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Match Previews

FA Cup Match Preview: Billericay Town

9 November 2018

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Chesterfield face Billericay Town in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup at the Proact on Saturday, kick-off 3pm. Here is our big match preview for the game….

Tickets

Tickets can be bought online, or supporters can purchase their tickets on the day of the game, from the Club Superstore from 10am-12pm and then from the ticket office, which will be open from 12 pm until kick off.

Please note that tickets will initially be sold for The Van Yard (West) Stand and Motan Colortronic (South) Stand only.

Tickets will be priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

Team News

Spireites boss Martin Allen is expected to be able to field a side similar to the one that drew away at Harrogate last Saturday.

Jonathan Smith is likely to feature in Saturday’s squad, after signing a permanent deal with the club. Smith impressed during his loan spell with the Spireites, scoring three goals in his last three games.

During Thursday’s pre-match press conference, Allen commented on how pleased he is to sign Smith on a permanent deal after his recent standout performances.

"Another club had come in for him so we had to rush that one through and try and get it done pretty quick," said Martin. “He found about it and turned it down to stay here so that was a relief.

"He's done very well and he has been a good signing. He's fitted into the team very well and his goals have been a bonus."

The Opposition

The Manager – Dean Brennan

Brennan started his footballing career as a youth player at Sheffield Wednesday, however, he never made a senior appearance for the club. He was released in 2000 and headed back home to go on trial at Irish side Bohemians. After making two appearances for the club, he was let go and returned to England.

His first port of call was Luton Town, where after a successful trial he signed a two-year deal at ‘The Hatters’. Soon after signing for Luton he made his debut in a 2-1 loss to Wigan Athletic. His spell at Luton would be his last experience of league football, eventually moving to Hitchin Town from Luton in 2002, after finding first-team opportunities hard to come by.

In the next four years, Brennan went onto play for six different non-league clubs, including the likes of Grays Athletic, Lewes, Dunstable, and AFC Wimbledon.

The midfielder had success during his time at Grays, winning the FA Trophy during the 2004-05 season. Brennan scored one of Grays penalties in the shootout to beat Hucknall Town in the final at Villa Park.

He had spells at Cambridge City, Hemel Hempstead, Barton Rovers, Halesowen Town, and Corby Town, before beginning his coaching career in his second spell at Hemel Hempstead.

Brennan was appointed caretaker manager at just 29 years of age after manager Gary Phillips was sacked. After a short spell as caretaker manager, he was signed by Dunstable for his second stint at the club, this time on a player/coach basis.

Brennan was able to get experience by managing the club during cup games and caught the eye of another former side, Hemel Hempstead.

In his first season back at Hemel Hempstead, the Irishman guided ‘The Tudors’ to their highest ever league position, finishing the 2012-13 season in fourth place in the Southern League Premier Division. This enabled them qualification into the playoffs and they managed to reach the final. However, after drawing 2-2 with Gosport Borough, Hemel Hempstead lost the final on penalties.

The following season they went one better, securing promotion to the National League South as champions by ten points.

After keeping Hemel Hempstead in the National League South for the next two seasons, which included an FA Cup run to the first round, Brennan took the manager’s job at Billericay Town.

Since replacing Harry Wheeler in the Billericay hot seat, Brennan has kept their impressive start to their season going. They currently sit in first place in the National League South, three points above chasers Welling United.

One to Watch – Jamie O’Hara

O’Hara began his career as a youth prospect at Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. He will be well-known to Spireites fans, as the midfielder had a spell on loan at the club in 2006.

He also had loan spells at Millwall and Portsmouth, but made over 30 appearances for his parent club Tottenham. After a spell on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers, he signed a permanent contract with the Birmingham club in 2011.

He suffered two bad injuries in his first season at Wolves, and a manager change during that time meant that O’Hara was out of contention for a place in the starting eleven.

O’Hara eventually left Wolves in 2014, after his contract was terminated by mutual consent. He had year-long stints at Blackpool and Fulham, before joining League One side Gillingham in 2016. Unfortunately, his spell at Gillingham was cut short due to injury.

The former England U21 international made the move to current club Billericay in the summer of 2017. He helped the club to a cup and league double which saw Billericay earn promotion to the National League South.

The Spireties will have to be aware of the influential Billericay midfielder if they are to progress through to the next round of the FA Cup.

Head to head

This is the first time the two teams have played each other.

 

 From the dugout

Martin Allen: "They've had two promotions in three years and any team that gets promotion is a good team. The owner has pumped a lot into that club and they're on the up, there's no doubt about that. 

"We're up against a good team and a well-run club in Billericay. Are we favourites or are they favourites? Well, it's the FA Cup and when it comes to FA Cup day from my past experiences, it doesn't really matter what league you're in. The FA Cup is a great leveller, right across the board.”

 

If you are not able to make it to the game, we will make sure you are as close to the action as possible by...

- Providing full-match commentary on Spireites Digital

- Posting regular coverage on the club’s official Twitter account

- Uploading images on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

- Providing reaction from the game on the official website


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