Ilford 0-1 Basildon United
By Richard Barrett
Bees take the points in hard fought win
Basildon United finally returned to action on a bitterly cold evening at Cricklefield, following the postponement of the previous two fixtures against Hullbridge Sports and Southend Manor.
The Bees included former Ilford striker James Peagram in the starting eleven, whilst other new signing, Jordan Cox, started the game on the bench.
In the even early exchanges, Charlie Kendall fired wide for the visitors, but Ilford also went close with half of the first period elapsed as Tony Cooke drilled wide of the upright.
However, as the half progressed, Basildon began to enjoy greater possession and the better chances, none more so than when Marcus Bowers saw his effort cannon back off of the post on 31 minutes.
It was Bowers who again went close shortly before the interval when he nodded on Joe Skeels’ free kick, but Chris Clark in the Ilford goal was alert to tip the ball over.
And so it was goalless at the break, but the stalemate did not last long after the restart.
On 48 minutes, Marcus Bowers launched one of his trademark long throws deep into the Ilford box and the ball evaded everyone except James Peagram, who nodded home at the far post against his former club.
It could have been two on the hour, as Kendall broke clear, but he could only fire over the bar when well placed.
Of course, the game is never over at 1-0 and The Bees had to be grateful to Connor Wheatley as the visiting custodian did well to save Cooke’s well struck shot with three minutes remaining.
There was still time for Tommy Barton to force another good save from Clark, but the one goal proved to be sufficient as Basildon completed the win to keep up the pressure on the leaders in the Essex Senior League.