Mfula gives Ilford a precious point

PUBLISHED: 13:24 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 13:35 28 March 2013

Ilford manager Kevin Lucas (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Ilford manager Kevin Lucas (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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

Ryman Div 1N: Ilford 3 Ware 3

Substitute Warren Mfula’s injury time strike secured 10-men Ilford a vital point against Ware in their fight for survival and boss Kevin Lucas believes it stands them in good stead for Saturday’s clash with Waltham Forest.

Ilford held a 2-0 lead after six minutes thanks to a Kai Birchard double but were pegged back when Ricci Crace struck after 20 minutes.

The visitors were level a minute after the break through Elliot King but Kai Birhcard then saw red for a two-footed tackled on Jon Stevenson.

Ironically, Lucas was just about to substitute Birchard before the incident and Ilford were firmly on the back foot.

King put Ware in front in the 63rd minute but the introduction of Mfula and a change in formation to 3-4-2 helped as the former Clapton striker netted deep into stoppage time.

“After going 2-0 up the forwards weren’t holding the ball up and Kai had an altercation with another player so that made my mind up to take him off,” said Lucas.

“But we had just got the sub boards ready and he makes that tackle which is unfortunate.

“It is a great point though and we can now take a bit of confidence from that. Being 3-2 down was difficult to take but we had to change it about a bit and it worked.”

Ilford now take on Waltham Forest on Saturday, and Lucas is confident the Foxes can outwit their Cricklefield tenants.

“That point gives everyone confidence but most importantly the player. It shows they can produce when it matters. A couple of weeks ago we would have buckled and lost 5-2 but the boys dug in and got their reward.”

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