Ryman Div One North
Ilford 2 v 2 Tilbury
Tilbury and Ilford shared the points in a game that had many key moments. Paul Vaughan made two changes from the 2-1 victory over Harlow Town in midweek.
Tilbury almost took the lead on three minutes when Tilbury were awarded a free kick. From 20 yards Jack West struck the bar. Tilbury had a succession of corners causing problems for the home defence.
Ilford took the lead on 14 when a long free kick from just inside the Tilbury half, found its way to Steve Opoka who headed home unmarked. Opoka was again in the action when he shot on goal and Paul King had to block on the line. Ilford’s David Banjo shot just wide on the half hour mark.
Chances continued in an entertaining game, played in extremely hot conditions. On 33 minutes Tom Webb played in Jack West, who shot just wide. Within seconds Tilbury’s best chance fell to Emiel Aiken who headed over from six yards after good work by Tom Wraight.
Rob Budd in the home goal also had to scoop out a cross following a bad bounce.
Still before half time, chances came and went. On 45 minutes, Sam Adejokun was through and James Marrable saved well. Two minutes into added time in the first half, Jake Fry’s long throw was met by Jack West to score.
Fry again caused problems early in the second half with his very long throws, but the home defence coped well.
On 75, the first controversial moment of the game. Ilford had the ball out on the left and Smith crossed and the referee adjudged that the ball struck the hand of Jake Fry two yards outside of the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Despite protests by players and supporters, Steve Opoka scored from the spot.
Within three minutes, Tilbury were again back on level terms. A corner from the right, seem to strike the arm of a home defender and the referee did not hesitate to level the penalty count. Jack West scored low to Budd’s right hand post.
Ilford substitute Stuart Houghton should have taken the points when we was through and Marrable made a last ditch save. In the 89th minute substitute Sam West blazed over. With the game going in to 4th minute of injury time, Tilbury were denied a clear penalty for handball, when the home defender almost caught the ball.
In the fifth minute of added time, it looked like Tilbury had taken all the points when Jack West rifled home in to the net. Despite the celebrations, the assistant referee was flagging for offside, as he adjudged the ball had come off another Tilbury forward. This upset the visitors and Mbiyeye Medine expressed his disappointment and was sent off for his comments.
At the final whistle both sets of players and supporters expressed there view to the poor performance by the match officials.
The Dockers will need to pick themselves up from this disappointment when they travel to local rivals Grays Athletic on Wednesday night 7.45pm kick off.
Marrable, Mead, Barnes, King (S West 84), Good, Fry, Aiken, Medine, J West, Webb (Taylor 68), Wraight (Matthews 60)
Subs not used:- Bansende and Leatherbarrow