It says a lot about the Robins’ season so far that a week after being deservedly beaten by a side from the division below, they then were able to destroy one that has just dropped down from the league above.
That’s not to say Droylsden are likely to stick around in this division for long - their performance on Saturday and general resources seeming to indicate another relegation could be in store - but Ilkeston did what they had to do to bury some of the demons of the previous week.
The visitors were plagued by injuries and players allegedly just deciding not to turn out for a team without a win and with just four goals to their name before Saturday’s encounter, and it showed as they struggled to get any foothold on the game.
That said, after Ilkeston’s Matt Richards and Joe Maguire both saw early efforts go close, it was the Bloods who in fact should have gone in front on nine minutes after keeper Rob Peet had blocked Rob Kinsella’s shot, Porya Ahmadi’s on target but not all that powerful rebound cleared off the line by Laurie Wilson.
From then on there was only one winner. Wilson, Kane Richards and Antwan Russesll all nearly put the Robins in front, the latter’s mis-timed header six yards out typical of the luck a player who seems low on confidence at the moment has been having.
The opener did then arrive on 34 minutes as a short corner to James Reid was followed by a fine cross which Maguire nodded firmly into the corner of the net.
Stand-in striker Kane Richards was denied by keeper Yannick Nlate, one of a number of openings the youngster would squander, but Reid was to add a second goal just before the break when he cut in from the right and hit a left-foot shot past Nlate from 25 yards out.
The second-half was fairly mellow as the game took on an almost pre-season tempo, Droylsden lacking the ability to threaten too much and the Robins satisfied with their lead.
After Ahmadi had put a half chance across the face of goal on 54 minutes, the visitors were then reduced to ten men when Kinsella was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Callum Chettle - the Droylsden striker somewhat stunned by the decision.
Ilkeston sub Jason Stokes then somehow put a rebound over the bar from two yards out after Kane Richards’ header was saved, but two minutes later it was 3-0 as Droylsden centre-half Daryl Grant looped a delightful header over his own goalkeeper and into the net from Rob Kozluk’s cross.
Ilkeston then replaced one Bermudan striker with another, Rai Simons on for Russell, and the teenager was just wide with an effort on 62 minutes.
Droylsden’s Dylan Maloney then took matters into his own hands to try and gain some respectability for his side with two decent efforts, one just clearing the crossbar and the other saved low down by Peet.
But Reid soon had the Robins 4-0 up on 73, receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area and beating Grant before slotting low into the corner of the net.
The hosts did then pull one back to thoroughly annoy Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson as another clean sheet went begging, Ahmadi firing into an empty net after Peet had blocked Maloney’s effort - the goal met with almost complete silence around the New Manor Ground.
But it mattered little as Ilkeston continued to search for more goals, and after Wilson had seen a powerful volley flash just wide, Stokes wrapped things up in stoppage time by robbing a defender on the byline before sliding the ball home from an acute angle to round off a very comfortable victory.
Saturday, September 21, 2013:
Ilkeston: 1 Rob Peet 2 Rob Kozluk 3 Ellis Storey 4 Laurie Wilson (c) 5 Joe Maguire 6 Aaron Webster 7 James Reid 8 Callum Chettle (Danny Gordon 84) 9 Antwan Russell (Rai Simons 65) 10 Kane Richards 11 Matt Richards (Jason Stokes 46). Subs not used: Matt Baker, Chris Palmer
Droylsden: 1 Yannick Nlate 2 Ben Hampson (Ryan Hibbert 46) 3 Carlos Rouse-Edmondson 4 Daryl Grant 5 Keith Clarkson 6 James Holden (c) (Daniel McLoughlin 76) 7 Joe Power (Ryan O’Hare 63) 8 Adnan Ahmed 9 Rob Kinsella 10 Porya Ahmadi 11 Dylan Maloney. Subs not used: Reece Headlam, Shaqueel Walton
Att: 400 Ref: Ollie Yates Star Robin: James Reid
Report by Mark Duffy
All photos by Rob Stephenson (www.robertstephensonphotography.co.uk)