Report/Video: Ilkeston FC 1-0 Frickley Athletic

The first league win of 2015 finally came Ilkeston’s way on Saturday but this was hardly convincing stuff.

The inability to be clinical in front of goal nearly cost them dear as several good openings went begging at the New Manor Ground with visitors Frickley trying to do what a good few others have done this year and nick a late goal, the Robins this time able to hold out for a valuable three points in the promotion race.

Brad Fortnam-Tomlinson gets away from a Frickley defender. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Brad Fortnam-Tomlinson gets away from a Frickley defender. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Having ended the previous game so badly it was something of a relief for the home fans that this one started so well.

Just three minutes were on the clock when good work by Eddy Samba saw him find James Reid on the left of the penalty area and he hammered his shot across goal and in off the far post.

The game surprisingly then fell into a lull rather than the Robins cementing their dominance, both sides seeing plenty of the ball but seriously lacking in the final third.

It took until 28 minutes for the next serious threat on goal, Reid’s deep cross headed wide by Rob Duffy.

Moments later Samba laid the ball into Brad Fortnam-Tomlinson but his effort was blocked by keeper Sam Leigh, who then denied Reid 30 seconds afterwards before an offside flag dictated any goal wouldn’t have counted.

Frickley’s James Kay was on all of his side’s set pieces and his free-kick from just outside the box was left of centre and was curled into the side netting.

Luke Hinsley then headed a cross down into the hands of Jordan Smith a minute later as the visitors enjoyed a good spell of pressure, Luke Hornsey firing over the top after a free-kick was cleared to him on the edge of the penalty area.

Joe Maguire got up to head a corner well wide at the other end, but the half would end with just one goal to show for it.

Ilkeston continued to create the better openings in the second-half but were wasteful in front of goal.

Duffy was sent through on goal around the hour mark but shot weakly at Leigh when a square ball to the wide open Samba looked the easier option, then Luke Shaw cut inside only to curl his shot wide.

Reece Thompson was then very near to connecting with a Kay cross as Frickley continued to try and nick an equaliser, something they were even closer to achieving when full-back Macauley Parkinson let fly from 30 yards, his shot whistling inches over the bar.

Maguire remained a threat from Robins set pieces, this time his header going too high on 77, sub Mike Williams then getting down the right but seeing his cross nodded wide by Samba.

Kay sent another promising free-kick too high for the visitors, then Thompson could only fire straight at Smith after a ball over the top. The familiar script of Ilkeston throwing points away continued to bounce around the minds of many at the NMG.

However, the visitors’ task was made that bit harder in stoppage time as defender Jameel Ible saw red for pullling back sub Jake Wright on the edge of the box.

Williams then blocked a Leigh clearance only to see the ball drop just wide of the post, but the three points were Ilkeston’s even if not in the most convincing fashion.

Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith, 2 Luke Shaw, 3 James Reid, 4 Matt Baker, 5 Joe Maguire (c), 6 Jack Lane, 7 David Morgan, 8 Callum Chettle, 9 Rob Duffy (Mike Williams 76), 10 Brad Fortnam-Tomlinson (Rai Simons 57), 11 Eddy Samba (Jake Wright 82)

Subs not used: Akil Wright, Lawrence Gorman

Frickley: 1 Sam Leigh, 2 Macauley Parkinson, 3 James Kay, 4 Luke Hornsey, 5 John Cyrus, 6 Jack Broadhead, 7 Brad Riley, 8 Matty Bloor (c), 9 Reece Thompson, 10 Luke Hinsley, 11 Sanchez Payne (Jameel Ible 85)

Subs not used: Luke Jeffs, Lee Stratford, Karl Rose, Ben Simpson

Ref: M Griffiths

Att: 428

Star Robin: James Reid