Billericay left singing the Blues by Nicke's strike
By Rob Overfield
The Beavers left Essex 1-0 winners from a Nicke Kabamba goal but it could have and should have been more, such was the Beavers' performance.
They had the best of the early chances as Mouusa Diarra met a corner from the left, his header had to be batted away off the line by keeper Chris Haigh as the big defender looked to have scored.
However, Hampton did finally take the lead on 26 minutes. Josh Casey's free kick was cleared away but only as far as Tom Jelley. Jelley lofted it back towards the box and it was flicked on by Diarra. Chasing the flick, Nicke Kabamba took advantage of some indecision in the Blues defence to tip the ball over Haigh before the keeper could gather the ball, the ball bouncing gently into the back of the net.
7 minutes later, Billericay should've been level after being awarded a penalty after Kieran Murphy missed his clearance and caught Conor Hubble. But Cojocarel's penalty was poorly taken and Seb Brown saved easily.
Just before the break, the Beavers could have gone further ahead as Haigh made a mess of gathering in a cross under pressure from Kabamba, the ball eventually finding Dean Sinclair on the right; the cross across the face of goal just needed a touch but there was no red shirt near enough to get that touch.
The second half was a bit dreary at times and it didn't come to life until the last 15 minutes. Billericay looked toothless in attack and never really put the Beavers defence, marshalled by Kieran Murphy and partnered by Moussa Diarra, under any kind of serious pressure.
On 73 minutes, a long Sinclair corner was met at the back post by Michael Kamara, but he couldn't quite get the ball on target as Haigh threw himself across goal.
Hampton were starting to dominate possession and a delightful passing move down the left between Jake Rose and Kabamba ended up with Rose finding Charlie Moone on the edge of the box. Moone's shot was parried by Haigh but the shot ran across goal. Moone chased it down but wasn't quite able to get his foot around the ball to prod it into the net as the defence scrambled back.
With a minute or so to go, Billericay finally managed to get the ball into the box for Sodje to try a shot but it was blocked and ran for a corner.
Deep into the 5 minutes of added time, Nicke Kabamba produced an amazing piece of skill; trapped by the bye-line he danced and spun past three defenders to set up Moone. Charlie's first shot was blocked, the ball eventually running out to Sinclair. The midfielder chipped it back into the box, and Charlie's header was well wide.
The Beavers ended with a comfortable victory, and after the game, Alan Dowson, while pleased with the overall performance, bemoaned the fact that the margin was not greater.
Billericay Town 0
Hampton & RB 1
Nicke Kabamba 26
1 Chris Haigh, 2 Loui Hazlewood, 3 Alex Stephenson, 4 Frank Curley, 5 Ejiro Okoseime, 6 George Beavan (12 Cliff Akurang), 7 Teddy Nesbitt, 8 Conor Hubble (15 Jack Edwards), 9 Tom Derry (14 Mason Bloomfield), 10 Onome Sodje, 11 Shane Cojocarel.
Subs: 12 Cliff Akurang, 13 Mikheil Kharshiladze, 14 Mason Bloomfield, 15 Jack Edwards, 16 Levander Pike.
1 Seb Brown, 2 Michael Kamara, 3 Tom Jelley, 4 Kieran Murphy, 5 Moussa Diarra, 6 Harry Taylor, 7 Jerome Federico (12 Charlie Moone 23), 8 Dean Sinclair, 9 Richard Pacquette (14 Jake Rose 71), 10 Nicke Kabamba, 11 Josh Casey.
Subs: 12 Charlie Moone, 14 Jake Rose, 15 Herson RODRIGUES ALVES, 16 Eddie Hutchinson, 17 Ryan Newman.