Pre-season friendly Ilkeston FC 1 Sheffield United 1
Joe Maguire’s late equaliser earned Ilkeston FC a draw with a strong Sheffield United side on Wednesday night.
The goal cancelled out an effort from Maguire’s brother Harry early in the second-half and capped a generally confident display from the Robins in what was their first home match since the play-off final victory over Leek Town in April.
After heavy rain, thunder and lightning had enveloped the New Manor Ground before kick-off, United controlled much of the play, hardly a surprise given the quality their side possessed – ten of the starting 11 having had varying degrees of first-team experience.
Jordan Chapell fired high and wide from distance in the third minute and although it took a while for the next shot on goal to arrive it triggered a flurry of further long range efforts - Ilkeston’s Ryan Wilson and United’s Maguire, Daniel Philliskirk and Nick Montgomery all having the opposing goalkeepers scrambling to catch or see the strikes go wide.
Ilkeston had looked largely comfortable on the ball throughout the first-half but the second period belonged, in the main, to the visitors.
The opening goal came on 57 minutes when Norwegian Erik Tonne floated in a corner from the right and United’s Maguire headed home despite the efforts of two defenders on the line to scramble the ball clear.
Elliott Whitehouse tested Robins keeper Ashley Timms on 65 who parried the 25-yard effort, Timms doing similar with a Matty Harriott strike five minutes later and Tonne only able to put the rebound over the crossbar.
Ilkeston had been very quiet throughout the second period but a late flurry of chances and eventually the equaliser gave the home fans something to cheer.
First Gary Ricketts fed Russell Peel whose shot was deflected just wide, before Joe Maguire curled an effort straight at keeper Mark Howard on 86 minutes.
Trialist Dion Chambers then burst forward and hit another effort just wide, but it was to be the elder of the Maguire siblings who would have the final say, as the Robins sub turned in the penalty area and curled an effort past Howard and into the corner of the net with three minutes to go.
Ilkeston: Timms, Wilcox (Bate 46), R Wilson (Freeman 69), L Wilson (Chambers 69), Partridge (Hill 69), Cooke (Maguire 69), Watts (Peel 69), Richards (Storey 69), Ford (Ricketts 46), Thomas (Robinson 69), McCall (Reid 46)
Sheff Utd: Howard, Dean (Westlake 46), Williams, Montgomery (Harriott 46), Maguire, Collins (Foster 66), CHapell (Cofie 46), Whitehouse (Ironside 81), Cresswell (Porter 46), Philliskirk (McAllister 46), Tonne
Ref: James Adcock
by Mark Duffy