The loud noise heard across Erewash on Monday night will have been Ilkeston FC coming back down to earth with an almighty bump.
After Saturday’s outstanding display at Witton Albion, the visit of Stourbridge brought about a much more disjointed performance that had its positives but was crucially decided by the negatives.
They mostly revolved around defensive lapses, with three of the four Stourbridge goals seemingly preventable - an element of last season’s frailties showing up once again.
Having been 3-1 down with ten minutes left the Robins pulled themselves level before stoppage time arrived, only to shoot themselves in the foot by allowing sub Chris Knight to squeeze in the winning goal and send a very neat and tidy Stourbridge outfit home with all three points.
The warning signs were there from the off, with a horror show gifting the visitors the lead five minutes in as Joe Maguire, some 40 yards from goal, produced a hopelessly weak header back towards keeper Jordan Smith allowing Kayledon Brown to take possession, run on and finish well into the far corner.
Clear cut chances were few and far between in the opening half as both sides passed the ball around well but lacked the cutting edge that would prove so evident in the second period.
James Reid had seen a low shot pushed wide by keeper Dean Coleman just before the opening goal and Rob Duffy put an effort into Coleman’s arms after good work by Kane Richards.
Mike Williams also saw a chance comfortably saved late in the half but the relative peace and quiet of the first period gave little clue as to what was to follow in the second.
As in the first-half, it took just five minutes for Stourbridge to register a goal. This time a good passing move ended with Jordan Fitzpatrick creating space for himself in the penalty area and finishing low past Smith.
Duffy put an effort into the side netting at the other end and Fitzpatrick wasted a good chance to kill the game off soon afterwards, but it would be the introduction of Ilkeston sub Chey Adams that would prove to be a crucial moment in the match on 64 minutes - his pace, power and energy scaring the life out of Stourbridge for the remainder of the game.
Within seconds he’d threaded a through ball towards the penalty area and Richards got a touch to take the ball past Coleman and into the net.
Further Adams inspiration would follow, but not before visiting skipper Dean Geddes had hit the bar with a free-kick and then his side had gone 3-1 up as the Robins allowed two free headers from a corner and Leon Broadhurst put the second of them into the net from six yards out.
It was 3-2 on 80 minutes as another Adams through ball found Richards and once again he finished well to reduce the arrears.
Then, with time running out, Adams dispossessed a defender and burst into the penalty area before being brought down, Duffy slotting home the spot-kick to seemingly earn the Robins a point.
But this is Ilkeston FC and it’s not always that simple. Barely 90 seconds after the equaliser, Knight found room on the edge of the penalty area and his low shot beat Smith who got a firm hand to it but couldn’t prevent the ball from finding the corner of the net.
That was that, and Ilkeston’s young team were left to reflect on a Jekyll and Hyde performance and once again seeing points go begging on their own patch.
Monday, August 18, 2014:
Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith 2 Luke Shaw 3 James Reid (Kieran Wallace 74) 4 Akil Wright 5 Joe Maguire (c) 6 Jack Lane 7 David Morgan 8 Callum Chettle 9 Rob Duffy 10 Kane Richards (Chey Adams 79) 11 Mike Williams (Chey Adams 64). Subs not used: Ellis Storey, Curtis Burrows, Danny Gordon
Stourbridge: 1 Dean Coleman 2 Jordan Fitzpatrick (Brian Smikle 70) 3 Will Richards 4 Kristian Ramsey-Dickson 5 Sean Geddes (c) 6 Louis Harris 7 Andre Francis (Chris Knight 46) 8 Leon Broadhurst 9 Kayledon Brown 10 Ben Billingham 11 Drew Canavan Subs not used: Alex Dallison, Josh Morgan-Parker
Att: 407 Ref: Sam Mulhall
Star Robin: Chey Adams
Report by Mark Duffy (@DuffersSport)
Photos by Craig Lamont (@_CLPhotography)