 minutes.
Harrison Chatting was lucky to get on the end of a long free kick but unlucky that his touch was straight at Danny Potter as a long free-kick was delivered goal-ward. Typically of the squad this season the opening goal was a well worked affair. On 28 minutes Ademeno showed great strength to break a tackle in midfield and showed great vision to thread a pass to Shephard. Shephard's first touch took him away from the defender and he showed great composure to shoot low and under Brightly into far corner for 1-0 Boro.
As Boro took the lead the visitors came back. Chatting shot wide on 32 minutes as the ball broke free to him 25 yards out and Nathan Green shot wide from distance as the visitors looked to achieve parity. However the half closed with Boro looking to extend their lead. Scowen and the threatening Sam Cole
combined only for Duran Reynolds to flick head the ball away from danger. Cole and Ademeno had chances to make it 2-0 but struck high and wide before the half time whistle blew.
Billericay made a half time change with Dave Collis replacing Chatting and within minutes the Essex side were level. No doubt about the penalty as Marvin Hamilton was forced to bring down the liveley Sam Lechmere and on 47 minutes Glenn Poole drove the ball home low for 1-1.
The sides traded half chances, Scowens's shot blocked for a corner and Alex Osborn tripping over his own feet when 1 on 1 with Potter on the hour, but on 72 minutes Tommy Widdrington
introduced Gary Hart
for the excellent, but struggling after a knock, Ademeno. It took 5 minutes for Harty to make his mark. Shephard bravely won the ball back as Brightly scuffed a clearance and from distance Hart drove the ball home low as the keeper struggled to get his feet and angles right. A deserved 2-1 lead in Boro's favour.
Boro changed their formation with the introduction of subs and the visitors applied pressure without testing Potter, The Sports keeping the goal advantage and three points in the bag despite Luke I'Anson missing a gilt edged chance on 86 minutes, free, 6 yards out, skying a fantastic delivery from deep left.
Following the game Widdrington said "A different game from Tuesday but wins will come in many ways throughout a season, pretty 3-0 wins, hard fought 2-1 wins. I actually turned to Alan (Kimble) 10 minutes before we scored and said I thought we would win. We were the better football side in difficult conditions. I'm pleased for the players as repeating a performance like Tuesday at home just days later is always hard."
On discussing the two goals by his side he commented "Great goals. Chris Shephards first touch was great and his finish sublime and Gary Hart
, by his own admission, didn't think he could run another yard, so he's smashed it home from distance. Great finish."
Borough: Potter, Hamilton, Rowe, Uddin, Cole, Gorman, Johnson (Carr 75), Scowen, Walker, Ademeno (Hart 72), Shephard (Turpin 80)
Unused Subs: Knight, Jordan
Cards: Scowen Y, Walker Y
Goals: Shephard 28, Hart 76
Billericay: Brightly, Oates, Green, I'Anson, Swaine, Reynolds, Lechmere, Poole, May (Charles-Smith 53), Osborn (Dadson 78), Chatting (Collis 45)
Unused Subs: Hutchinson, Bennett
Cards: Osborn Y, Green Y
Goals: Poole 47 Pen
Ref: Mr. A. Degnarain
Gaby Hardwicke MOM: Chris Shephard