All tickets £10 and under

Matt Edwards
Friday 08 November 2019

It’s a return to the magic of the FA Cup and Forest Green Rovers will be looking for safe passage and not to become a cup upset when they play host to National League South side Billericay Town.

The visitors will be hoping it is third time lucky, having fallen at this stage of the competition in the last two seasons, while Mark Cooper’s side will be looking to progress to round two for just the third time in 10 seasons.

Here is all you need to know ahead of the first meeting between the two clubs this season…

What we said:

Mark Cooper talks to media at Cheltenham Town

"If you take any team lightly in the FA Cup, you end up getting turfed out,” said head coach Mark Cooper.

“We are fully respectful of Billericay Town, we've done a lot of work on them and a lot of analysis and we know it is going to be a really tough game.

"Looking at the way they are trying to restructure their squad, they are mixing some real youth with some older, experienced players and trying to build it from the bottom up and try and be a bit more sustainable. Over the long run, that will be easier for Jamie to manage.

"Looking at the way Billericay Town play, I quite like it. They are quite expansive and I've been really impressed."

What they said:

Jamie O'Hara, Billericay Town manager, for Fulham

"We play better against better teams, so for me it's a good game. A lot of the boys I've got have played League Two football so they'll know what it's about," said player manager Jamie O'Hara.

"I love the FA Cup, it's such a big thing. Now I'm managing in non-league you see the magic of it even more and how much it means.

"We're trying to take away the whole cloud that comes around Billericay and do our stuff quietly, off the radar, and do things right."

Team news

Forest Green:

Matt Mills walks out at Port Vale

Head coach Mark Cooper has been given the boost of the return of experienced defender Matt Mills to training in the last week.

He has also seen Kevin Dawson return to training this week, to boost numbers in the heart of the FGR midfield.

Billericay Town:

Billericay will be without midfielder Jordan Parkes who has left the club after struggling to commit to new training demands.

His exit leaves the side thin on the ground after the departure of several players last month, including former FGR man Gavin Gunning.

About: Billericay

Billericay Town fans celebration

The Essex-based club have really come to the forefront of non-league football in recent years and are no strangers to the first round of the FA Cup.

The club’s profile changed in 2016 with new owner Glenn Tamplin, who made a real statement of his intentions at the club, not only by infamously redecorating the club’s changing rooms alongside a host of other ground improvements, but also transforming the playing squad.

He made several high-profile signings including Jermaine Pennant, Paul Konchesky and current player-manager, Jamie O’Hara.

A push for the play-offs fell just short but Town lifted the League Cup with a record 8-3 victory in the final. This however provided a springboard to the clubs most successful season ever – runs to the first round proper of the FA Cup and to the last 8 of the FA Trophy were followed by a treble – retaining the Isthmian League, victory in the Essex Senior Cup, and finally in the 74th of 75 competitive game, the Isthmian league title to secure promotion.

Tamplin, who had two short spells as manager of the club, stepped down as director back in September, just days after making O’Hara the player-manager.

Key player: Jake Robinson

Jake Robinson Billericay Town celebration

Robinson joined Town from Hemel Hempstead in March 2017 for a then record fee. 

A highly successful 2017-18 season saw the former Brighton & Hove Albion forward, score 59 goals in all competitions.

He spent six years with home-town club Brighton making 123 appearances, and later played  at Aldershot, Shrewsbury, Torquay and Northampton.

Last season he scored 16 goals before being sold to Maidstone Utd in December 2018 and returning to the club in March 2019.

Currently sitting fifth in the all-time goal scorers for BillericayTown with 96 goals, he has seven goals already this campaign, and a hat-trick in the replay against Sutton United that saw them progress to face FGR.

Last time in the FA Cup:

Forest Green Rovers and Oxford United played out a goalless draw in the FA Cup first round tie at The Kassam Stadium as Mark Cooper’s side took the League One club to a replay back at The New Lawn.

Despite numerous chances in the second half, neither side were able to find a goal to take them through to the next round.

It wasn’t to be back on home soil as FGR fell 3-0 to Karl Robinson’s team, James Henry giving the visitors the lead in the 35th minute before Oxford dealt a sucker punch two minutes after half time through the experienced Jamie Mackie.

Despite a spirited performance from the hosts, the U’s wrapped up the victory when Marcus Browne netted 12 minutes from the end.

Head-to-head:

This is the first meeting between the two clubs.

Forest Green Rovers have only twice gone beyond the first round of the competition in the last nine years.

For Billericay, the National League South side are into the first round for the sixth time, and third in succession.

Only five clubs have had more first round appearances that Billericay without yet reaching the second round.

Coverage:

This game only be available to listen to with our audio service HERE, both abroad or in the UK.

If listening on a mobile device, you will need to download the FGR TV app. A full list of frequently asked questions can be found HERE.

Please contact fgrtv@streamamg.com if you have any issues with your FGR Live account.

Full commentary of Saturday’s match will also be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire on 1413AM.

Stay up to date also on Twitter and Instagram by following @FGRFC_Official, which will have all of the team news before kick-off and updates throughout the game.

There will also be key updates and team news on Facebook. Round-up the clash by checking out the club website where there will be a full report looking back on the encounter.

For full information on making the most of your trip to The New Lawn, visit our first time visitors page HERE