Hall double helps Ilford see off Greenhouse
PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 April 2016
Essex Senior League: Greenhouse Sports 1 Ilford 3
Joe Hall’s first half brace helped Ilford earn a third consecutive win in the Essex Senior League last night.
The Foxes forward scored twice inside the opening 20 minutes against Greenhouse Sports to put Allan Fenn’s men in control at Coles Park.
Although the hosts pulled one back late on, Carl Mullings secured the points when he found the net deep into stoppage time.
The Foxes could have taken the lead after just five minutes when Karolis Atutis played Hall through on goal. He could have squared to strike partner Mullings, but went alone and couldn’t beat the Greenhouse goalkeeper Bruno Carvalho.
Five minutes later and Hall was presented with another great opportunity when Mullings scuffed a shot across the penalty area, but the Ilford number 10 fired over the crossbar.
It was a case of third time lucky, though, as a minute later the visitors took a deserved lead following some great work by captain Luke Thomas.
Thomas raced down the right and crossed in for Mullings and although his effort was saved, Hall was on hand to tap into the empty net.
But Fenn’s men weren’t satisfied with that and after the north Londoners failed to clear their lines following a free kick, Thomas fired over from inside the area.
With 19 minutes played, another chance was created when Atutis tried to pick out Hall. The away forward caused a nuisance and the ball rolled for Mullings, but he lashed wide of the target.
Less than 60 seconds later and the Foxes were attacking the Greenhouse goal again and handed the perfect chance to double their lead.
Mullings raced into the box and was blatantly pushed to the ground by Garrett Kelly leaving the referee with an easy decision to point to the spot.
Hall stepped up and sent the home custodian the wrong way to double Ilford’s lead with 20 minutes gone at Coles Park.
Again the away side weren’t finished there as they pushed to get a third, but failed to hit the target when put in good positions.
Greenhouse slowly began to get a foothold in the match past the half an hour mark and were trying to knock the ball around nicely.
But Ilford were defending brilliantly and the closest the hosts went to scoring in the first 45 was when Lefter Antzaras fired a free kick into the wall.
Fenn’s men come in at half time two goals to the good and halfway to extending their grip on fifth position. The north Londoners began the second period brightly with Abdeldjalil Serrar testing Chris Clark with a free kick in the 47th minute.
Four minutes later and Greenhouse won another free kick with Antzaras sending this effort just wide of the Foxes goal, but Ilford looked threatening every time they come forward.
Mullings did well to out muscle his opponent before firing straight at the home goalkeeper. Shortly afterwards Greenhouse responded with Rafael Simoni smashing a strike just wide from 25-yards.
It was end-to-end now and Foxes nearly made it three when Mullings volleyed against the crossbar from eight-yards. The hosts were well in the game now.
Suddenly it had turned into an even contest with Antzaras furious in the 55th minute when he wasn’t awarded a penalty. It didn’t knock the confidence of the home side as Simoni had another shot from outside the box, but it remained 2-0.
Fenn’s men appeared to have weathered the storm by the hour mark and Chris Stevens and Glen Warwick were introduced with 22 minutes remaining with Atutis and two-goal hero Hall the duo to make way as Ilford looked to see out the game at Coles Park.
Captain Thomas embarked on a mazy run in the 72nd minute, but his cross was deflected behind for a corner and it come to nothing. The Foxes slowly began to grow into the encounter again as Mullings tried his luck with an overhead kick, but it sailed wide.
Just as the match appeared to be petering out, the north Londoners pulled one back with 11 minutes remaining. Ashley Skeggs slide in and missed his challenge, the ball deflected off an Ilford player before Serrar picked it up.
Greenhouse’s number 10 cut inside, made some space and fired past Clark and into the top corner. Foxes were furious, though, as the linesman had given a foul throw in the build-up to the goal, but the referee overruled him.
It was all the hosts now and eight minutes from time Hamza Sadouk should have levelled, but headed straight at Clark. Fenn was desperate to make a substitution at this point.
Julio Da Mata was waiting to come on and even though the linesman signalled, the referee again ignored it. Eventually, with six minutes left, the sub was made and Barker-Francis was the man to make way.
Again the away side looked a danger on the break and Mullings fired wide before Greenhouse created one final chance, but Simoni poked wide.
Ilford were to have the final say on proceedings, though, as Mullings made the most of an error at the back and slotted past substitute goalkeeper Montel Brandon Power to make it 3-1 in the fourth minute of stoppage.
Overall it was fully deserved for the Foxes who ran riot in the first half and could have scored more than just twice. Although Greenhouse fought back well, Fenn’s men defended well and move onto 68 points with just two more matches remaining this season.
Ilford: Clark, Valionis, Nkosi, Skeggs, Paliulis, Thomas, Clayton, Atutis (Stevens 68), Barker-Francis (Da Mata 84)), Mullings, Hall (Warwick 68).
Unused substitutes: Ashnike, Jones.
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