FC United of Manchester 1 Ilkeston FC 0
Adam Jones’ late winner sealed FC United’s eighth league win in a row at Gigg Lane on Saturday as Ilkeston were denied an honourable point from an entertaining encounter.
The Robins could probably point to a bout of ill discipline as one of the reasons they left Lancashire with nothing - Laurie Wilson’s red card just before the winning goal unsettling the visitors somewhat.
But all in all it was an encouraging display from Ilkeston who gave as good as they got throughout until centre-half Jones nodded the deciding goal eight minutes from time.
What preceded that left many wondering how more goals hadn’t been scored by each side.
Both goalkeepers were busy, Chris Martin in particularly good form to pull off several impressive saves and keep United at bay.
Ilkeston looked good going forward too, James Reid and Laurie Wilson both testing keeper James Spencer from distance early on and Matt Richards then breaking forward but opting to turn inside rather than shoot from a promising position, subsequently being tackled and the ball going for a corner.
Mike Norton was denied by a fine save from Martin although an offside flag then dictated it wouldn’t have counted anyway, before Jack Watts’ long range effort and Reid’s decent volley also nearly gave Ilkeston the lead.
Jide Maduako’s error then put his side in trouble but Martin saved well with his legs from Tom Greaves, and the Robins stopper repeated the trick moments later to deny Norton when through on goal.
Matt Wolfenden blazed over in a great position as United continued to pressure, sub Astley Mulholland’s stunning volley into the top corner on 38 minutes thrilling most before another offside flag denied him the glory.
Reid, Greaves and Kieran O’Connell all found the keepers’ hands before the break, and after it Gary Ricketts pulled his shot wide after being fed well by Reid.
Martin pulled off his best save of the day on 63 to deny Greaves at close range, flying to his left to palm the ball away for a corner.
Ilkeston were still interested, sub Alex Ford’s shot deflected wide before Lee Neville was next to be denied by Martin on 74.
But the game turned on 78 minutes when, after Ricketts had gone in with a late challenge on the halfway line which upset the United players, Wilson got involved and despite the Robins skipper appearing to have been provoked into producing his handbag for a couple of jousts the referee took a dim view and sent him off for his second bookable offence.
That ruined any rhythm Ilkeston had and sure enough the winner came four minutes later when Jones nodded a left wing cross firmly past Martin.
Ilkeston huffed and puffed late on but couldn’t find a breakthrough, leaving them frustrated that a promising afternoon had ended in such a way.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
FCUM: 1 James Spencer 2 Kyle Jacobs (c) 3 Lee Neville 4 Matthew Tierney (Dave Birch 56) 5 Adam Jones 6 Dean Stott 7 Matt Wolfenden 8 Jake Cottrell 9 Mike Norton 10 Jerome Wright (Astley Mulholland 14) 11 Tom Greaves. Subs not used: Rhodri Giggs, Greg Daniels, Scott Cheetham
Scorer: Jones 82
Ilkeston: 1 Chris Martin 2 Dan Partridge 3 Jake Wholey 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Joe Maguire 6 Jide Maduako 7 Jack Watts 8 Matt Richards 9 Gary Ricketts (c) (Kane Richards 78) 10 Kieran O’Connell (Alex Ford 56) 11 James Reid (Ryan Wilson 78). Subs not used: Russell Cooke, Aaron Hooton
Att: 1, 929 Ref: Gary Chapman (West Yorkshire)
Star Robin: Chris Martin
by Mark Duffy