We're feeling a little bit disappointed now not to win the game but obviously we would’ve taken the draw with both hands and take them back to our place, says Sheppey United captain Richard Hamill

Monday 16th October 2023

SHEPPEY UNITED captain Richard Hamill says he was feeling disappointed not to win their FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round tie at Billericay Town on Saturday.

The 29-year-old holding midfielder put in a man-of-the-match display against the Isthmian League Premier Division hosts, in the Ites’ first ever game at this stage of the competition.

Talisman striker Daniel Bradshaw gave Ernie Batten’s side a ninth minute lead at New Lodge, with a clinical strike, before Gary McCann’s hosts levelled a couple of minutes before half-time through Frankie Merrifield’s close-range finish after Moses Emmanuel hit the post following Bradley Stevenson’s corner.

“Probably feeling a little bit disappointed now not to win the game but obviously we would’ve taken the draw with both hands and take them back to our place,” said Hamill.

“But on reflection, it probably is a good result and we’ll take it on Tuesday.

“To a man we had to be at our best against a league higher opposition, so we knew we had to be at our best to have a chance of getting something from the game.

“It was typical Dan Bradshaw, he’s been doing it for years, obviously with us, Chatham. We know if you can get him into those areas, we’ve got every chance of him scoring goals.

“I think that was his only chance at goal and he scored it.  Hopefully he’s fit on Tuesday, if not, we’ll still go with other players and see what we’ve got.”

Reflecting on Billericay’s leveller, the former Fisher man said: “It’s disappointing because it was a bit of a scrappy one. If someone comes in at the back post and scores a really good header, you sort of take it.

“I felt we could’ve dealt with it a little bit better.

“It was quite an end-to-end game almost, so it could’ve gone either way but we’re happy.”

Billericay Town hit the woodwork on three occasions in total, while Sheppey United left-back Frankie Del Morgan’s cross hit the crossbar inside stoppage time at the end of the game, a game that Sheppey United put in an impressive performance.

Hamill added: “If that went in, no one cares, but it was definitely a cross!  The last 10-15 minutes, I thought we were on top and it we got Frankie in a few times and it was unlucky not to go in the back of the net.”

Hamill calls upon the Holm Park faithful to raise the roof for Tuesday nights’ replay – with the reward a home tie against League Two side Walsall in early November awaiting for the winners.

“We’re feeling mixed emotions but happy to still be in with a chance of getting through but disappointed that we didn’t win it on the day on Saturday,” said Hamill.

“But we’ve got another chance on Tuesday to put it right.  Against anyone at home we fancy our chances.  We beat Welling United (in 2020) at home and we’ve played some big sides at home.

"On our day, at home, I think we’re as good as anyone, so hopefully we can put in a good performance and get the win.

“Hopefully we get another good crowd. I expect they will and come out in their numbers.  They were fantastic at Billericay and we heard them throughout the game. It helps, it definitely helps.

“The Walsall draw adds a little bit of extra motivation – but we’ve got a job to do on Tuesday, so we’ll see how we do.”

Sheppey United - in sixteenth-place in the Isthmian League South East Division - albeit with only three games on the board (five points) are the lowest ranked side left in The FA Cup.

Visit Sheppey United’s website: www.sheppeyunitedfc.co.uk

Sheppey United  v  Billericay Town
The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 17 October 2023
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Holm Park, Queenborough Road, Halfway, Sheerness, Kent ME12 3BD