Ilford fight back for fine point
PUBLISHED: 08:53 20 April 2014 | UPDATED: 08:53 20 April 2014
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Essex Senior League: Ilford 3 Southend Manor 3
Ilford mounted stunning comeback to earn a share of the Essex Senior League spoils in a very entertaining contest at Cricklefield Stadium.
But it did not look this way at all as Ilford made a really sluggish start to this game and left themselves with a mountain to climb.
Manor opened the scoring in the eighth minute when a corner was whipped into the middle and broke to Jonatian Adebayo who lashed the ball past Michael Greene.
Minutes later Manor were at it again and Nick Read picked up the ball on the right hand side and created himself some space and placed the ball into the far corner of the net.
Ilford keeper Greene appeared to have a clear line of sight and left home fans frustrated that he could not get across to save it – but his nightmares were not over yet.
Manor won a free kick to the left of the area and aimed it to the near post for Adebayo to flick past the keeper and make it 3-0.
Ilford, after some encouragement from their backroom staff, picked themselves up and Eden Nelson dived onto a nice cross only for it to go just over the bar.
The increased quality in the home side’s football paid off, though, when Nelson picked up the ball just inside the area and burst past a defender before belting the ball into the net for a glimmer of hope on 29 minutes.
Nelson looked really up for this game and was nearly in on goal again minutes later, but just took the ball too wide and the chance had gone.
Ilford had another sight of goal in the 40th minute as Nelson turned his marker and looked set to pull it back for 3-2, but he was superbly denied by Manor skipper Kye Jude.
The Foxes started the second half in the same fashion and this time got their reward when a cross from the left was headed towards goal by Luke Powell and went into the corner of the net.
Manor had another chance to extend their lead when Alex Salmon took the ball past two defenders outside the area and had space in the box.
But his shot was well saved by Greene and although the rebound was sent towards goal it was cleared off the line by Lewis Rix.
Ilford were not deterred, though, and the impressive Nelson laid the ball of to Macauley White who hit the post with a powerful effort from the edge of the box.
Manor then hit the woodwork when Salmon took a free kick from the edge of the area and clipped the outside of the post.
But Ilford could sense they had a third goal coming and a succession of corners led to a goalmouth scramble where they hit the post again.
It was all square, though, when Ilford produced an attack on the right and Powell picked up a perfect long ball and slid it across the box for substitute Aaron Harriot to tap in at the near post.
Harriot’s moment of glory was short lived, however, as he was sent off for a high challenge on the Manor goalkeeper to the fury of the home support.
The decision barely looked worthy of a booking and Harriot himself indicated that it was a soft foul, but was given his marching orders nonetheless to add a disappointing footnote to a six-goal thriller.
Ilford: Greene, Rix, Candy, Pattison, Brien, Powell, Macdonald (Dobbs 29), Sinclair, Nelson (Hoxhaj 78), Gardiner (Harriot 69), White.
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