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Ilford look to continue winning habit

PUBLISHED: 13:44 21 November 2013 | UPDATED: 13:44 21 November 2013

Ilford FC manager Martin Haywood - Clapton vs Ilford - Essex Senior League Football at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Upton Park, London - 01/10/13 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - 0845 094 6026 - contact@tgsphoto.co.uk - NO UNPAID USE

Ilford FC manager Martin Haywood - Clapton vs Ilford - Essex Senior League Football at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Upton Park, London - 01/10/13 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - 0845 094 6026 - contact@tgsphoto.co.uk - NO UNPAID USE

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Alfie Hilton enjoyed a brilliant debut as Ilford defeated London Bari, but Ilford manager Martin Haywood will be without the midfielder for the trip to Sporting Bengal United this weekend.

Work commitments mean he will miss the game, but Haywood is hopeful they pick up where they left off in the 2-0 win against Bari, who are bottom of the Essex Senior League.

The boss said: “You couldn’t ask for much more from a debut, but I never had any doubts Alfie would deliver.

“He was a bit surprised he came straight into the team, but he’s a very talented player.

“It’s a blow he won’t be available for Saturday, but in this league you get used to players having other commitments. That’s why you need a decent-sized squad and hope most of the players will be available all the time.

“I can’t moan about the performance. All round it was brilliant and I’m hoping for more of the same.”

Captain Marc Greaves, also a doubt for the Sporting Bengal clash, gave
Ilford the lead at Cricklefield Stadium when he converted a pass from Hilton.

The Blues had two goals disallowed for offside, but Hilton, signed from Bowers and Pitsea last week, doubled the lead with 20 minutes remaining, smashing a brilliant shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the area.

Jason Dodds crashed a shot against the bar, but the home side held on comfortably.

Victory saw Ilford jump into the top half of the Essex Senior League table, but Haywood is expecting a tough game against Sporting Bengal, who are below them in 15th.

He said: “We know what they’re all about and it will be difficult.

“They’ve had some good results this season, but they’ll want to bounce back from losing 8-5 to Basildon at the weekend.

“We’re confident though. We’ve tried a new formation and the players are getting used to how we play. Other than Marc and Alfie we’ll look to keep a similar team for Saturday.”

Another three points could lift the Blues as high as seventh, although they have played several more games than some of their rivals.


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