ILKESTON FC were denied victory in the dying seconds as Loughborough Dynamo stole a point at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.
Evo-Stik Division One South
ILKESTON FC 2
Gary Ricketts 44
Sam Duncum 74
LOUGHBOROUGH DYNAMO 2
Jamie Clarke 2
Dan Henton 90+2
by Mark Duffy
FOR 90 minutes of this match, Ilkeston dominated proceedings and scored more goals than their opponents.
Unfortunately for the Robins, that period was between the second minute of the game and the second minute of injury-time.
Either side of that spell, Loughborough stunned their hosts with goals that ultimately earned them a point, and the Robins were left counting the cost of not making the game safe earlier by converting the numerous chances they created.
Dynamo were ahead inside 70 seconds. Shawn Richards threaded a fine ball through the middle to Jamie Clarke –once an Ilkeston Town player under Keith Alexander – and having timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap he finished well past young goalkeeper Scott Low.
Ilkeston then took control, Gary Ricketts wide with a volley in 15 minutes and again moments later with a header from James Reid’s free-kick.
Matt Richards was also just past the post with a long-range drive on 23, before the same player came closest so far four minutes later.
Darren Caskey and Sam Duncum combined from a free-kick which had ‘training ground routine’ written all over it, and when the latter pulled the ball across goal Richards’ bundled effort was cleared off the line.
Jack Watts was then next to go close with a volley from the edge of the area which was well held by keeper Laurie Pearson on 31 minutes.
The Robins continued to dominate to no avail, but the goal was to finally come just a minute before half-time.
Caskey swung in a corner from the left and Ricketts needed two bites of the cherry to smash the ball home from no more than two yards out.
Reid then squandered another great opening when put through by a Ricketts flick on, opting to shoot early rather than take the ball on and his effort was tamely wide.
Reid was first to feature in the second-half too, blazing a volley too high with his weaker right foot after James Cullingworth’s cross was headed down by Ricketts.
Ricketts was then denied by the face of Pearson as the Robins striker’s overhead kick was blocked at point-blank range and cleared away, leaving the Dynamo stopper feeling a little groggy in the process.
Duncum’s excellent fizzed cross was then well dealt with by Pearson as the Robins continued to turn the screw, although Ryan Wilson’s error nearly presented Clarke with another goal but Low did well to block.
Watts’ low effort was straight at Pearson, Duncum too seeing a shot saved and Cullingworth heading over from Ricketts’ cross as a goal continued to look on the cards.
It finally arrived on 74 and it was the returning Duncum who was once again the main man.
Defender Danny Jenno made a ridiculous mess of heading a ball clear around 40 yards out, and Duncum had time to express his gratitude before taking the ball on, beating two players and drilling a right-foot shot into the corner of the net.
Ricketts then headed Cullingworth’s cross over the top on 79 and Reid saw a powerful strike parried away by Pearson after being fed down the inside left channel, as a third looked ever more likely.
But for all the dominance, a one-goal lead was always precarious and it was Dynamo who would have the final say.
Richards again was the creator as he did well down the right-hand side before pulling the ball back to sub Dan Henton who finished low into the net to salvage an unlikely draw, the outcome feeling like a defeat for the home supporters who met the final whistle with near silence after seeing two points certainly dropped.
Ilkeston: 1 Scott Low 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Darren Caskey (Joe Maguire 84) 5 Dan Partridge 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Jack Watts 8 Matt Richards 9 Gary Ricketts 10 James Reid (Joe Wilcox 90) 11 Sam Duncum (Daryll Thomas 79)
Subs not used: Andrew Osei-Siribour, Adam Colton
Ref: Sian Massey (Coventry)
Star Robin: Sam Duncum