Ilford boss Richard Ponsford praised his young side for a turnaround in form after two notable victories this week.

Joe Lilly netted twice, with Harry Rawlins also on target as the Foxes beat Buckhurst Hill 3-1 in the Essex Senior League on Saturday.

And young striker Liam Oliver netted the decisive penalty in a 3-1 shootout win over in-form Redbridge after their Essex Senior Cup tie ended goalless on Monday.

This week's successes came after a thrilling Errington Challenge Cup tie at White Ensign last Wednesday ended in a 4-4 draw before Ilford lost 10-9 on penalties.

And Ponsford said: "The last three games have been superb. I've been proud at our turnaround in form.

"We've had the kick in the proverbials and we've been back on the front foot, quick and alert.

"We were so unlucky at White Ensign. We went down to 10 men, with the keeper sent off and a centre-back in goal, and were 4-2 down with 15 minutes left but got it back to 4-4 and penalties and had a chance to win it."

Ilford flew out of the traps against Buckhurst Hill, scoring twice inside 10 minutes to take control at Cricklefield Stadium.

And they added a third before the break to render Hassan Nalbant's reply a mere consolation.

"We were fantastic," added Ponsford.

"We've had a few reserves coming through, not been bitten by the fear bug, and they've been a breath of fresh air.

"That fearlessness has rubbed off on some of the older lads and we're playing with a bit more freedom and going back to what we're good at, playing our brand.

"We came out of the traps quick and it could've been five or six by half time. We hit the crossbar and their goalie made a good save.

"It was nice to celebrate a win after as well as losing becomes a habit and isn't much fun."

Ilford went closest to breaking the deadlock against Redbridge in a game of few chances, as Lilly hit a post, but they kept their nerve to win on penalties and book a trip to West Essex, who they visit in the league this weekend.

"We were phenomenal on Monday," said Ponsford.

"I like what George [Christou] is doing at Redbridge, they're good football people, and we were fully aware of the test.

"They're joint top, it was a big game, a derby and a massive game for us. We want to get on a run of winning games and the confidence it has given us, the dressing room was lovely, really buzzing.

"I've seen West Essex a couple of times and they're a strong side who like to play the right way, with good movement off the ball, but that suits us. We will go there with a game plan and a lot of confidence."