Wasteful Ilford edged out by Bowers

PUBLISHED: 08:52 25 March 2016 | UPDATED: 08:52 25 March 2016

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

Essex Senior League: Bowers 1 Ilford 0

Ilford were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal as they slipped to a slender defeat against FA Vase semi-finalist Bowers last night.

Allan Fenn’s Foxes had their chances to take something from the game at the Len Salmon Stadium, but were left fuming after seeing a goal ruled out by the officials.

The visitors arrived on the back of a 4-2 win at Eton Manor, when they had come from two goals down to take the points.

But the home side had the better of the opening exchanges, without seriously threatening Chris Clark’s goal.

Ilford had the first chance of note as Ryan Francis did well on the left and crossed for Wale Odedoyin, whose shot flew just wide.

And Fenn’s men went close again when the same duo combined as Francis centred from the left and Odedoyin’s header was spilled by Bowers keeper Martin Guest, who recovered in time to smother the loose ball.

Bowers got a glimpse soon after, but Lewis Manor could not control the ball in the box and Ilford countered quickly only to see Francis fail to convert a difficult chance at the far post.

The hosts saw a shot deflected over from a corner, before Alfie Hilton’s deep cross just eluded Manor, but they had a let-off when Ilford just failed to force the ball home during a goalmouth scramble.

Clark denied Ross Adams with a fine close-range save, with the ball hitting the underside of the crossbar, before Odedoyin was denied by Scott Pether’s timely intervention at the other end.

Play continued to swing from end to end and Guest then raced from his goal to tackle Sam Sharan and Odedoyin, before Manor dragged a shot beyond the far post and Luke Wilson curled an effort just over as the first half ended goalless.

The chances kept on coming after the restart, with Guest denying Ilford with a fine save before the visitors forced the ball home only to see a linesman rule it out for offside.

Fenn later tweeted: “Terrible decision not to give the goal. Officials are not the only ones who let themselves down tonight.”

And Bowers went close to rubbing salt into the wound when Vinny Durrant’s 25-yard drive hit a post.

Ilford had a great chance to break the deadlock, though, when another raid on the left ended with the ball finding an unmarked Odedoyin, but his weak effort missed the target.

And the visitors were punished this time as Durrant crossed for Manor to fire home the only goal of the game at the far post.

Odedoyin put another effort wide of Guest’s goal, before the Bowers keeper pushed a late free-kick behind at his near post to preserve his clean sheet and seal the points.

Sixth-placed Ilford will look to bounce back when they host Greenhouse at Cricklefield on Saturday, before a return meeting with Bowers next Wednesday.

Ilford: Clark, Valionis, Paulius, Atutis, Ashnike, Skeggs, Thomas, Clayton, Odedoyin, Sharan, Francis. Subs: Mullins, McLeavy, Warwick, Da Mata, Brons Smith.

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