Ilford re-sign Gabriel in bid to avoid drop

PUBLISHED: 16:24 24 November 2011

Colin Walton

Colin Walton


Ilford slip again but Walton hoping Gabriel finds shooting boots

»Ilford boss Colin Walton insisted there was cause for optimism following the 1-0 defeat at Thamesmead – despite his side failing to get the better of 10 men for the second weekend running.

Lea Dawson’s glancing near-post header in the second half proved enough to earn Thamesmead the points on Saturday even though they incurred a red card with 15 minutes remaining.

Ilford had missed a chance to move off the bottom of the Ryman Division One North table the previous weekend when they allowed 10-man Cheshunt to salvage a 2-2 draw at the death.

But their manager believes their latest performance provides signs of hope.

Walton said: “We played quite well and I’m always optimistic about our chances of turning things around.

“We were unlucky again because this was our ninth single-goal defeat in the league this season. But we didn’t take advantage when Thamesmead went down to 10 men because we didn’t keep the ball well enough.

“We were in too much of a hurry to get the ball forward and so we kept giving it away, conceding too many silly free-kicks and allowing the other side to run down the clock.”

The game saw the return of former Waltham Forest and Bethnal Green striker Danny Gabriel, who re-signed for the club last week.

And Walton believes he is just what his side needs at the moment. He said: “Danny was with us last season and did really well playing for us in midfield.

“He’s been scoring goals for Bethnal Green and the most important thing from my point of view is that he brings experience to the side. He leads by example in every respect.”

Top scorer Stephen Opoka missed the Thamesmead defeat with a knee injury and the manager hopes the striker and a number of absent players will be back by the time Ilford return to action at Harlow on December 3.

Walton said: “I’m pleased we don’t have a game this weekend because it will give us time for the walking wounded to recover.

“It will also give me to time to look at a few players because I do need to bring in more experience if I can.”

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