Essex Senior League: Ilford boss Allan Fenn wants to win historic local derby with Clapton
PUBLISHED: 14:30 02 November 2016
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Paul Clayton’s brace helped Foxes beat West Essex 2-0 on Saturday while the Tons defeated Takeley 1-0
Ilford manager Allan Fenn is excited about tonight’s Essex Senior League encounter with Clapton at Cricklefields.
The two old local rivals go head-to-head in good spirits after victories in the division at the weekend.
But a fiercely contested derby can be expected and Foxes boss wants to end his winless record against the Tons.
“The last couple of times we’ve played Clapton at home it has been a non-event, it was a goalless draw and a 1-0 defeat,” said Fenn.
“I’m sure it will be a good game tonight and they picked up a win on Saturday at Takeley. Our ex-striker Stefan Nielsen scored so I’m sure he’ll be hoping to do well against us.
“I haven’t beaten Clapton since I returned to Ilford two years ago so I’d like to change that. The last few times we’ve faced them we have been a bit unlucky.
“We know all about the history of this fixture and it is a big game for our supporters. We’ll have a decent crowd and we’re looking forward to.”
Ilford go into the match after a comprehensive 2-0 victory over West Essex at Cricklefields last weekend.
Ex-Romford captain Paul Clayton scored twice in the first half and Foxes cruised home in the second 45.
Fenn added: “I took a bit of a gamble on Saturday. Three players didn’t make training on Thursday for a variety of reasons.
“I was going to leave them all out, but I played them and Paul got two, Leon Rolle was man of the match and Connor Lane played his part in helping us get a clean sheet.
“We were solid throughout and Paul is an experienced player. He is so strong in the air and proved that again.”
And Ilford will be boosted even more tonight for the visit of Clapton with several players back to full fitness.
Former Foxes skipper Ajay Ashnike could return having moved back to Cricklefields recently after a switch to Aveley at the start of the season failed to work out.
“We’ve got Ajay, Dan Jones and Joe Killingback available so that’s a big boost for the squad,” said Fenn.
“I have 22 people to pick from and I’m taking 20 to the ground so four will be left out tonight.
“They will be doing some extra work anyway, but it shows you what we have to pick from and that’s a big positive.”
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