Boss hopes Gabriel will be an angel

ILFORD BOSS Colin Walton has boosted Ilford’s striking options with the signing of Danny Gabriel, writes Colin Munford.

The former Waltham Forest and Aveley player has been training with the Foxes for the last couple of weeks and after impressing, Walton signed Gabriel in time for last night’s (Wednesday) clash with local rivals Redbridge.

Gabriel hit 22 goals for tenants Waltham Forest last year, before being snapped up by Ryman Premier side Aveley and the manager will hope for a similar return once the striker has reached match fitness.

“Danny will add a new dimension to our team and is a proven goalscorer wherever he has played,” said the former Clapton manager.

“He completes the squad and once Danny is fully fit I hope he will be able start firing in the goals.”

Walton has enjoyed his best spell in the Ilford hotseat since becoming manager and he hopes it doesn’t stop there.

The Cricklefields boss has guided his side to a three-match unbeaten run, including last weekend’s 2-0 FA Trophy win over Ryman One South side Whitstable Town, setting up a tie against Ryman Premier outfit Carshalton Athletic, who currently sit sixth in the table.

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Josh Coulson and Chuck Duru netted the vital goals, but the Ilford boss was happier with his side keeping a clean sheet, their first of the season.

“All the team played brilliantly, but the clean sheet is the most important thing to take from the game,” said Walton.

“It gives you a great foundation and I can only hope we are able to produce more throughout the season.”

Last night’s game was an important one for both teams as they fight for Ryman One North survival, and set the Foxes up for a trip to AFC Sudbury at the weekend.

The Yellows, who were title favourites along with Needham Market before the season started, have had a solid if not spectacular opening and occupy eighth spot in the league.

They come into the clash in confident mood after a stunning 6-4 win over Merstham in the FA Trophy last weekend.

Walton will take hope from Romford’s 4-0 win at Sudbury’s Mel Group Stadium and is confident his side will get something from their visit to Suffolk.

“Sudbury are a side who both concede and score loads, so I doubt it will be uneventful on Saturday whatever way it goes,” said the Foxes boss.

“It will definitely be another tough game, but we have shown recently we can perform well and hopefully we’ll be able to get something from it.”