Ilkeston FC 0 Rushall Olympic 1
Rushall Olympic completed a quickfire double over Ilkeston FC on Monday night as Lei Brown’s goal was enough to take all three points.
Having beaten the Robins in a physical encounter on their own patch a fortnight ago, it was more of the same at the New Manor Ground with Rushall’s rough-and-tumble approach again to the fore.
And with Kevin Wilson fielding what he described as one of his ‘youngest ever’ line-ups due to injury problems, including four young debutants, the hosts were up against it from the off.
The first-half was poor. Neither side was able to get a grip on proceedings and only half chances were being created.
Brown saw efforts blocked and then headed over for the visitors while striker Adam Somes, whom Ilkeston signed from Mansfield on Monday morning, flicked a header just too high from a Jack Watts cross on 19 minutes.
Watts lobbed wide seven minutes later, Dion Chambers and Olympic’s Decio Gomes were both wide from distance and Watts again went close with a looped header onto the roof of the net before the break, but a subdued first-half ended goalless.
That changed after 54 minutes. Moments after Somes had again gone close with a header following a cross by another debutant, right-back Chris Jones, the visitors took the lead with what was their only genuinely dangerous attack of the night.
Dave Walker was fed in the penalty area and he found space before hitting a low shot which was parried by Chris Martin but only to the feet of Brown who slammed in from two yards out despite the attention of a defender on the line.
The Robins finally came to life in the last 15 minutes as they chased the game and young sub Ryan Osborne was again a breath of fresh air after his arrival.
Just four minutes after coming on, a cross from Chambers found the 16-year-old ten yards out and his powerful volley was well beaten clear by keeper Chris Gemmell.
Fellow sub James Reid also looked lively and twice threatened with efforts as the Robins bombarded the Olympic goal, but the visitors held on to claim the honours and consign Ilkeston to their third 1-0 defeat of the campaign so far.
Ilkeston: 1 Chris Martin 2 Chris Jones 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Dion Chambers 5 Dan Partridge 6 Ellis Storey 7 Jack Watts 8 Matt Richards 9 Adam Somes (Jamie Clarke 74) 10 Andrew Osei-Siribour (Ryan Osborne 74) 11 Will McCall (James Reid 86) Subs not used: Joe Wilcox, Russell Peel.
Rushall: 1 Chris Gemmell 2 Kyle Haynes (Andre Landell 56) 3 Jonathan Haynes 4 Mitch Tolley 5 Wayne Daniel (c) 6 Gavin Caines 7 Ramone Stephens (Grant Beckett 67) 8 Decio Gomes 9 Michael Clarke 10 Dave Clarke (Abu Islam 80) 11 Lei Brown. Subs not used: Louis Keenan, Lucan Spittle Scorer: Brown 54 Att: 412 Ref: Geoff Law
Star Robin: Ellis Storey
by Mark Duffy