Essex Senior League: Allan Fenn believes Ilford can do a Bowers & Pitsea in the FA Vase

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 October 2016

The FA Vase (pic: Empics)

The FA Vase (pic: Empics)


A trip to St Margaretsbury awaits the Foxes this weekend and they will travel confident after an excellent midweek win

Ilford manager Allan Fenn is hoping to go as far as possible in the FA Vase this season and follow in the footsteps of Bowers & Pitsea.

Last season’s Essex Senior League champions, Bowers, reached the last four of the competition and enjoyed a memorable run in the cup.

The Foxes make the trip to St Margaretsbury this weekend for a first round tie and if they can progress it will equal the club’s best ever performance in the Vase.

“It would be great if we can make history on Saturday for the second time after our excellent start to the season,” said Fenn.

“We want to progress and Bowers & Pitsea and their manager Rob Small are our inspiration after what they did.

“They ended up getting promotion and reaching the semi-finals of the Vase, and they just got stronger and stronger as the season went on.

“We will take it one game and one month at a time, but we’re hopeful of making it through to the second round on Saturday.”

Ilford were without a game last weekend and it allowed Fenn to go and watch St Margaretsbury in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.

The Cricklefield club boss was impressed with the Hertfordshire outfit despite their recent struggles.

Fenn added: “We watched them last Saturday when they lost 2-1 to London Colney. They are bottom of the Premier Division and have drawn four games and lost eight so far.

“But in the Vase they have really showed up and actually looked a decent side at the weekend.

“We will go into it hoping to get a positive result, but we’re well aware of how much of a test it will be.”

Ilford earnined an excellent 4-2 win at home to Eton Manor on Wednesday night and travel to Stansted next Tuesday (October 25) in the division as well – assuming their Vase clash doesn’t need a replay.

Fenn’s team are ready for a busy spell over the next month, although relishing the challenge of playing so many games in a short space of time.

“The matches come thick and fast now and the squad knows that. If we draw on Saturday I don’t really know how it works,” said the Ilford boss.

“I think we can agree to extra-time and penalties on the day or do a replay so we’ll see, but we have a big squad and that helps you win games.”

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