Ilkeston FC will host Newcastle United in the third round of the FA Youth Cup after sending Shrewsbury Town to a 4-1 defeat at the New Manor Ground on Wednesday night.
The young Robins recovered in style from going an early goal down to bounce back and destroy their visitors whose first team play in League One - the Shrews left stunned by the quality they were faced with.
Whatever these youngsters go on to achieve in the game, it is nights like this and the upcoming tie with the Magpies that will be the defining moments of their development.
From the start Ilkeston didn’t look out of place, but after Haydn Goddard sent a free-kick from 25 yards too high in the opening minute, it would be Shrewsbury who would score the opener eight minutes in.
Joel Carta broke into the penalty area only to be fouled by Keenan Meakin as he neared the byline, Chris Gallagher stepping up to confidently convert the spot kick past Jamie Hannis.
John McAtee then put a good chance wide for the visitors two minutes later as Shrewsbury began to settle much better in the horrid conditions.
But Ilkeston levelled the scores on 13 minutes with a well-worked goal. Rhys Dolan’s persistence down the right saw him float a fine ball over to Lewis Walker whose excellent header gave Leon Reece little chance in the Shrews goal.
Hannis got down well to save a low Carta effort as the game really began to come to life, but it would be the Robins to score next.
Goddard’s corner from the left was scrambled out only as far as skipper Ryan Head and he slammed the ball into the roof of the net from ten yards out.
Ben Morris fired straight at Reece before chances dried up a little for each side before half-time, George Hassall next to threaten on 42 minutes for Shrewsbury with a long range shot which was too high and then Ethan Jones’ shot was deflected wide.
It took just 54 seconds of the second-half for Ilkeston to open up a two-goal lead. Brandon Clarke did well to beat his man down the right and his cross found its way to Walker whose volley was deflected past Reece and into the net.
Morris blazed a good chance too high on 59 as Ilkeston maintained their control on the game, the Shrews unable to create much in the final third as the hosts frustrated them.
Sub Tom King and defender Callum Grogan both saw efforts deflected wide as they started to edge back into the encounter, but Ilkeston’s central defensive three were proving tough nuts to crack and positioning themselves well all night.
Walker was denied a hat-trick by a fine save from Reece low down after the striker had worked space for himself in the penalty area, before at the other end Hannis did well to push away a Jones effort and then gather a long range strike from Gallagher.
Walker was leading the line superbly and again was denied by Reece who tipped his shot over the bar on 77 minutes, and it was from the subsequent corner that the Robins scored their fourth.
Mason Barlow had only been on the pitch for 30 seconds or so and he met Goddard’s corner to loop the ball over Reece and into the net.
And aside from a late Luis Rose shot which was well pushed away by Reece, that would be that. Shrewsbury had no further answer to what had been another fantastic Ilkeston performance and one which deservedly sends them into round three and a blockbuster tie with Newcastle in round three on December 16.
Ilkeston: 1 Jamie Hannis, 2 Connor Walters, 3 Rhys Dolan, 4 Keenan Meakin, 5 Ryan Head (c), 6 Jordan Wheatley, 7 Brandon Clarke (Mason Barlow 76), 8 Luis Rose, 9 Lewis Walker, 10 Ben Morris, 11 Haydn Goddard
Subs not used: Billy Johnson, Max Thornberry, Charley Morton, Roy Lee
Shrewsbury: 1 Leon Reece, 2 Ryan Sears, 3 Callum Roberts, 4 Joel Carta (Tom King 54), 5 Callum Grogan, 6 Chris Gallagher, 7 Joe Kenton, 8 John McAtee (Ryan Barnett 70), 9 George Hassall, 10 Ethan Jones, 11 Mathew Jones (Jacob Rammell 54)
Subs not used: Joel Bonner, Nathan Mills
Ref: J Wilson
Star Robin: Lewis Walker