Ilford boss Peek urges local support for FA Vase clash

Larry Akanbi of Ilford holds off the challenge during Ilford vs Woodford Town, Essex Senior League Football at Cricklefields ...

Larry Akanbi of Ilford holds off the challenge during Ilford vs Woodford Town, Essex Senior League Football at Cricklefields Stadium on 24th October 2020 - Credit: Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo

Ilford manager Adam Peek is urging local football fans to come and support the historic club as they bid to battle through an uncertain period with the latest restrictions.

Dmitri Christov in action for Ilford during Ilford vs Woodford Town, Essex Senior League Football at Cricklefields Stadium on...

Dmitri Christov in action for Ilford during Ilford vs Woodford Town, Essex Senior League Football at Cricklefields Stadium on 24th October 2020 - Credit: Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo

The latest guidelines could prevent football clubs in tier 2 like the Foxes from serving food and drink at Cricklefield Stadium but it remains unclear ahead of their return to action.

They return with an FA Vase clash against Colney Heath on Saturday after the month long break due to the national lockdown.

The winner of the second round tie will bag themselves £900 in prize money while the losers will still walk away with £275 for their efforts in the cup competition.

“We want locals to come down, we’d be grateful for their support, we need the help we’ve been around since the 1800s and hopefully we can get some people over to get us through this period,” Peek said.

Action from the local derby at Cricklefields during Ilford vs Woodford Town, Essex Senior League Football at Cricklefields St...

Action from the local derby at Cricklefields during Ilford vs Woodford Town, Essex Senior League Football at Cricklefields Stadium on 24th October 2020 - Credit: Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo


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“It’s a difficult one, as although we believe we can serve food and drink, we’ve been told that it might not be the case now.

“It becomes very difficult if we can’t. In the Vase you have to pay the oppositions expenses, and obviously if we win that’s ok but if we don’t it’s a financial hit.

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“On a football front, the lads are delighted to be back, we all are but we’re having to see what sort of an impact it will have on the club financially.

“Unless you’re going to get a bumper crowd, obviously then you’d be ok, but what people don’t realise is if you’re not serving food or drink people will not come as they’ve got to be at the ground at 2.30 until about 5.30 and not have a cup of tea, drink or a bit of food.

“It also damages the experience of the game, at the moment the guidelines are very murky, so it’s difficult to know what we can do.

“We’ve just got to get on with it, if we don’t play it then we get knocked out of the Vase, and that’s not what we want.”

He added: “I’ve got both hats on, my football hat and my chairman one,” he chuckled. “It’s tough, we would have ideally liked a league game before the Vase but it is what it is.

“Colney Heath would have won their league last season if Covid had not stopped games, they haven’t lost this year yet.

“They’re not going to be as sharp, neither are we, so I wouldn’t like to be predicting it but I know we have been given one of the toughest draws we could have got so we’re definitely the underdogs.”

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