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Ilford stung by last-minute Bees strike

PUBLISHED: 22:08 16 April 2016 | UPDATED: 22:08 16 April 2016

Ilford were pipped by Essex Senior League leaders Basildon at Cricklefield Stadium (pic: Pete Dudley)

Ilford were pipped by Essex Senior League leaders Basildon at Cricklefield Stadium (pic: Pete Dudley)

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Essex Senior League: Ilford 2 Basildon United 3

Late goals from Lindisipho Mtyanda and Callum Leahy helped Essex Senior League leaders Basildon beat Ilford in a topsy-turvy match at Cricklefield Stadium.

It was the away side who started the brighter and they took the lead in the opening 10 minutes through striker Shabab Barnwell.

Mtyanda, who impressed throughout the whole match, ran down the left wing and crossed for Barnwell who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.

It was a deserved lead for the visitors, who worked well with and without the ball, but they were pegged back in the 21st minute by an Ilford equaliser from Glen Warwick.

A free kick from the left was swung in by Justas Paliulis and Warwick smashed in from close range after a defensive mix-up in the Basildon penalty area.

The goal gave Ilford more confidence, but it was Basildon who had the next chance in the 27th minute as Leahy shot from 12 yards only to see his effort tipped wide of the left hand corner by Ilford keeper Chris Clark.

That would be the last real effort on goal in the first half, but Basildon came out the stronger in the second half and striker Barnwell had two great chances to put them ahead.

First he was denied by Clark after being put through by midfielder Ben Sartrain, then seconds later as Barnwell was about to strike, Ilford centre-back Isaac Nkosi got in the way and the hosts were handed a lifeline.

The Foxes then had a great chance of their own as a long goal kick fell to forward Carl Mullings but he skied over with only Basildon keeper Bobby Mason to beat.

This chance would not be at any cost for the home side though, as they took the lead two minutes later when Warwick grabbed his second goal of the match.

A long throw-in from Edas Valionis caused confusion in the Basildon area and the ball broke to Nkosi whose effort was saved by Mason, before the rebound fell nicely to Warwick who tapped into an empty net.

Ilford then calmed the game down and kept possession well until the 80th minute when star man Mtyanda equalised for the away side.

As Basildon striker Bradley Warner ran down the left side of Ilford’s box, the impressive Nkosi pulled up with what looked a hamstring injury. This allowed Warner to get his cross in which was cleared by Warwick only to fall to Mtyanda who struck a sweet half volley into the bottom left hand corner.

It was a great goal by the winger and gave Basildon the motivation to grab a third late on.

As the game approached the 90th minute, Basildon captain Jordan Williams played a ball over the Ilford defence and found midfielder Leahy, who looked up and spotted Clark off his line, lobbing an audacious 20-yard effort into the net.

The goal sparked wild celebrations among the Basildon players, who celebrated with a visiting fan who had run onto the pitch.

Fifth-placed Ilford complete their campaign with a trip to Burnham next weekend and boss Allan Fenn tweeted: “Naive defending & missed chances cost us. Good luck to Basildon for their remaining 2 games #Foxes.

“Good atmosphere and great banter. Exactly what non leagues about.”

Ilford: Clark, Valionis, Paliulis, Warwick, Nkosi, Skeggs, Thomas, Clayton, Mullings, Stevens, Jones. Unused subs: Hall, Hata, Lockwood, Barker-Francis, Ramsey.


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