Ilkeston keep momentum going with another win

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A penalty and an own goal proved the difference as Ilkeston Town won again at home on Saturday - but it was a game they dominated from start to finish.

Indeed, the fact that more openings weren’t capitalised on will have frustrated boss Steve Chettle, the two goals coming six minutes apart in the first-half to secure a comfortable win.

More ruthlessness in the final third will remain a key requirement if Ilkeston are to challenge for any honours in the MFL Division One, although the fact that they beat a side sixth in the table prior to kick-off so comfortably can surely only bode well.

And a third home win on the bounce in front of another 600-plus crowd will continue to please the Ilkeston Town hierarchy as the club further finds its feet.

llkeston began, and remained, the better side. Billy Bennett was first to threaten with a low shot straight at keeper Phil Smith eight minutes in, Alex Marshall doing similar moments later.

The Robins were having plenty of ball but were often wasteful with it, their next opening coming on 17 minutes when Alex Marshall flashed a cross-shot past the far post.

Montel Gibson was often showing flashes of promise but without providing the quality at the end of it, although he did take possession and drive a low shot wide on the half-hour mark as Ilkeston continued to create the better openings.

Alex Marshall was winning plenty of headers, one of them straight at Smith from a deep Jamie Walker free-kick, but the opening goal would finally come ten minutes before half-time.

It was all about Walker, his break into the box ended by a mis-timed tackle from Jordan Weir and a penalty was awarded. Weir was booked and Walker stepped up to take the penalty himself, placing it straight down the middle of the goal.

The second goal came six minutes later and it was farcical from the point of view of keeper Smith. Tom Marshall’s 25-yarder was punched up in the air but as Smith tried to catch the dropping ball whilst facing his goal a yard out, he instead fumbled it over the line and it was 2-0.

The Robins began the second-half strongly too, Charlie Jemson heading wide from a Walker free-kick on 53 minutes, Bennett then blasting too high when a corner wasn’t well cleared a few minutes later.

Ilkeston were denied a fine goal by a superb Smith double save on 57, a great move from the back ending with Alex Marshall’s cross finding Gibson and then Bennett who both saw shots beaten away by the goalkeeper.

Gibson should have made it three on 66 minutes. Sent clear on goal by Alex Marshall’s flick, he opted to go around Smith but from a narrow angle could only find the side netting.

Swifts’ first shot on target took 70 minutes to arrive, a hooked effort from Kieran Charrie easily gathered by Ian Deakin in the Town goal.

Alex Marshall nodded a cross too high moments later, before his low shot was deflected onto the post by Smith.

Sub Tim Hopkinson dragged a shot wide as Ilkeston continued their pursuit for a late third, but two would prove enough as the game fizzled out and the points were safe.

Ilkeston: 1 Ian Deakin, 2 Lavell White, 3 Jamie Walker, 4 Chris Shaw, 5 Charlie Jemson, 6 Elliott Hodgett-Young, 7 Martin Lench (c), 8 Tom Marshall, 9 Alex Marshall (Micah Edwards 87), 10 Montel Gibson (Tim Hopkinson 79), 11 Billy Bennett (Jordan Wheatley 64)

Subs not used: Romaine Graham, Paris Simmons

GOALS: Walker 36pen, Smith 42og

Bolehall Swifts: 1 Phil Smith, 2 Tom Hammond, 3 Jamie Andrews, 4 Kyle Bache, 5 Liam Taylor, 6 Gavin Brown, 7 Jordan Weir (James Bloore 46), 8 Oliver Sorenson (Joe Obi 67), 9 Kieran Charrie, 10 Kieran Parrish (Leaden Dunleavy 46), 11 Fortune Siranda

Ref: Andy Genders

Att: 610

Star Robin: Jamie Walker