Saturday, August 27, 2011
Evo-Stik Division One South
ILKESTON FC 1
Daryll Thomas 47
KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC 2
Dave Walker 54
Craig Dove 76
by Mark Duffy
WITH a 100 per cent record and no goals conceded at the New Manor Ground before this game, the adage of ‘home sweet home’ was quickly starting to bed itself into the mouths of Ilkeston FC’s supporters.
But along came Kidsgrove on Saturday to put the first figures in both of those columns and take the three points back to Staffordshire following an entertaining clash.
It was a game where the Robins may well have wondered how they didn’t score more than one but also, given several errors at the back, how they weren’t more severely beaten.
Kidsgrove had the first effort of note in the third minute when Tom Urwin turned onto his right foot but his shot was straight at Aaron Butcher.
Ilkeston’s first showing was on 16 minutes when Russell Peel’s cross found Gary Ricketts but he could only slice his volley just wide.
Kidsgrove had a fine opportunity on 23 and it came from an Ilkeston corner. The ball broke and Andy Kinsey and Ross Davidson broke forward, but when the ball fell to Dave Walker his effort was parried away by Butcher, Walker’s follow up effort then going over the top.
Daryll Thomas then stung the palms of Kidsgrove keeper Steve Hodgson with a low effort on 27, and again saw a shot gathered by Hodgson ten minutes later.
Another great opportunity fell Kidsgrove’s way just before half-time. Walker beat the onrushing Butcher to a through ball and looked set to slide the ball into the net, but he took his time by turning onto his right foot and in trying to beat Dan Partridge on the line could only hit the post. Davidson’s follow up was well blocked by Partridge and Ilkeston cleared.
There was still time for Ricketts to have a volley pushed away by Hodgson, but the sides went in level at the break.
But it took just 70 seconds of the second-half for the Robins to take the lead. Partridge headed the ball through the middle for Ricketts to run onto, and he then squared it for the onrushing Thomas who comprehensively put the ball in the net for his fourth of the season.
Butcher then saved well from Walker three minutes later, before a fantastic overhead kick from Ricketts was well pushed past the post by Hodgson.
But Kidsgrove levelled after 54 minutes somewhat against the run of play, when Davidson’s cross was completely missed by a Robins defender and Walker was this time able to fire home the equaliser.
Urwin then burst through after another Robins error on the hour mark, but Josh Hill’s fine last-ditch tackle was enough to put the Athletic man off his stride and Butcher came out to block.
Another rush of blood from Butcher then saw Walker given a further, though more difficult chance which he could only put past the post from a wide position.
Kinsey then had Butcher looking more assured with a shot pushed over the bar by the Robins custodian after 74 minutes, but it was to be the visitors who eventually took the lead on 76.
Another fine counter-attack following an Ilkeston corner saw Davidson find skipper Craig Dove on the left edge of the penalty area, and after his first effort was saved by Butcher he was on hand to tuck the rebound into the bottom corner of the net.
Ricketts then headed Darren Caskey’s cross against the post as Ilkeston strove to get a foothold on the game once more, and Urwin had a long-range shot tipped over the top for the visitors.
Butcher had to save Davidson’s effort in injury-time as Kidsgrove looked for a third, but six minutes into stoppage time the scores were so nearly levelled.
Sub Tom Colclough found space in the area but his low drive was beaten away by Hodgson, and when Caskey’s follow-up suffered the same fate the ball evaded two Robins forwards on the rebound and Athletic cleared to the sound of the final whistle.
Ilkeston: 1 Aaron Butcher 2 Joe Wilcox 3 James Cullingworth 4 Adam Colton 5 Josh Hill 6 Dan Partridge 7 Kristian Cox (Tom Colclough 58) 8 Liam Green (c) (Tyrell Waite 83) 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Daryll Thomas 11 Russell Peel (Darren Caskey 70)
Subs not used: Adam Burton, Ryan Swift (GK)
Ref: C Grundy Att: 483
Star Robin: Gary Ricketts