About New Lodge
This is a real shock to the system. The ground is accessed down a country road with farm land all around the ground. The pitch is on a slope that reminds you of non league grounds from bygone years and the facilities are relatively basic.
New Lodge has a tiny “main stand” which looks like it is sitting next to a railway signal box, which is actually the ample bar and a viewing gallery for season ticket holders. There are covered terraces on all other sides of the ground and there is a small food serving hatch at the far end of the ground.
How to get to New Lodge
From Brentwood/M25(North) - Note there is a height restriction of 13’3″ on this route. Leave the M25 at the junction with the A12 (J28) and continue down the A12 towards Chelmsford until you reach the next exit (Mountnessing / Ingatestone). At the roundabout take the first exit (turn left). You will then come across a mini roundabout where you should turn right. Continue along this route until you reach a mini-roundabout at the end of Wash Road. Turn left here. You are now on the road to Billericay. On entering Billericay (you will see a welcome sign on your left) turn right at the first set of traffic lights (near the car dealership) into Tye Common Road. The ground is down Blunts Wall Lane which is a little way along on the right.
From Basildon/A127/M25 (South) - From the M25 (J29) take the A127 to the Basildon/Billericay (A176) turn-off, (junction after the Old Fortune of War roundabout). Take second exit at roundabout (Billericay is signposted). Then straight over (2nd exit) at the next roundabout. Continue along that road until you enter Billericay. At the first roundabout take the first available exit. At the next roundabout (with Billericay School on your left) go straight over (1st exit). At yet another roundabout!, turn left into the one-way system. Keep in the left-hand lane and go straight over roundabout. At first set of lights, turn left. Blunts Wall Road is the second turning on your right.
By Rail - Billericay is located on the Liverpool St.-Southend Victoria line, trains run approx every 20 mins on most days. Billericay Town Football Club is approximately 25 minutes walk from the station. On leaving the station turn right into Radford way. At the top of the road turn right, crossing the Railway line by the footbridge. Then turn right again at the bottom of the High St. into Western Road. Walk the full length of Western Road, then cross over at the traffic lights into Tye Common Rd. Blunts Wall Lane is a little way along on the right. Note Mayflower taxis (01277 624000) are located just outside the station and can take you to the ground.
How to get a ticket for New Lodge
Admission prices to New Lodge for the 2011-2012 season are unchanged from the last two seasons:
- Adults £9.00
- Concessions (Over 60′s and Student card holders) £6.00
- Under 16s £2.00
Upgrade to the main stand is an additional £1.00.
Our Last Visit – December 2011
What a day this promised to be. Three (well two and a half) fiercely contested local derbies, either side of the River Thames, which thanks to some fortuitous scheduling, that I could go to, as well as still putting in some “Fuller Festive Family Fun”. Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones, catching up on the events of the year and generally being around those nearest and dearest to you. But when the words “Let’s go to the sales” are mentioned, all love goes out the window and football becomes a viable option. Hence, when the three Fuller girls all expressed a wish to go shopping, I played the football get out of jail free card and planned my day of hot and spicy local derbies.
First up was a trip under the Thames to Essex for the “Battle of the M25 junction 28″ as they call it in these parts. Billericay Town sat proudly on top of the table before a ball was kicked. Despite their nearest rivals all winning yesterday, their amble goal difference of plus 27 saw them safely sit in first place. Visitors AFC Hornchurch lay in fourth with a game in hand and just four points below. So a win for either side today could be pivotal in the final shake up.
Whilst most football leagues will boast “this is the most difficult division to get out of”, few can claim that at the halfway point in the season there has been five different leaders, or that the top if they won their games in hand would be separated by just five points. The Ryman Premier League has proved to be a great league for the neutrals to follow, but a bugger if you are the follower of one of the clubs. With the Christmas period throwing up the odd derby or two, we would have been a fool to miss this one. Billericay Town versus AFC Hornchurch. Two teams separated by the M25 just a few miles apart and by just four points at the top of the table.
