This was a pretty uninspiring game played on a horrible night but Ilkeston didn’t care as three more points eventually came their way.
Marine arrived at the New Manor Ground in a torrential downpour and proceeded to put in a performance that showed they had little interest in trying to win the game and would have been delighted to take home a point.
They nearly achieved that, defending resolutely to deny the Robins many clear cut chances, but they couldn’t stop Luke Shaw - not one of the taller players in the Ilkeston side - stealing in to head home the winner two minutes from time.
All of that meant the home side made it two 1-0 wins in three days, this one pushing them up to fourth in the table ahead of Tuesday’s games.
The first-half was devoid of any real quality and sent most of those present into a sleep that was only ended by the shriek of the half-time whistle.
The best moment came on 17 minutes when Kieran Wallace’s cross found Shaw at the back post and when he knocked the ball back to the waiting Kane Richards, his shot smacked the crossbar and the ball was cleared.
Other than that the only efforts of note were long range strikes from Marine’s Tom Owens - which was horribly high and wide - Ilkeston’s Che Adams and a lively free-kick from David Morgan which dipped just too late and found the fans behind the goal.
Marine’s Lewis Codling also got a shot in after cutting inside but it went harmlessly wide.
The second-half saw Ilkeston continue to dominate possession but the combination of a well-populated defence making life difficult and also an inability to produce any real quality in the penalty area meant they were frustrated for much of it.
Morgan was well wide from just outside the penalty area while Adams tested keeper Matt Cooper with a shot easily gathered.
Rob Duffy, who didn’t look particularly sprightly all evening, headed down into Cooper’s arms on 68 minutes with Richards just unable to get a touch which may have taken the ball into the net.
Morgan blew a good opening on 80 when the impressive Wallace did well down the left and pulled the ball back into the penalty area but Morgan snatched at his shot and the shot went wide.
The Robins’ perseverance finally paid off on 88 minutes.
A foul not far from the touchline out on the right gave Wallace the chance to swing in an inviting cross and Shaw got between two defenders to flick a delightful looping header over Cooper and into the far corner of the net.
As is often the case when Ilkeston are defending a narrow lead, there was still to be a scare right at the end as Marine suddenly realised they might have to put an attack together if they were to get anything out of the game.
That moment came when Owens pulled the ball back and Codling lined up a shot but it lacked conviction and Ilkeston keeper Jordan Smith was able to gather with ease.
The Robins had ground out three points on not only a difficult evening to play football but against a side with a stubborn defence and a tendency to get physical too - another successful lesson learned for the talented youngsters Ilkeston possess.
Monday, September 29, 2014:
Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith 2 Luke Shaw 3 Kieran Wallace 4 Akil Wright 5 Joe Maguire (c) 6 Jack Lane 7 David Morgan 8 Callum Chettle 9 Rob Duffy (Mike Williams 72) 10 Kane Richards (Ashley Hunter 86) 11 Che Adams. Subs not used: Matt Baker, James Reid, Aaron Myles
Marine: 1 Matt Cooper 2 Stephen Wainwright 3 James Short 4 Sean Hessey 5 Andy Nicholas 6 Jonathan Goulding 7 Dan Whitehall (Christian Langos 61) 8 James Foley 9 Lewis Codling 10 Dan Fearnehough 11 Tom Owens. Subs not used: John Shaw, Matt Williams, Inderjeet Ajula, James Mitcherson Att: 312 Ref: Alix Pashley
Star Robin: Kieran Wallace
Report by Mark Duffy (Twitter - @DuffersSport)
Photos by Craig Lamont (@_CLPhotography)
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