Robins fall just short as Coalville hold out

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As goalless draws go, this was one of the better ones.

It saw Ilkeston put in one of their best performances in some time as they played with good tempo and created a glut of chances, their lack of firepower again proving costly.

They defended well too, Coalville always a threat going forward but the Robins back five standing strong throughout.

It will give Ilkeston huge confidence ahead of a crucial end of season run-in, this display a vast improvement on many they’ve produced in recent weeks.

It remains a tough ask for them to stay up, but more performances like this will help their cause.

One of three former Robins in the Coalville ranks, Rory Coleman, had the first opening just 50 seconds in, his low shot dragged wide after a cross from Steve Towers reached him.

The hosts began the game far stronger, however, and after a couple of corners had come to nothing, Ben Morris’s low drive forced Matt Coton to push the ball wide of goal 12 minutes in.

Morris was close again moments later, beating two players and then hitting a low shot that lacked the power to really trouble Coton who gathered easily.

Anthony Dwyer then fired just wide as the home side continued to look the most dangerous, Tom Gamblen then forcing Coton to tip a powerful drive over the top.

Dexter Atkinson was next, showing great desire to get to the ball first and shoot low but again Coton gathered.

At the other end, Dante Leverock got down well to superbly block a Coleman effort as Coalville tried to gain a grip on the game, before a Morris effort for Ilkeston dipped high and wide.

The best chance so far came when Atkinson was sent through one-on-one with Coton by Dwyer but saw his shot saved by the keeper’s legs, the rebound coming off luke Foster to go behind for a corner.

Coalville nearly nicked the lead on half-time, Foster’s header cleared off the line by Max Thornberry, and despite both sides having had good chances it was goalless at the break.

The visitors began the second-half well and Dale Eve had to be alert to push away a powerful Massiah McDonald effort early on.

Atkinson then head another golden chance after an error by Lee Torr but again Coton blocked when the Robins man got a shot in.

Danny Gordon fired just wide soon afterwards as Ilkeston continued to create the better chances, although Nathan Watson’s shot at the other end forced Eve into another good stop, an even better one stopping an own goal after Ilkeston hadn’t cleared a corner, then Thornberry produced a goal-saving tackle to deny Watson after Eve had saved MacDonald.

As Ilkeston piled on late pressure, Dwyer forced Coton into another stop as he pushed his low shot away.

Eve excelled again to stop a shot from Edilson Antonio in the dying stages, the Bermudan goalkeeper ultimately the difference between Ilkeston getting a point or nothing from this encounter as it eventually came to a close with the honours shared.

Ilkeston: 1 Dale Eve, 2 Max Thornberry, 3 Ryan Head, 4 Jaylon Bather, 5 Matt Baker (c), 6 Dante Leverock, 7 Dexter Atkinson, 8 Danny Gordon, 9 Anthony Dwyer, 10 Ben Morris (Reece Horne 82), 11 Tom Gamblen (Brandon Clarke 68)

Subs not used: Connor Walters, Charlie Scanlon, Jamie Hannis

Coalville: 1 Matt Coton, 2 Kyle Bryant, 3 Rory Coleman, 4 Lee Torr, 5 Luke Foster, 6 Liam Walshe (c) (Anton Brown 82), 7 Jack McMillan (Edilson Antonio 72), 8 Steve Towers, 9 Massiah McDonald, 10 Nathan Watson, 11 Ryan Robbins (Alex Dean 63)

Subs not used: Lukasz Rosewola, Charlie Hornby

Ref: Mark Howes

Att: 253

Star Robin: Dale Eve