This was hard to miss. With Lakeside just a few miles away I was able to deposit CMF and The Little Fullers at the Cathedral of Orange Tans and head northish through the vineyards of Essex to Billericay, home of Steve Davis, Alison Moyet and Lee Evans. All three would surely be at New Lodge for this top of the table clash? I cannot think what else they could be doing on a post Christmas afternoon.
Billericay Town have surprised many this season with their rise to the top of the table. Just two defeats, one of which was in the first week of the season to Lewes, has seen them jump above the likes of Lowestoft Town, Hendon, Lewes and visitors Hornchurch. Their success has been built on a strong goal scoring record that has seen them average over two goals a game this season, and seen them put the likes of Kingstonian Wingate & Finchley, Tooting & Mitcham United and Canvey Island to the sword this season at home so far. Their style has come in for some criticism as being too direct, whilst visitors Hornchurch had been called “too physical” in the past. Frankly, football is about results and so if a style works for a team then they deserve their success. The facts suggest that whatever style works in this division as they are top of the league, with 46 goals scored to their name.
One player who unfortunately would not be gracing the pitch was Billericay keeper Nicky Morgan. Morgan was involved in an incident outside a nightclub in Essex in October and received injuries that resulted in him being paralysed from the waist down. The police have now arrested a man in connection with the injury. The club have been incredibly supportive of Nicky and we also wish him well.
As we drove up through the Essex countryside we came across a line of parked cars on the road. Surely this couldn’t be for the football? After all, here was a team who were averaging 300 give or take a few. According to my good friend TomTom we were still nearly a mile away. But yes, it seemed that the locals had all read the article on the website and had put on their Christmas jumpers and hot-footed it down to the biggest game in Essex.
Billericay Town 0 AFC Hornchurch 1 – New Lodge – Tuesday 27th December 2011
Rule number 1 – when you moan about not having enough fans and then they turn up en mass, make them welcome. The attendance of over 1,100 put strain on every aspect of the club. The one turnstile struggled to cope in the lead up to kick off, the hot food ran out in the 44th minute as we were queuing, the bar had queues of fifteen minutes. I appreciate it is a chicken and egg situation but some forethought could have avoided hundreds of people going away from the ground with a poor impression.
The game in truth failed to live up to its top of the table billing. An over fussy referee tried his best to antagonise the players, managers and fans alike with some strange decisions and a pitch that made playing the ball on the ground impossible but few can argue with the result in the end. Hornchurch were the stronger team in the second period and before they had scored the only goal, hit the bar with a well taken free kick.
Billericay had been likened to Stoke City simply because they have someone who can hurl the ball in from the touchline. Sam Berry’s talents were used whenever there was an opportunity in the game and once or twice his throws caused chaos in the Hornchurch area and the odd controversial moment when the referee automatically penalised the home side irrespective of the outcome of the throw.
Both teams are strong, well organised and that seemed to cancel out their attacking threat. As someone had said to me prior to the game “It won’t be one for the purists” and it certainly wasn’t. Glen Poole had the best chance of the first half for the home side but his shot was well saved by a confident, if bruised Hornchurch keeper, Joe Woolley.
In the second half the momentum swung to the visitors and on the hour they got their goal. Michael Spencer was sent away down the wing and his cross was met by Tommy Black. His first effort was somehow scrambled off the line but he followed up and turned the ball home.
With time running out, Billericay pushed forward, first putting one centre back up front, and then another. Finally, keeper Dale Brightly was added to the attack. However, from one set piece Hornchurch broke quickly and with the goal empty. Hunt shaped to shoot from the half way line but was brought down by a Billericay player. Technically he was the last man, even though he was in the Hornchurch half. The referee decided to give a yellow in one of those decisions that nobody will ever agree on.
Three points to Hornchurch gave them their ninth consecutive win and lifted them up into third, above Lewes and mean that the top four in the Ryman Premier are now separated by just four points. As Glenn Frey once said – “The Heat is On”.