Ilford 2 Welwyn Garden City 7

Updated: July 27, 2017

So my eighth and final pre season match saw me over at Cricklefield in Seven Kings as Ilford hosted Welwyn Garden City

Hosts Ilford have had a unique pre season, having played half of it not knowing if they would be competing in the ESL after they were voted out originally over unpaid fees and fines, however their appeal was upheld and were duly reinstated into the league.

They were up against Welwyn Garden City in their final pre season outing before the league begins at the weekend and although they are also a step five side, they play in the Spartan South Midlands Premier, which is arguably a better standard than the ESL, so Ilford knew this would be a tough test.

Kick off was delayed by fifteen minutes or so after the late arrival of Welwyn Garden City’s kit, after the kit man had got stuck/lost on his way to the ground!!!

Once the game kicked off though the opening ten minutes certainly suggested this would be tough for Ilford as the visitors saw more of the ball and also saw an effort glance of the bar.

The following ten minutes saw the hosts grow into the contest and had a few forays into the visitors area however the game remained goal less but the following period of play saw Welwyn go close on a couple of occasions as they looked to hit the front in this match.

However five minutes before half time the hosts netted the opener as moments after James Peagram had forced a decent save from the visitors keeper, the resultant corner saw the hosts nod home at the near post.

The Foxes were finishing the half strongly and almost made it two however a minute before the break gave away a free kick right on the edge of the box, and from this the visitors levelled, drilling the free kick into the bottom corner.

It meant the half ended all square, a half that saw the visitors create the better openings but also a half played with a great tempo and very competitive too. The second half was expected to be similar however we were to be very wrong indeed.

Three minutes after the restart the visitors took the lead with a close range header and then barely a minute later made it three when a cross was headed home, and then moments after so nearly made it four as a shell shocked Ilford didn’t know where to look.

Welwyn continued to dominate and run their opponents ragged and just past the hour mark made it four as their Number Nine grabbed a sixteen minute treble by brilliantly rifling home after teeing the ball up for himself for a super strike.

And just a couple of minutes afterwards the rampant visitors made it five when a cross into the dangerzone was powerfully side footed home. The Foxes were being well and truly destroyed here.

With just over twenty minutes remaining a totally dominant visitors grabbed a sixth, this after missing two decent chances, by sending a looping header over a stranded keeper, and moments later this more than competitive friendly became less than friendly after a flare up in the middle of the park between both sets of players, as I said their was certainly nothing friendly about this.

A period of relative calm followed until Welwyn added a seventh with eight minutes remaining as a ball across goal was bundled in by a defender trying to clear the cross, summing up Ilfords evening.

The hosts did manage to grab a second goal with four minutes left, rounding the keeper before slotting across goal into the far corner, however the Foxes had been well and truly beaten in this one and leaves manager Allan Fenn with plenty to ponder ahead of their opening league game at Woodford Town 2017 on Saturday.

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