Daryll’s back on the goal trail as Robins progress

Ilkeston FC's Adam Colton (left) challenges Woodley Sports goalscorer John Marsden for possession.
Ilkeston FC's Adam Colton (left) challenges Woodley Sports goalscorer John Marsden for possession.

DARYLL Thomas rediscovered his scoring touch to fire Ilkeston into the next round of the FA Trophy in an entertaining encounter at the New Manor Ground.

Evo-Stik Division One South

ILKESTON FC 2

Joe Maguire 37

Daryll Thomas 66

WOODLEY SPORTS 1

John Marsden 32

by Mark Duffy

DARYLL Thomas rediscovered his scoring touch to fire Ilkeston into the next round of the FA Trophy in an entertaining encounter at the New Manor Ground.

Thomas struck his first goal in six games to win the tie and set up a third qualifying round clash at Northwich Victoria, but it was by no means an easy feat.

The visitors played some decent football and nearly opened the scoring within the first 30 seconds when John Marsden fed Adam Mather through the middle but as he was about to draw his foot back to shoot, Joe Maguire put a vital foot in to dispossess him.

Thomas fired an effort well over the top minutes later, but it was the visitors who were to dictate the opening stages as they played a tidy passing game which the Robins initially struggled to contain.

Darren Stephenson’s wayward strike failed to threaten Dimitar Evtimov in the tenth minute, before the hosts had a good opening when Maguire’s cross to the back post was headed wide by Joe Wilcox.

Maguire, impressive throughout, was then on hand again with another last ditch tackle to deny Marsden in the 18th minute as he was about to shoot from 12 yards out.

Gary Ricketts and Maguire both saw headers well saved by Sports keeper Liam Higginbotham and Stephenson’s low drive at the other end was just wide of the post, but the visitors’ pressure paid off in the 32nd minute.

Dangerman Stephenson found space 25 yards out and hit a low shot which Evtimov could only parry and the incoming Marsden buried the rebound.

The equaliser came on 37 minutes and it was a simple affair. A free-kick awarded just outside the right-hand edge of the penalty area was swung in by James Cullingworth and Maguire was one of a line of players waiting to head the ball home, guiding it into the corner past Higginbotham’s dive.

Stephenson had another good early run in the second-half which he ended by poking a deflected shot wide, and a couple of minutes later he drove an effort into the side netting after cutting in from the left.

Jack Dorney’s chip from the edge of the penalty area gave Evtimov the chance to produce a good diving catch for the cameras, before the Bulgarian produced another fine stop to tip Gary Furnival’s stunning long-range volley over the top, though the referee awarded a goal kick as a bonus.

But it was route one that would be Ilkeston’s saviour on 66 and it produced a welcome goal for Thomas. Evtimov’s clearance was flicked on by Ricketts and the stand-in captain ran through to finish well past Higginbotham and put his side in front.

Stephenson had two more efforts go close for the visitors, while Robins sub Tyrell Waite burst through only to see his shot punched away by Higginbotham, before Evtimov signed off his loan spell in style with the last touch of the game.

The ball was fired into the box where Mather met it first time but Evtimov showed great reflexes by diving to his left to parry it away and ensure the win was Ilkeston’s.

Ilkeston: 1 Dimitar Evtimov 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Liam Green 5 Josh Hill 6 Joe Maguire 7 Joe Wilcox (Ashley Robinson 88) 8 Adam Colton 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Daryll Thomas (c) (Tyrell Waite 81) 11 Russell Peel (Dan Partridge 75)

Subs not used: Danny James, Josh Wisdom Ref: M Jones

Att: 455 Star Robin: Joe Maguire