Ilkeston FC 1 Chelsea 5
A packed New Manor Ground was left full of admiration on Tuesday night as a young Chelsea side put on a fine display of football to comfortably beat Ilkeston FC .
That’s not to say the home side were overawed by their illustrious opponents - a healthy mix of bright English talent and continental pizazz that seemed to enjoy playing on the perfect pitch which greeted them.
For Ilkeston gave as good as they got on numerous occasions as 2,680 people looked on - the biggest attendance ever seen at the New Manor Ground.
It took only five minutes for Chelsea to open the scoring, John Swift’s not-all-that-powerful shot from 25 yards taking a deflection past Rob Peet in the Robins goal and into the net.
And after Swift, Izzy Smith and Jeremie Boga had all nearly made it two, Ruben Loftus -Cheek did just that on 27 minutes when he was fouled in the penalty area by Joe Maguire and dispatched the spot-kick himself.
Ilkeston had plenty of possession, Matt Richards seeing a fine chip tipped over by keeper Mitchell Beeney and then curling another effort just too high, either side of Alex Kiwomya’s shot just clearing the Robins crossbar.
The third goal came early in thesecond-half and it was Ulises Davila who provided it with a shot from distance which seemed to wrong foot Peet.
Ilkeston’s moment of glory came on 54 minutes as Matt Richards did well on the left and his ball into the box was met by Jason Stokes who turned and finished superbly for a deserved consolation.
Most chances were now turning into goals, Kiwomya racing through to register a solo effort on 62 minutes and Lewis Baker then lobbing Peet 12 m inutes later to complete the rout in some style.
But it had been a night to remember for Ilkestonian football fans regardless of the result, as the most high-profile evening of the new Robins’ short history proved to be one that will be remembered long after more chapters have been written.
Ilkeston: Rob Peet, Rob Kozluk, Ryan Wilson, Laurie Wilson, Joe Maguire, Mitch Hanson, Jason Stokes, Callum Chettle, Antwan Russell, James Reid, Matt Richards.
Subs (all used): Matt Baker, Ellis Storey, Danny Gordon, Gary Ricketts, Aaron Hooton, Kane Richards, Scott Low, Mike Williams, Jack Broadhurst, Medi Abalimba
Chelsea: Mitchell Beeney, Ola Aina, Andreas Christensen, Nathan Ake, Kevin Wright, John Swift, Alex Kiwomya, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Izzy Brown, Jeremie Boga, Christian Cuevas
Subs (all used) Fankaty Dabo, Ben Killip, Dion Conroy, Adam Nditi, Isaac Ssweankambo, Lamisha Musonda, Jack Powell, Lewis Baker, Ulises Davilla, Alex Davey,
by Mark Duffy
All photos taken by Rob Stephenson (firstname.lastname@example.org)