Four first half goals ensured a comfortable Pre-season win for Ilkeston as they swept aside neighbours Borrowash Victoria.
Before the game we made the decision to field two different teams for the first half and second half respectively. The Robins started with Anthony Dwyer and Malachi Lavelle-Moore up front, Luis Rose and Dexter Atkinson sat on the flanks. Mark Shelton and Michael Williams were holding.
From the early stages, Borrowash Victoria started brightly; knocking long balls in behind Matt Baker and Jaylon Bather, an early strike from Ryan Nadine just went past Ross Durrant’s near post.
Ilkeston were expected to have more of the ball and they did, Shelton and Williams working the ball up the field well with good running off the ball from Rose, Atkinson and Dwyer. Williams broke through into the box but his cross was cut out.
But with 12 minutes gone, the Robins led. A great delivery from a corner from Haydn Goddard found Bather who rose with a header to plant the ball into the bottom corner. The goal evidently raised the confidence, Atkinson slid in Dwyer whose shot inside the box went just wide of the post. The Vics would soon draw level when Shelton fouled late in the box and Michael Fitzugh converted the penalty, squeezing the ball under Durrant.
Ilkeston soon regained the advantage; a stunning ball in from Shelton was flicked on where Williams was on hand for a tap in at the far post. More pressure came when a clever run from Dwyer saw him dance into the box, cut the ball back for Atkinson whose shot was turned onto the post by Lavell-Moore.
Then the Robins struck two goals in a minute to put the game out of reach, first Dwyer capitalised on a dreadful error from Vics ‘keeper Rhys Watkinson who headed the ball straight to the striker who lobbed the keeper to make it three. Then Shelton latched onto a loose pass and slotted the ball under Watkinson for number four.
The second half saw a different IFC team and a continuation of pressure, David Jones and Roy Lee led the attack with Ben Morris in behind. Brandon Clarke and Keenan Meakin sat in midfield. Watkinson was called into action early, tipping Tom Gamblin’s top corner strike wide; before tipping Lee’s effort round the post. Moments later Max Thornberry headed wide at the back post.
Ilkeston’s youthful side in the second half continued to pepper the Borrowash goal; Jones had a shot blocked before Ryan Head couldn’t connect with a Gamblin corner. Further chances came as Meakin poked a loose ball over the bar, Thornberry then headed over the bar unmarked from a corner.
The Robins then won a penalty after a foul on Morris; Morris stepped but saw his penalty saved. Moments later the Vics narrowed the margin, a powerful volley from Fitzugh squirmed past Hannis at the near post.
However Ilkeston recorded a comfortable Pre-season win in a terrific performance which gives Head Coach Paul Holland a great selection headache as the season draws nearer.
Ilkeston FC Starting XI: Ross Durrant, Jak Kenworthy, Haydn Goddard, Michael Williams, Matt Baker(c), Jaylon Bather, Dexter Atkinson, Mark Shelton, Anthony Dwyer, Malachi Lavelle-Moore, Luis Rose.
Second Half Team: Jamie Hannis, Connor Walters, Tom Gamblin, Keenan Meakin, Ryan Head, Max Thornberry, Brandon Clarke, Reid Owen, David Jones, Ben Morris, Roy Lee.
Borrowash Victoria Starting XI: Rhys Watkinson, Jake Brown, Devon Livingston (Joe Plant 51), Joshua Ross, Dan Rowley (Harley Hollinstead 51), Rodrick Mtupu (Kevin Flint 66), Kurt Dallison (Sasha Markelis 70), Ryan Nadine, Micheal Fitzugh, Brandon Gwinnutt, Idris Kabowgo.