BILLERICAY Town manager Brian Statham’s hopes of giving top scorer Billy Bricknell a runout prior to tomorrow’s vital home match with Essex rivals Aveley were dashed.

Statham admitted that the cancellation of last night’s League Cup fourth round tie with Division One South Sittingbourne due to the New Lodge surface being waterlogged was a disappointment.

Bricknell — scorer of six goals in four games before picking-up a leg injury in the home win over Hastings a month ago — was taking part in a Billericay training session last night where his fitness was being assessed.

Said the Town supremo: “The last thing we want to do is to rush Billy.

“We want him back as quickly as possible.

“But I’d much rather he missed tomorrow if it meant he could play from the start away to Maidstone on Tuesday.”

A run of two undefeated games which have yielded four points have lifted Billericay just outside the drop zone.

And they know that victory tomorrow would drag a number of other clubs, including Aveley, into the fringes of the relegation area.

In fact defeat would leave the Millers just two points clear of tomorrow’s hosts from level games.

Said Statham: “Due to the tightness of the division this year teams far higher than you’d normally expect aren’t clear of relegation worries.

“We need to carry on picking up points and showing the enthusiasm and commitment we need to continue moving away from trouble.

“Having games off is the last thing we need at the moment but, if we get much more rain, tomorrow’s match could well be a non-starter.”

A definitye non-starter is midfielder Matt Hall, who continues to be sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Aveley suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Harrow Borough last weekend to bring to an end a run of three straight league successes - including a great win at Canvey.

The Millers are due to lock horns with Gulls again on Monday night when they host them in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, sponsored by Championship Manager.

No new date for Billericay’s clash with Sittingbourne has been set but the winners will have to get into quarter-final action quickly afterwards as the league have rather optimistically set the final for March 24.