The Mead's FA Cup adventure for another season ended in Essex on Tuesday night as Billericay Town showed just why they currently lead the BOSTIK Premier Division and are favourites to win promotion to the Vanarama National League South come May.
As in Sunday's first game, it was the Essex side who started better and exactly like Sunday, Robinson gave them the early lead. But unlike Sunday, when Mead keeper Lewis Carey repelled almost everything that was thrown at him, on this occasion, Billericay and in particular Robinson had his scoring boots on, as he completed a hat-trick in the opening 30 minutes (his 13th, 14th and 15th goals already) and with Cunnington adding a fourth before the break, the Mead were beaten.
It wasn't all one way traffic and at 0-3 down, the Mead had a "goal" disallowed for offside as Alex Teniola fired home from Paul Vines' pass - the flag, which was extremely late, was given against Vinesy - just one of a number of interesting first half decisions given against the Mead's number nine!
Four down at the break, the Mead really were staring at a real hammering, but came out after the break with a resolve that enough was enough and they dug deeper and only conceded a single goal in the second period. Now some will say that the home side eased off the pace, but the bottom line is that the Mead "only" lost the second half by a single goal and indeed it could have been even better as home keeper Julian made two terrific saves at either end of the half from Alex and Harvey Brand. The Mead's best chance came in the final quarter, when Alex was hauled down in the box by Billericay skipper Swaine - who was shown a straight red card - only for Alex to sadly blaze the penalty high into the Essex night sky.
Defeated yes - but so many positives to take out of these two terrific ties for the Mead as they now prepare for a Kent derby with Ramsgate on Saturday.
THE MEAD - Carey, Brand, McIntyre (Flack), Anidugbe, Smith, Kinch (Denny), Green, O'Connor, Vines, Teniola (Luchford), Mendy
Updated 10:59 - 20 Sep 2017 by MIKE GREEN
Sub - Glover