AFC Fylde 2 Ilkeston FC 3
Ilkeston FC’s excellent winter revival continued as familiar foes AFC Fylde were finally put to the sword in Lancashire on Saturday.
It was the fourth time this season the two sides had come face to face, with a Fylde win and two draws meaning the Robins were due their moment of glory.
And that’s precisely what they got as Matt Richards’ second-half winner made it four straight victories for Kevin Wilson’s men.
The opening 15 minutes were fairly dull, Adam Sumner and James Dean putting efforts harmlessly over the top for the hosts and Ilkeston’s Jack Watts testing debutant keeper Danzelle St Louis Hamilton from distance but the low effort was easily held.
The game then came to life with three goals in a crazy five minute spell.
Ilkeston struck first and it was far from pretty, as a corner was cleared back out to taker Watts and his second cross ignited a ridiculous scramble in the six yard box which eventually ended with Gary Ricketts poking the ball home from virtually on the goal line.
But the lead lasted just 90 seconds, as Dean’s long ball was chased by Mike Barnes and he beat the onrushing Chris Martin to the ball to steer it home from the edge of the penalty area.
Aaron Hooton then headed just wide for Ilkeston on 23 but just moments later the lead was back in Ilkeston’s hands, as Richards’ fine cross from the left was powerfully headed home by Ricketts for his second.
The game was suddenly very watchable and both sides would carve out further chances, Barnes putting over the top from a good position and then being denied by a perfectly-timed tackle by Jide Maduako as he burst towards goal.
At the other end, Hooton and Ricketts both tested Hamilton but the home custodian was equal to their efforts.
Just as it seemed the Robins would hold the lead at the break, Fylde equalised again as Barnes cut inside and saw his low shot parried but Dean was on hand to smash home the rebound from six yards out.
The second-half was just as even as the first but it was Ilkeston who would ultimately have the upper hand.
After Ryan Wilson and then Fylde sub Jack Dorney had threatened a goal, Richards stepped forward to provide it on 56 minutes by collecting Ricketts’ flick and firing in off the underside of the bar from just outside the penalty area.
Even keeper Martin fancied a goal, his huge clearance bouncing once before only just clearing Hamilton’s crossbar.
Thereafter it was mostly Fylde who did the attacking but Ilkeston defended superbly, Maduako and Joe Maguire in particular proving formidable barriers once more and Martin saving well late on from Barnes four minutes from time.
Ricketts and Ryan Wilson did have efforts saved for Ilkeston but 3-2 was how it would end and few could argue against the Robins deserving it.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
AFC Fylde: 1 Danzelle St Louis Hamilton 2 Steve Haslam 3 Adam Sumner (Paul Jarvis 77) 4 Matt Hughes 5 Michael Taylor 6 Bradley Barnes (c) (Adam Farrell 80) 7 Joe Booth (Jack Dorney 50) 8 Harry Winter 9 James Dean 10 Michael Barnes 11 Richie Allen. Subs not used: Glenn Steel, Aaron Fleming
Scorers: Barnes 20, Dean 44
Ilkeston: 1 Chris Martin 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Joe Maguire 6 Jide Maduako 7 Jack Watts 8 Ryan Wilson 9 Gary Ricketts (c) 10 Aaron Hooton 11 Matt Richards (Russell Peel 84). Subs not used: Russell Cooke, Joe Wilcox, Alex Ford, Jordan Smith
Scorers: Ricketts 19, 24, Richards 56
Att: 244 Ref: K Mulraine
Star Robin: Jide Maduako
By Mark Duffy