Blues overcome the 10 men
Arlesey Town 2 Ilford 1 ARLESEY Town earned a win against 10-man bottom side Ilford by the odd goal in three. The Blues completed the double over the side from Essex although only the returning Owen Beale featured in that line-up at Ilford back in early N
Arlesey Town 2 Ilford 1
ARLESEY Town earned a win against 10-man bottom side Ilford by the odd goal in three.
The Blues completed the double over the side from Essex although only the returning Owen Beale featured in that line-up at Ilford back in early November.
On a hard surface and with a strong wind, the match rarely provided any constructive build-up and will be remembered for three spectacular goals.
The defining moment came in the 23rd minute when Ide Okojie was fouled when through on goal.
It was good and bad news for the visitors, as instead of awarding a penalty - the tackle was well inside the penalty area - the decision was a free-kick, but defender Simmons was red carded.
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Craig Reynolds struck the kick around the wall and into the net to add to his thunderbolt nine minutes earlier to put the home side two up.
Despite being reduced in numbers, Ilford put up a tremendous fight and but for James Dillnutt and Ryan Oliva being outstanding in defence, the visitors would not have returned empty handed.
The deficiency in numbers was hardly noticed as with the wind at their backs they pushed forward after the interval, but did not have the guile to add to their goal at the end of the first half.
The match came to life in the 16th minute when Reynolds picked up the ball on the left and made tracks to unleash a superb shot from 25 yards which left the Ilford keeper Marrable clutching at thin air.
Ilford nearly got back on level terms when Bly flung himself at a free-kick but failed to make contact from close range.
Nine minutes later came the red card incident and a second goal from Reynolds.
Arlesey should have added to their advantage when Leon Gutzmore and Shane Brown both failed to turn in a Reynolds cross to the far post.
In the 41st minute, Ilford reduced the arrears when full-back Stirling, up for a corner, hit a pinpoint shot that crept in at the far post with Jake Whincup beaten.
Ilford started the second half with a series of attacks that produced a string of corners, but they were finding that their long ball game did not suit the conditions and continually overhit their passes.
Bly and Olima headed chances over the bar, before the home side introduced Lee Tekell for Beale and Jamie Osborne for Martyn Young, and this freshened up their play.
Arlesey were comfortably holding the visitors at arm's length.
And when Tom Beech arrived late in the game, he created an excellent opportunity for Reynolds to complete his hat-trick which was missed.
Blues: Whincup, Waldron, Fowler, Oliva, Dillnutt, Beale, Okojie, Brown, Reynolds, Gutzmore, Young.
Subs: Nene, Beech, Tekell, Osborne, Howard.