Essex Senior League: Ilford blow away London Bari with runaway victory

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:12 07 February 2017

The main stand at Cricklefield Stadium, the home of Ilford (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

The main stand at Cricklefield Stadium, the home of Ilford (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Sipho Mtyanda nets hat-trick to extend the Foxes unbeaten run to 10 matches in all competitions

Ilford extended their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions with a comprehensive 6-2 victory over London Bari in the Essex Senior League last weekend.

Sipho Mtyanda’s hat-trick helped the Foxes back up their 4-0 win at home to Haringey & Waltham with another success on Saturday.

The match at Cricklefield Stadium didn’t take too long to warm up and Ilford showed early signs of attacking intent and looked more likely to open the scoring.

Allan Fenn’s team opened the scoring after eight minutes when Mtyanda produced a neat first touch and crisp strike from 18-yards into bottom corner.

Five minutes later the ball was in the Bari net again. This time Mytanda turned provider as his well inswinging corner was nodded home at the near post by captain Chris Stevens.

The visitors looked shell-shocked and were struggling to get a foothold in the game before Ilford added a third.

Bari’s Stephen Botchey was caught in possession in his own half. After picking his pocket, Ryan Ramsey slid a lovely pass into Mytanda, who took the ball in his stride, before narrowly clipping the ball over Josh Strizovic.

The lively and creative Mytanda was a constant threat for Ilford and was not too far away from a first half hat-trick.

After engineering a yard a space and shifting the ball to his favoured right foot, his well struck curler from outside the box flashed just over the bar.

Ilford were rampant and in dominant form with more goals seeming to be on the horizon. Bari barely troubled them, except for a header in the 31st minute, which Chris Clark gathered with ease.

And in the 33rd minute the away net was nestling again. After a good strong run from down the right, Luke Thomas delivered a dangerous low cross into the penalty area and Ramsey finished well to make it 4-0.

With half time approaching, Ilford were comfortable and pretty much in cruise control, but a fifth goal occured in the 37th minute.

Mytanda made a good run down the left before going past a Bari defender and delivering a telling cross which Strizovic flapped at, allowing Ramsey to add another goal to his name, tapping the ball home.

Just on stroke of half-time an outplayed Bari created by far their best chance of the game with Joel Appiah connecting with a low cross into the area and shooting narrowly past the upright with the outside of his boot.

In the second half, the visitors managed to weather the storm of the first half and get a foothold in the match. Ilford were more subdued and evidently took their foot of the gas.

And in the 56th minute, Bari’s Appiah received the ball just inside the penalty area and sent a dangerous left footed curling effort just past the left post with Clark sprawling.

A few seconds later the Foxes defence was breached again and a misjudged header put Richmond Ayoola through with only Clark to beat, but his low effort was pushed out for a corner by the Ilford custodian.

The home side brought on Edas Valionis and Ajay Ashnike as they sought to freshen up and revive their waning second half performance.

With plenty of time still left in the match, Bari were growing in confidence. Truth be told, it would be a colossal task for them to get something out of the game considering the goal margin, but they were not going to give up without a fight.

And they found the net when a mix up between the Ilford defence and goalkeeper Chris Clark resulted in a failure to clear their lines, allowing Hassan Nalbant to steal in for a tap in to make it 5-1.

The Foxes responded by winning a free kick in good position, 25-yards-out, but Ramsey sent his shot straight into the Bari wall.

With just over 10 minutes to go, Ilford stretched their lead when substitute Ashnike made a good run towards goal after a low pass from Mtyanda.

Bari goalkeeper Strizvovic came out of his goal to prevent Ashnike from getting a touch, but failed to gather and the ball squeezed under his body and bobbled into the net to give Mytanda his hat-trick in bizarre circumstances and Ilford’s sixth goal.

With the final result of the match in little doubt, the Foxes became complacent and began to lose concentration at the back.

Four minutes from time, Appiah, by far Bari’s most dangerous player, was put through on goal after a defence splitting pass from midfield, but Ilford’s Valionis was equal to him and made a well timed sliding tackle to block an attempted shot on goal.

Warning signs of a potential goal from the away side were being signalled, but the Foxes paid little attention and paid the price in the 88th minute.

Ayoola produced a fine volley from inside the penalty box after Ilford had failed to clear their lines.

The match ended with the hosts winning 6-2. Although the second half performance wasn’t at the same level for the first half, the Foxes will be delighted with the win which sees them move up to 10th in the league table, meanwhile Bari are 16th.

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