Ilkeston’s second pre-season run out of the summer saw them beaten 3-1 by a young Leicester City side on Wednesday night.
As cliched ‘useful workouts’ go this will have been exactly that to Paul Holland as he continues to assess the talent at his disposal, a better second-half display following something of a flat first 45 as fitness continues to be the main area of concentration.
Leicester had some talented young players on show and gave the Robins the runaround but there were still a good few positives for the hosts to take from the game.
Leicester took the lead inside 90 seconds as a corner from the right was headed against the bar by Melkamu Taufer and Kairo Mitchell was on hand to nod in the rebound.
Despite the lively start to proceedings the game then failed to spark, not surprising given it’s early in pre-season but also not entertaining for those watching.
Ilkeston knocked the ball around well but lacked any real penetration in the final third, Liam Hearn denied by a fine tackle form Josh Knight when he looked a good bet to score on 37 minutes.
That’s how long it had taken for a serious threat on goal to materialise, only Matt Miles’ long ranger which flew too high for Leicester a few minutes earlier being enough to wake either goalkeeper.
The second Leicester goal came on 44 minutes as fine work down the left by full-back Connor Wood saw him skilfully beat two players and then cross for Daniel Rowe who glanced his header past Ross Durrant.
Leicester got their third seven minutes into the second-half when a cross looped up off a defender and found Mitchell a couple of yards out who netted past sub keeper Jamie Hannis.
A flurry of changes followed but Ilkeston were looking more lively, Mark Shelton a good addition to the midfield and Nathan Arnold, still looking to gain fitness as he seeks a move higher up the pyramid, also positive.
They got a goal back just after the hour as a corner wasn’t cleared and Hearn turned to hook the ball home from close range.
Hearn tested keeper Max Bramley with a free-kick soon afterwards but it was safely held, but that would be the last meaningful action as the game petered out and the Foxes went home winners.
Ilkeston: 1 Ross Durrant (Jamie Hannis 46), 2 Connor Walters (Jak Kenworthy 60), 3 Rory Coleman (Keenan Meakin 72), 4 Danny Gordon (Haydn Goddard 60), 5 Matt Baker (c) (Max Thornberry 60), 6 Luke Foster (Matt Baker 83), 7 Dexter Atkinson (Mark Shelton 46), 8 Haydn Goddard (Nathan Arnold 46), 9 Liam Hearn (Marvin Robinson 72), 10 David Jones (Mike Williams 46), 11 Luis Rose (Ben Morris 60)
Leicester: 1 Max Bramley, 2 Darnell Johnson (Cedric Kipre 46), 3 Connor Wood, 4 Matt Miles, 5 Elliott Moore (Darnell Johnson 76), 7 Melkamu Taufer (Jason Vincent 76), 8 Daniel Rowe (Kiernan Dewsbury-Hill 63), 9 Kairo Mitchell (Josh Eppiah 63), 10 Faiq Bolkiah (Lamine Sharif 46), 11 Josh Debayo, 15 Josh Knight (Alex Pascanu 63)
Not used: Cameron Yates