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Smith pleased as success for Ilford at Canvey keeps club on track to surpass targets

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 March 2019

Action from Ilford Wanderers' win at Canvey Island in London Three Essex (pic: Graham Rowe)

Action from Ilford Wanderers' win at Canvey Island in London Three Essex (pic: Graham Rowe)

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Wanderers collected a 24-15 victory away from home on Saturday

Chris Smith is pleased Ilford Wanderers remain on course to beat their pre-season aim following a 24-15 success at Canvey Island in London Three Essex.

Wanderers were keen to reverse the surprise loss at home to Canvey earlier in the season and travelled to the Essex coast full of confidence after beating promotion hopefuls Chelmsford two weeks ago.

Canvey kicked off with a chill wind behind them and were the first to score with an early penalty, but Ilford soon took the lead.

Attacking Canvey’s corner, scrum-half Morgan Brown attacked the blindside and a pass to wing Jay Fagin saw him round the defence to score.

It didn’t take the home side long to fight back with a well-taken try to give them a 10-7 lead.

Despite trailing, Ilford were keen to push for a bonus-point win and the next score came from an overthrow at a line out.

Fortunately for Wanderers, Canvey were slow to react and fly-half Alfie Waddems was first to the ball to score.

Ilford were then reduced to 14 men after a player was sent to the sin bin, but still held their 14-10 advantage at the interval.

Wanderers were back on the attack in the second half, kicking a penalty to the corner for a trademark catch-and-drive for Jason Taylor to score, but Canvey soon responded with the score 19-15.

Ilford were in sight of victory, but needed to contain a spirited Canvey side and with a second yellow card, their fourth try came after intense pressure forced Canvey into giving away several penalties, one of which Taylor took quickly to crash over.

Director of rugby Smith said: “That wasn’t a pretty game, but sometimes you just have to win ugly.

“With two yellows and poor discipline, we made it hard for ourselves, but we now have a good chance of beating our mid-table target.”

Skipper Taylor added: “Canvey is always a tough place to go to for a result and even harder when we dont play well, but we’ll always be happy to leave Canvey with a bonus point.”

Ilford face Old Cooperians on Saturday in what will be their final home game of the season.

And Wanderers will be keen to sign off from their Forest Road home with what would be a third straight win.

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