Ilford FC continued their poor run of form with a defeat to White Ensign on Saturday as their squad deals with losing key players.

The Foxes lost 4-1 to White Ensign at Burroughs Park, their second loss in a row after a 3-0 defeat by Athletic Newham on 8 January.

Manager Adam Peek feels performance is floundering due to losing pivotal players.

“We have lost three players over the last two weeks to higher teams who were key players and we have suffered in terms of quality in some areas," he said.

Adapting their squad is another hurdle the Ilford team will have to face after a rollercoaster of a January, which saw Covid disrupt the squad.

Last week, the Foxes were seven players down due to last minute Covid absences and had to quickly find substitutes for their match against Athletic Newham.

For their match against White Ensign, Peek said most players were back.

It was a disappointing start for Ilford, with White Ensign scoring two goals early in the second half.

When the two teams returned to the pitch, there was a glimmer of hope for Peek, who said his team “were the better side in the second half” despite “missing a number of chances.”

“They conceded two late goals due to us pushing to get back in the game and being more open.”

Ilford’s only goal was scored in the 90th minute as Lee Sharpe headed the ball in from a corner, bringing the score to 3-1.

White Ensign managed to squeeze in one final goal before the whistle in the third minute of extra time.

Ilford FC’s next match, on Saturday, 29 January, is against Stanway Rovers, who are third in the league.

Peek said: “It will be a very tough game and we are on a poor run of form, and we must start to improve our performances."

Rather than enjoying a break, Peek said the Ilford team will be “working on finishing as we had enough chances to score more than we did".