JAMES Reid struck a hat-trick as Ilkeston FC overcame Sheffield at the New Manor Ground on Monday night.
Evo-Stik Division One South
ILKESTON FC 4
Gary Ricketts 9
James Reid 25, 65, 90+3
SHEFFIELD FC 1
Steve Woolley 24
by Mark Duffy
‘THAT’S more like it’ was the common cry from Robins fans leaving the New Manor Ground on Monday after Ilkeston FC produced an excellent display to overcome fellow promotion hopefuls Sheffield.
It was the kind of home performance that was long overdue following several lethargic displays on their own patch, winger James Reid the star of the show with a well-taken hat-trick.
It all started with a bright opening for the visitors, Andy Gascoigne and Callum Harrison both going close early on, but it was to be the Robins who would take the lead on nine minutes.
Darren Caskey played in a right-wing corner which was met with a powerful first-time strike by Gary Ricketts and keeper Dan Whatsize could get only a slight touch as the ball flew into the net.
Ricketts flashed another good effort across the face of goal five minutes later after being fed by Jack Watts, before Sheffield had a clear chance to level the scores when Connor Higginson was put through the middle but with all the time in the world he could only hit his shot straight at Dan Lowson who parried the ball away.
Ricketts was just too high minutes later but Sheffield were to level things on 24 minutes in some style.
Dan Partridge gave a soft free-kick away about 25 yards out, and up stepped left-back Steve Woolley to put a fine effort past the helpless Lowson and perfectly into the corner.
But while that goal was good, the one that put Ilkeston back in front just a minute later was even better, as Reid picked the ball up some 30 yards out and hit a stunning left-footed strike which flew into the top corner of the net.
Plenty more chances came before the break, Whatsize tipping another powerful Reid strike over the top and Warren Burrell having two bites of the cherry for Sheffield but seeing defender and goalkeeper respectively clear to safety.
Reid was first to threaten in the second-half with two efforts, the first saved by Whatsize and a free-kick from out wide hitting the crossbar and evading all interested parties on the rebound.
The Robins were now in control and Jack Watts twice nearly scored a third, but it finally did arrive on 65 minutes. Ricketts found Reid on the right-hand edge of the penalty area and he turned onto his left foot before driving a shot across goal and into the net with the help of a couple of faint deflections.
Ricketts lofted an effort into Whatsize’s hands on 69 after being fed by Matt Richards, before a flurry from the visitors saw sub Dan Williams go close on three occasions, Lowson equal to two of them and the other too high.
But Reid was to seal his treble and a fine display in the final minute of three added on.
Sub Tyrell Waite did well to get to the byline having beaten his man down the left, and when he found Reid on the edge of the box the winger took a touch and fired home with virtually the last kick of the game.
Ilkeston: 1 Dan Lowson 2 James Cullingworth 3 Jack Watts 4 Joe Maguire 5 Dan Partridge 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Darren Caskey (Adam Colton 79) 8 Matt Richards 9 Gary Ricketts (Tyrell Waite 86) 10 Daryll Thomas (Andrew Osei-Siribour 84) 11 James Reid. Subs not used: Joe Wilcox, Russell Peel
Att: 514 Ref: Martin Dexter
Star Robin: James Reid