Ilford coach Peek expecting a tough Friday night derby test against Woodford rivals

PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 November 2019

Jerold Cobblah of Ilford goes close during Ilford vs Harwich & Parkeston, Emirates FA Cup Football at Cricklefields Stadium on 10th August 2019

Jerold Cobblah of Ilford goes close during Ilford vs Harwich & Parkeston, Emirates FA Cup Football at Cricklefields Stadium on 10th August 2019

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Local rivals Ilford and Woodford Town go head-to-head under the lights in an Essex Senior League derby on Friday (7.45pm).

The Foxes will travel to the Woods' temporary Harlow Arena home as they look to build on a strong start to life under a new management team of Jonny Fowell, Adam Peek and Darren Gosling.

And first-team coach Peek expects a tough test against a strong, young Woods outfit before they head into a two-week break from matches.

"We know what we get from Woodford. They're a young, quick, good footballing side," Peek said.

"They're very good at home on the 3G surface, we know that, but we've got to focus on what we need to improve on.

"We're going to make some changes, we've got one or two back available, and we anticipate it to be a good game.

"We've asked the boys for a reaction as after Friday we go into a two-week break where we don't have any games.

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"A win on Friday pushes us closer to the top 10 and hopefully that gives us an opportunity to push on in training over the two weeks."

Ilford head into the clash on the back of a 2-1 victory over West Essex last weekend while Woodford Town had their fixture against Cockfosters postponed.

The Foxes found themselves 2-0 down at Sawbridgeworth Town on Tuesday but the match was abandoned due to an issue with the floodlights at Crofters End.

Former Southend Manor manager Peek was pleased with Saturday's result, but disappointed with the Ilford performance against the Robins in midweek.

"West Essex are organised and they've been together for a few years - they're a very stable squad," he added.

"We were very poor in the first half and they were much the better side. In the second half we made some changes to the shape and we dominated, and deserved to get the win in the end."

As for the unfinished match at Sawbridgeworth he said: "The fact is we weren't good enough, we had a few players missing, and I think we probably underestimated them a little bit by looking at them.

"They were up for it and worked harder than us. We had the better of the chances, but at the end of the day if the result stood we couldn't have grumbled."

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