Goals from Max Thornberry, Danny Gordon and Curtis Burrows secured back-to-back league wins for Ilkeston FC as they produced an impressive away display at Hyde United.
The three points confirmed Ilkeston’s place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division next season as none of the bottom four sides can now catch them.
Ilkeston began the game in the same formation that operated against Whitby. Curtis Burrows sat up top with Luis Rose and Luke Shaw on the flanks. Mike Williams sat in behind Burrows.
The Robins started with confidence and took the lead inside 50 seconds, Danny Gordon’s corner was short to Ryan Head who crossed for Burrows whose header back across goal found Max Thornberry to tap in for his first league goal.
Hyde attempted to respond but Ben Holmes’s effort from outside the box trickled wide.
Ilkeston were moving the ball around with confidence and good inter-play from Shaw, Burrows, Rose and Williams caused problems throughout the first-half. Shaw found Burrows who crossed at the second attempt but Williams was offside.
The Tigers threatened an equaliser when Scott Spencer wrestled into space on the edge of the box but his shot was comfortable for Jahquil Hill.
However, with 17 minutes gone, the Robins were two up. Gordon latched onto a loose ball around 30 yards out and struck for goal, the effort taking a deflection and flying in under the bar.
Ilkeston maintained pressure and Shaw hit an effort wide after another Ilkeston corner.
Hyde nearly pulled one back when a wicked free-kick was directed onto Andrew Pearson but he could only head wide.
Ayrton Bevins then showed great technique to produce an acrobatic effort which went way over the bar from five yards.
The Robins nearly made it three on several occasions. A blistering counter attack saw Williams find Shaw whose effort was deflected wide and Rose then saw his curling effort palmed away by Kieran Harrison inside the box.
Burrows then missed a golden chance when he was put clean through but he blazed high.
The second-half saw both sides trade chances. Burrows headed a Gordon corner wide and Scott Spencer then fired across Hill’s goal. The Robins were gritty in their defending, charging down long balls and staying intricate outside the box.
The Tigers did pull a goal back after 56 minutes as a smart one-two saw Bevins race clear and he finished low into the corner.
But Ilkeston didn’t panic and continued to create, Burrows heading over the bar from Haydn Goddard’s free kick.
The introduction of Dexter Atkinson gave Ilkeston much-needed pace on the break and Hyde survived a series of corners with the last one falling to Atkinson who curled goalwards but the last touch came off skipper Matt Baker.
The counter attack grew more potent; Williams nicked the ball back and found Burrows who raced forwards, he crossed but the ball was hacked away.
With ten minutes to go, Williams challenged for a ball at the back post and landed awkwardly resulting in the midfielder being taken to hospital with a serious ankle injury.
Atkinson had another chance to extend the lead but he put the ball wide when clean through, and Burrows then came inches from connecting with a Roy Lee near post cross.
Then deep into six minutes of stoppage time, the Robins wrapped the game up. Atkinson sent Burrows through who showed composure and pace to finish low into the corner and seal the three points.
Next up the Robins travel to neighbours Buxton for the Derbyshire Derby on Tuesday evening, 7.45pm kick off.
Ilkeston: Hill, Print, Head, Thornberry, Baker, Goddard, Shaw (Atkinson 69), Gordon, Burrows, Williams (Lee 81), Rose.
Subs Not Used: Jones, Morris, Walters.