Sutton defeat brings Ilkeston back to reality

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Evo-Stik Division One South

SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN 2

Mark Bellingham 16, 27

ILKESTON FC 1

Daryll Thomas 65

by Rod Malcolm

A FEW home truths were served up as a young Ilkeston side slipped to defeat on the synthetic pitch at Sutton Coldfield.

But there was nothing artificial about striker Mark Bellingham as he belted home a couple of early goals. It provided his team with a cushion needed to repel a late Robins’ revival.

That point was made by manager Kevin Wilson who said: “It’s no good trying to rescue a match after 75 minutes if you start so badly. If we put in performances like that, it will be a long hard struggle.

“I know they are young but it’s a man’s game and they have to adapt. The attitude and application was missing until it was too late.”

After 16 minutes, his side conceded its first goal in the first Northern Premier Division One South. Workaholic Jon Jones, known to his team as JJ, edged the ball to Bellingham and a low shot did the rest.

The second was as basic as they come. The ball was hoofed up from the back and Bellingham charged through to score. The Robins were rocking and Aaron Butcher had to force out an overhead kick by defender Zac Costello, who was up for a corner.

Nick Dodd latched onto the loose ball, only for Costello to unwittingly block the shot as the half ended with Ilkeston’s ebullient fans in a mood of silent contemplation.

Dan Partridge took over at left back at the restart, with Ryan Wilson moving into midfield and Will McCall switching to right wing. In 65 minutes, McCall slipped the ball into the path of marauding right back Joe Wilcox whose fierce cross was headed in by Daryll Thomas.

An escape plan was being hatched but the hosts did their best to expose it when substitute Danny Lennon hit the bar with a header.

Ilkeston kept pushing forward and their manager could be heard yelling: “Keep believing.”

Wilcox was scorching the £300,000 turf, Andrew Osei-Siribour made a late impact and Thomas was close to stealing a point in the first competitive match played on the pitch which looks like grass but has little beads of rubber bouncing up whenever the ball lands on it.

Coach Darren Caskey came on for the last throw of the dice and that nearly worked.

He found Tyrell Waite with a clever ball but keeper Niall Cooper beat it away.

Ilkeston: 1 Aaron Butcher 2 Joe Wilcox 3 Ryan Wilson (Darren Caskey 81) 4 Adam Colton (Andrew Osei-Siribour 81) 5 Josh Hill 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Kristian Cox (Dan Partridge 46) 8 Liam Green 9 Daryll Thomas 10 Tyrell Waite 11 Will McCall

Subs not used: Dan Partridge, Ryan Swift (GK)

Ref: M D’Aguilar

Att: 215

Star Man: Joe Wilcox