Ilford want to sting Bees title challenge
PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 April 2016
Allan Fenn pleased with progress of his players after earning three wins in a row recently
Ilford manager Allan Fenn cannot wait to have his say in the Essex Senior League title race.
The Foxes aren’t in the hunt to finish top of the table, but host second-placed Basildon United at Cricklefield Stadium on Saturday.
FC Romania, Basildon and Bowers & Pitsea are in a three-way fight to be crowned champions and Fenn is looking forward to playing a part.
His side play the penultimate fixture of their campaign this weekend and go into the clash in great form after beating Sporting Bengal United and Greenhouse on the road this week.
“It is three wins in a row, four out of five overall so we’re doing all right,” said Fenn. “We are heading in the right direction and have another two more games left.
“All of us are looking forward to Basildon and hopefully finishing the league campaign on a high. It gives clubs like us the opportunity to have a say in the title race because we’re not part of it.”
While Ilford aren’t able to finish at the top this season, they have beaten Basildon already this year, as well as Bowers. They have played Bowers five times in all competitions, losing three times, but winning twice.
And despite a 3-2 defeat at Basildon United in the League Cup on February 9, the Foxes had comfortably seen off the Bees 3-0 in a league meeting a week earlier.
Ilford will therefore have no fear on Saturday and will aim to end their home campaign on a high before a team-bonding session.
“We gave a really good account of ourselves when we won 3-0 at their place so we want the same kind of display,” added Fenn.
“The boys are certainly up for it, we’re looking forward to the game and we absolutely want to finish strongly at Cricklefield.
“We are all going to Romford dogs on Saturday as well, so I’m hoping the lads will send us off to that with a victory.”
Ilford had been without Wale Odedoyin this week and he will not play again this season due to the red card he received against Greenhouse on March 26.
But Fenn has been delighted with his players for stepping up and filling the void.
Luke Thomas scored the only goal of the game on Saturday to earn a 1-0 win at Bengal and Joe Hall scored twice in the first half on Monday, before Greenhouse reduced the arrears 11 minutes from time.
But Carl Mullings netted Ilford’s third deep into stoppage time to seal a 3-1 success at Coles Park. Fenn added: “We were missing chances again on Monday, but we are creating them, which is good and especially with no Wale.
“Normally he is on the end of them, but we have got a bit of experience up there in Mullings and Chris Stevens as well. Carl has had such a bad time in front of goal recently, but he has finally got one at Greenhouse so I’ve over the moon for him.”