FA Vase: Ilford manager Allan Fenn pleased that Foxes supply a late birthday present by beating Harpenden Town

PUBLISHED: 14:00 12 September 2016

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

Foxes boss praises character of side after come-from-behind win at Harps

Ilford manager Allan Fenn was more than happy to receive a late birthday present as the Foxes beat Harpenden Town 3-1 in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase on Saturday.

Fenn celebrated his birthday on Friday, but saw his team fall behind to their Spartan South Midlands League hosts the following day at Rothamsted Park.

Ilford drew level through Chris Lockwood to take the game to extra time, when further goals followed from Sipho Mtyanda and Dan Jones to seal the Foxes’ progress to the next round.

The win means the Cricklefield Stadium club recieve £600 in prize money, and Fenn was pleased to succeed, especially after some questionable refereeing.

“I was gobsmacked with a few of the decisions that went against us, but it was great that the boys kept going,” he said.

“All three of our substitutes in Elias Armar Tackie, Chris Lockwood and Joe Killingback all made a big impact when they came on.

“We were physically stronger throughout, but our final ball just was not there at times.

“After getting the equaliser, we felt confident that we could go on and get the win, and we were happy at the end in difficult conditions.”

Indeed, all three substitutes made their mark against the Harps, with Lockwood scoring while Armar Tackie won Ilford a penalty.

And Fenn was happy the changes worked out as planned, noting that the Foxes have been able to improve their bench compared to recent campaigns.

“Last week, Ryan Barker-Francis played the full 90 minutes, but didn’t even make the bench for the game against Harpenden, which shows we have a strong squad,” he added.

“In recent season, we haven’t been as good off the bench as we would like to have been, but not the strength is there.

“The lads all realise it is a team game and it was a great reaction from all three who came on.

“Chris settled us down and Elias won us a penalty, so it was good to see because all three had the right attitude.”

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