DARYLL Thomas and Laurie Wilson were on target as Ilkeston FC eased to victory over Rainworth on Saturday.
Evo-Stik Division One South
ILKESTON FC 2
Daryll Thomas 44
Laurie Wilson 56pen
RAINWORTH MW 0
by Mark Duffy
‘A WIN is a win’ as they say and that is probably the best way to summarise Ilkeston’s latest victory on a mild afternoon at the New Manor Ground.
It was neither inspiring nor spectacular but against a side who are never in the mood to concede many goals it was the fact they’re also fairly alien to scoring them which eventually cost them dear.
And in a match which saw a solid debut for new signing Laurie Wilson in midfield and a welcome return after injury for Will McCall late on, there were ultimately plenty of positives for the home side.
Although it was Rainworth who were very nearly in front inside four minutes when Danny Bacon struck a fine effort from distance which beat keeper Ben Gathercole all ends up but not the crossbar as it rebounded out.
Niall O’Rafferty should then have done better with the follow-up than put it too high from ten yards out.
Ilkeston’s first real effort of note came on 14 minutes, Ryan Wilson’s cross picking out Gary Ricketts whose header was easily dealt with by ex-Robin Mark Hales in the Welfare goal.
Jack Watts then drove wide from the edge of the penalty area as the hosts continued to control things, Matt Richards next to threaten by miscuing a volley too high on 27.
Rainworth remained a threat going forward though and Ryan Goward went close two minutes later when he ran onto a through ball but lobbed his effort just over the top.
And they had another good chance on 38 when Rob Paling’s long throw-in eventually found its way back to him 25 yards out and his well-struck drive was just wide of Gathercole’s left-hand post.
But the Robins led just before the break, as good work from Duncum and Richards on the left resulted in Daryll Thomas ghosting in to glance a header past Hales for the opening goal and a half-time lead.
Watts was first to show in the second-half, his turn and volley following Richards’ corner straight at Hales.
The second goal was to arrive on 56 and it was from the penalty spot.
Welfare were slightly unlucky in conceding it, as Richards’ cross was flicked on by skipper Steve Kennedy straight onto the hand of Paling who didn’t know much about it.
Impressive debutant Laurie Wilson did the honours confidently into the corner of the net.
The Wrens then had a goal chalked off when sub Nathan Adams’ first job was to put the ball in the net after being put through the middle but the assistant referee’s flag intervened.
Duncum was then just unable to turn in a rebound after Laurie Wilson’s free-kick was palmed away by Hales on the hour mark, and moments later Thomas screwed wide when in space 12 yards out.
Watts and the newest Wilson to the ranks both had further efforts fail to trouble Hales, while Ricketts headed over the top from a Richards cross on 82.
Will McCall then made his return to action from the bench and nearly scored straight away, his turn and low shot well held by Hales just two minutes after the winger’s entrance.
Ricketts, who hadn’t had much luck all day, was then denied a goal after heading home from a corner as he was adjudged to have fouled a defender in the process.
But the points were safe once more and the Robins’ pursuit of the title remains, albeit faintly, alive.
Ilkeston: 1 Ben Gathercole 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Dan Partridge 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Jack Watts (Joe Wilcox 81) 8 Matt Richards 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Daryll Thomas (Tyrell Waite 64) 11 Sam Duncum (Will McCall 81)
Subs not used: Joe Maguire, Darren Caskey
Ref: A Barney
Star Robin: Laurie Wilson