Ivory FC challenged by celebrity clash

Charity match ends in defeat

Local outfit Ivory FC unveiled a new ‘recruit’ in their charity clash with a Celebrity All Stars at the weekend.

But former England international Ray Wilkins could not help the Brentwood Sunday League side avoid defeat at the Basildon Sporting Village in the latest part of Nivea for Men’s Great Football Experiment.

An estimated crowd of over 700 saw Brad Ayling save a first-half penalty, but the Ivory keeper was beaten to the loose ball by DJ Spoony, who tucked home the opening goal.

And after Ivory had an effort ruled out for offside in the second half, Tony Carroll netted a brace to make it 3-0.

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The 54-year-old Wilkins, capped 84 times, made a late appearance for Ivory, but actor Ralf Little struck in the final minute to complete a 4-0 win for the celebrities.

He said: “We didn’t know what to expect. We’d heard they started out as quite a ramshackle outfit, but they were really disciplined.

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“They started really brightly and did the simple things well. But once they flagged we kept the ball a bit more.

“But considering they’re just a Sunday League team, I was really impressed.”

Ivory joint-manager Will Rockett said: “It was a long afternoon and hard work in the heat, but everybody did their best.

“The scoreline wasn’t the greatest, but you can see already the improvement we’ve made and with further preparation, who knows how far we’ll go.”

Goals from James Eastman, Pete Harlow and Sam Dawtrey had clinched a 3-1 friendly win over league rivals Havering Nalgo last week and the Ivory players are now looking forward to being VIP guests at England’s friendly against Holland next month.

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