Dobson double downs Ilford
PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 April 2016
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Essex Senior League: Ilford 0 Takeley 2
Inconsistent Ilford were unable to make it back-to-back wins as they succumbed to a disappointing defeat to struggling Takeley at Cricklefield Stadium.
Despite controlling possession for large sections of the game, the home team were only able to turn this into a few opportunities, and when they did have chances their finishing let them down.
Takeley, on the other hand, were content to play on the break and eventual matchwinner Reece Dobson looked dangerous throughout.
The Foxes went into the match on the back of a morale-boosting win over Bowers in midweek and started on the front foot as they won the first corner in the fifth minute.
Glen Warwick whipped in the ball from the right and it was missed by everybody across the box except for captain Ajay Ashnike at the far post, but his outstretched leg managed to somehow put the ball over from a yard out.
It turned out to be a first half to forget for the captain as on 23 minutes a long punt by the Takeley goalkeeper bounced underneath Ashnike as he tried to clear the ball.
That left Dobson through on goal and he duly slotted the ball through the legs of home keeper Stuart Brons-Smith to put the visitors ahead.
Four minutes later Dobson nearly doubled his side’s lead with an acrobatic effort, as right winger Jordan Westcott crossed the ball and the striker took a touch to set himself up before volleying the ball narrowly over.
Ilford were having more of the ball, but were unable to make the most of it and their final chance of the half came just after the 30-minute mark when Ryan Barker-Francis took a long throw from the right that saw Warwick tower over everybody, only for his header to drift wide.
The second half started in much the same fashion as the first, as a minute after the break Barker-Francis took another long throw, this time from the left. Again the ball fell to Ashnike at close range, but this time he thumped the ball onto the crossbar and away from danger.
Ilford boss Allan Fenn was quick to introduce his three substitutes in an attempt to get his side back into the game and Carl Mullings set up a chance that should have done just that.
Striker Wale Odedoyin played a one-two with Mullings to find himself through on goal, but he squandered the chance as he hit the ball hopelessly wide.
Ilford were left aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty in the 70th minute when substitute Zaoury flicked the ball on to Odedoyin who used his pace to evade the Takeley central defenders.
Odedoyin raced towards goal before being pulled to the ground by Takeley right-back Josh Jewson, but the referee waived play on much to the anger of the Ilford players, staff and fans.
On 84 minutes the Foxes were awarded a free kick about 35 yards from goal and the box was flooded with players, but Warwick had other ideas as he went for goal and was very nearly rewarded for his efforts.
Warwick, after netting a stunning injury-time free-kick against Greenhouse, saw his effort come back off the crossbar this time, denying Ilford an equaliser in what was to prove their last chance of the afternoon.
Four minutes into stoppage time Dobson capped a miserable day for Ilford as he found himself one-on-one with Brons-Smith, as Ilford had committed too many players forward, and again coolly slotted the ball into the net.
Ilford manager Fenn will be incredibly frustrated that his side were unable to create many opportunities against a side far lower than the Foxes in the Essex Senior League and will hope for a response when they return to action with a trip to bottom club Newham on Tuesday.
Ilford: Brons-Smith, Valionis, Paliutis, Warwick, Ashnike, Mcleavy (Zaoury 55), Thomas, Clayton, Odedoyin, Stevens (Mullings 55), Barker-Francis (Skeggs 49). Unused subs: Hall, Cateling.
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