Hritika Sharma is a member of The FA’s Young Reporters’ Club and currently studies Football Journalism at the University of Derby.
“I don’t think anyone has ever scored from there, with back to goal, apart from Thierry Henry at the Clock End.”
Chesterfield manager Martin Allen was talking about the long-range strike from Billericay Town’s Moses Emmanuel in the second half that countered the 17th-minute header from the Spireites' Laurence Maguire.
“It was an unbelievable goal, into the top corner,” he added.
- Emirates FA Cup
- First Round
- Saturday 10 November
- Proact Stadium, Chesterfield
- Winners to receive £36,000
Latching on to a pass from Billericay captain Sam Deering, Emmanuel showed composure to retain possession and, with a neat turn, get past Haydn Hollis to fire a shot from 20 yards beyond Callum Burton.
To their credit, Chesterfield went all out to recover from that setback, ending the game with four strikers on the pitch.
What they didn’t do was convert late pressure into a tangible product, though it wasn’t due to a lack of attempts. Alan Julian was in magnificent form, producing several stops to deny the hosts. He couldn’t, however, do anything about Maguire.
About 10 minutes before he scored, the defender’s goal-bound header from Kyel Reid’s corner was pushed down by Julian. On the second occasion, it was from Joe Rowley’s corner that Maguire, rising highest at the back post, steered another header into the bottom corner.
In the meantime, Allen’s side had made themselves comfortable in attack: Curtis Weston, Marc-Antoine Fortune, and Zavon Hines all tested the visiting ‘keeper, who was equal to them.
Billericay gradually settled and enjoyed their best spell of the opening 45 minutes shortly before the interval. They had to withstand wave after wave of attack from the home team either side of their quest for an equaliser, which came early in the second half through a moment of magic.
The aftermath of Emmanuel’s leveller sparked full-blown efforts from both teams to find the winning goal; the fantastic atmosphere certainly helped in fanning the flames.
Chesterfield were relentless, and almost made Julian pay for what was a rare error on a near-perfect afternoon. The goalkeeper had palmed the ball away and into the path of Fortune, whose shot was brilliantly blocked on the line by Scott Doe.
They came close to restoring their lead during the final stages, after Jonathan Smith low strike deflected wide following Jerome Binnom-Williams’ excellent cutback. Moments later, Weston curled a shot inches wide of the mark. Julian still had one final stop to make, and did his best to thwart an attempt from substitute Lee Shaw.
At the other end, Callum Kennedy whipped in a threatening cross and Maguire, not forgetting his defensive duties, was at hand to provide a last-gasp clearance. Four minutes of added time saw even more frantic play, but Billericay held on to earn a replay.
Although Allen was disappointed to not claim victory, he was happy with his players’ performance and also spoke fondly about the competition.
“The FA Cup is always going to be very special for me and my family,” he said.
“I absolutely love the occasion. Today was a great FA Cup game and I thought that our team put in a really good performance.”