ILKESTON FC couldn’t recreate their scoring form of the weekend as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Coalville Town on Monday night.
Evo-Stik Division One South
ILKESTON FC 0
COALVILLE TOWN 0
by Mark Duffy
WHEN your goalkeeper gets the man-of-the-match vote it’s usually a sign that a draw isn’t actually a bad result.
And that was certainly the case on Monday evening as Bulgarian youngster Dimitar Evtimov produced a confident display to ensure no major Halloween horrors at the New Manor Ground.
The safest answer to the question of ‘trick or treat?’ was probably ‘neither’, as both sides were left frustrated for differing reasons, Coalville at their inability to convert chances and Ilkeston at their inability to create enough of them.
Coalville had the first attack of note, former Ilkeston trialist Karl Demidh breaking forward down the inside right channel but his placed shot from the edge of the penalty area was comfortably dealt with by Evtimov.
The hosts’ first opening came on ten minutes when a good burst through the middle from Joe Wilcox ended with a pass to Will McCall who cut inside and hit an effort too high.
Gary Ricketts fed skipper-for-the-night Daryll Thomas moments later but a poor touch saw the ball carry through to keeper Sean Bowles.
A left-wing corner then caused havoc in the Robins defence and when the ball fell to defender Dan Parker he was inches away from finding the top corner with a shot through a crowded six-yard box.
Anthony Carney was next to try his luck for Coalville, controlling and volleying from just outside the penalty area but his dipping effort was just over the top.
A mis-hit clearance from Evtimov, his only real quiver all evening, was then sent back towards goal by Matt Moore with interest before the break, but the keeper managed to get back to his line just before the ball did and deal with the danger.
Ricketts tested Bowles early in the second-half, his header from Wilcox’s cross comfortably held by the Coalville stopper, and four minutes later a ball into the six-yard box from Thomas was inches away from Ricketts’ outstretched boot and Coalville were able to clear.
The visitors then twice came close themselves, firstly with Demidh’s low effort from distance which Evtimov gathered and then when a cross from the right was headed just wide by Carney at the back post.
Carney then set Moore up for a half-volley which he could only slice over the bar, and on 68 minutes Sean Roulston’s header from a corner was straight at Evtimov as Coalville continued to create the better openings.
Player/assistant manager Darren Caskey lasted just nine minutes as a sub before swiftly returning back to the bench holding his groin, before Evtimov produced his best save yet on 78 minutes.
A cross from the right evaded both Ilkeston central defenders and found the feet of Moore 12 yards out, but his powerful strike was very well blocked by the Robins youngster.
And he was in action again on 81, when a free-kick was cleared to Callum Woodward whose shot was athletically tipped around the post.
Ryan Wilson saw a free-kick punched away by Bowles with two to go, while Roulston flashed a header across goal from a Coalville corner at the other end, but the scoreboard was to remain blank in what was Ilkeston FC’s first ever draw.
Ilkeston: 1 Dimitar Evtimov 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Liam Green 5 Josh Hill 6 Joe Maguire 7 Joe Wilcox 8 Adam Colton (Darren Caskey 64, Russell Peel 74) 9 Gary Ricketts (Tyrell Waite 55) 10 Daryll Thomas (c) 11 Will McCall Subs not used: Dan Partridge, Aaron Butcher (GK)
Ref: D Benton Att: 577
Star Man: Dimitar Evtimov