Ilford boss admits Bowers fully deserved cup victory
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Cricklefield manager discusses Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy exit, focusing on the league and the Essex Senior Cup draw
Ilford manager Allan Fenn paid tribute to Essex Senior League rivals Bowers & Pitsea after they knocked his side out of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy yesterday evening.
The league leaders were too good for a much changed Foxes team at the Len Salmon Stadium and ran out 4-1 winners in the second round tie.
Harry Matthews scored for the Cricklefield outfit before the break to make it 1-1 at half time, but they conceded three times after the interval to exit the competition.
Fenn said: “It was a totally deserved win for Bowers, I am quick to defend my team and criticise others, but on this occasion Bowers outplayed us.
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“We made changes and it didn’t work out. We were unorganised in the first 20 minutes, conceded once and could have done so again. We scored just before half time and we were a bit fortunate to be level at that stage.
“The linesman has made an unbelievable decision for the second then the goalkeeper made a mistake for the third and our heads dropped after that. For me that was the biggest disappointment.
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“I gave people an opportunity to impress and stake a claim for a shirt, but the players that come in last night didn’t do anything to make me want to select them for this weekend so it has made my life a little bit easier.”
Fenn made various changes to the team that beat Woodbridge Town in the FA Vase on Saturday with the Foxes boss conceding he needed to rest players who were suffering with injuries.
The Essex Senior League remains his priority, but he expressed his sadness at having to use squad players for the match against Bowers.
“With the greatest respect to the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy, and I mean that because I have won it before, we had to look towards the league on Saturday,” added Fenn.
“We have done well overall, we had a good run in the FA Cup except for the one match we lost, but we are still in the Vase and the Essex Senior Cup which are the bigger competitions.
“We haven’t got the strength in depth like some teams so we need to pick and choose when we play our strongest side and that dictated my selection in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy.”
Ilford will find out who they face in the third round of the Essex Senior Cup this evening and Fenn will be involved at 5.30pm.
He added: “I am doing the draw. I will be in the BBC Essex Radio studio so I am looking forward to that, it will be something different and I can talk about Ilford.
“I would love Colchester or Southend at home or Dagenham & Redbridge. Any of those three would be nice. For the club the finances are so important so we want to face a big team.”