Ilford held out for a 2-1 win as they beat Eastern Counties League Division One South side May & Bakers in Dagenham on Saturday.

The win for new manager Richard Ponsford was his second this pre-season, having beaten Oxhey Jets 5-2 in his first game in charge while May & Bakers lost for the first time this pre-season, with wins over Chadwell Heath Spartans and Basildon United previously.

Both sides looked to get forward early in the game, Ilford came forward in the 3rd minute, but a low cross ball was held by the keeper before the hosts broke down the other end, but their effort was held up by the defence. Bakers had a couple of minutes of possession, winning a free-kick in a decent position, but the resulting header was over.

Ilford almost opened the scoring in the 10th-minute as another header was send goal-ward, but the Bakers keeper held on well. Despite missing another opportunity, the deadlock was broken just 6-minutes later as a squared ball was tapped home. The pressure continued from the Foxes and they almost had a second minutes later, but a flicked header was agonisingly wise.

There seemed to be no rest for May & Bakers as the new-look Ilford continued to be on the front-foot. A dangerous free-kick was fired towards goal before the striker broke forward, but his effort was fired wide of the far post. The hosts found a foothold in the game as the half reached the final 10-minutes, but one shot was blocked before another was fired over.

The Foxes looked to end the half on a high. The forward dummied the ball and ran through on goal, but the defender nipping at his heels did enough to put his off before another shot was inches wide. With a minute to play, the lead was doubled. The winger used his tricky feet to take the ball around the keeper, before slotting into an empty net.

Despite being largely quiet for the first half, it looked like a different side for Bakers as they were on the front foot from the start of the second half. A couple of corners at the start were either deflected out or cleared by the away side.

The Foxes looked to ease the pressure as they come forward and they had a chance for a third, with an award of a penalty. The forward was dragged down with the referee not hesitating in pointing to the spot, but the same player stepped up and saw his effort saved. Down the other end, Baker appealed for a penalty of their own, but the referee waved those shouts away.

As the game approached the final 15-minutes, both sides continued to come forward. Ilford had a effort fired safely into the keepers chest before a cross was held by the Bakers keeper before the hosts had an effort cleared off the line. The last few minutes saw efforts against at both ends. A May & Baker effort from distance is picked out of the air by the keeper before Ilford looked for a third, but the shot was fired over the bar.

Bakers finally got their reward for a better second half with a goal in the 89th minute. The ball was received on the left-hand side and lashed into the roof of the net. There was a last opportunity for Ilford before the full-time whistle as the Bakers keeper spilled the ball, but he held on with the second attempt.