Brightlingsea v Billericay: Regent boss Tom Rothery looks ahead to tough Bostik Premier clash

Billericay's Jermaine Pennant, the former Liverpool and Stoke City striker could be in action at Nor

Billericay's Jermaine Pennant, the former Liverpool and Stoke City striker could be in action at North Road on Tuesday night. Photo: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

Brightlingsea Regent boss Tom Rothery admits his team are in a testing run of Bostik Premier fixtures, with big-spending Billericay Town, the visitors to North Road tomorrow night.

Glenn Tamplin’s side are favourites to take the title this season. Currently they sit in second place behind Dulwich Hamlet (who Regent lost 1-2 to on Saturday), two points adrift of the south Londoners but with four games in hand.

On Saturday, just for good measure, Brightlingsea entertain third-placed Staines Town at home.

“Well, yes, it’s tough to be playing the top three teams all in the space of a week,” Rothery said.

“At Dulwich on Saturday we lost 2-1 but our second half performance was really good and even many die-hard Dulwich fans said we deserved a point.

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“Billericay is another tough fixture. They have quality all over the park, including ex-Premier League players. But I go to win every game, it’s what I want to do.”

Rothery took over at Regent when James Webster left to take over at Aveley two months ago.

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He had worked with the popular Webster at North Road, before taking a coaching post at Needham Market. Webster had been at the club for eight years and was very successful – Rothery knew it would be tough stepping into his shoes.

“When James left I think it was a bit of a shock to everyone at the club,” Rothery said.

“Players, fans, committee people, all felt it.

“I knew what I was going into and after a busy three or four weeks, things are settling down well. People knew me, so it wasn’t hard taking over.

“James’ squads always had a great team spirit and we have a very good one as well.

“I lost eight players and signed four. We don’t have a big squad, but there is alot of quality in it and it’s competitive. They are a good set of lads to work with.

The Dulwich defeat came after an 18-day lay-off for Regent – that after a thumping 5-2 win over Burgess Hill in the previous game.

“The break wasn’t the best timing after such a win,” Rothery said.

“But we move on. It’s a tough set of fixtures ahead, we know that.”

Regent are currently sitting mid-table and have a good home record in what is a notoriously tough league. Rothery has done well since taking over as No.1, with three wins and three defeats in his six Bostik Premier games.

Victory tomorrow night against Billericay could take his side into the top ten.

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