Late winner punishes Ilkeston

Ilkeston midfielder Matt Richards (right) considers his options during the defeat to Witton. Photo by Rob Stephenson.
Ilkeston midfielder Matt Richards (right) considers his options during the defeat to Witton. Photo by Rob Stephenson.

Ilkeston FC 2 Witton Albion 3

Ilkeston’s lack of creativity was once again evident on Saturday as Witton Albion took all three points at the New Manor Ground.

Even the goals the Robins did register were scored by the opposition as Albion nearly gifted the home side a share of the points, but in the end the Cheshire side deservedly won the game with a late strike from Mathew Wood.

In fact, left-back Wood was an attacking threat all afternoon, getting in behind Ilkeston as early as the fifth minute but seeing his shot parried by keeper Ashley Timms.

Two minutes later the Robins were in front, as Matt Richards put in a low cross from the left and defender Ben Harrison horribly sliced his clearance over goalkeeper Matthew Cooper and into the corner of the net.

Adam Somes and Daryll Thomas then both had efforts go close but Witton levelled on 23 when Josh Hancock picked the ball up 25 yards out and had space to run into penalty area before firing a low shot past Timms.

And six minutes later Albion were in front, Hancock again claiming the goal though his drive from outside the penalty area took a huge deflection off defender Chris Jones which wrong-footed virtually everyone and sent the ball into the corner of the net.

Thomas then saw a low shot tipped wide and Witton’s Shaun Tuck had a free-kick from 30 yards deflected over the top as the visitors deservedly led at the break.

That lead lasted only five minutes of the second-half though and again it was a comical goal that benefited the Robins.

A short corner resulted in Richards again putting a low cross into the six yard box, and after missing the first set of interested parties the ball popped up and hit centre-back Paul Booth on the hip before spinning into the goal off the inside of a post.

Chances were infrequent after that as the game became a little scrappy and uneventful, the best openings being a shot from Witton sub Steven Connors which flashed across goal and Ilkeston’s Dion Chambers being inches away from connecting with Jack Watts’ cross at the back post.

The winner came ten minutes from time and the Robins’ inability to cut the supply line to Wood down the left finally proved costly.

He was fed by Hancock’s fine through ball before hitting an unstoppable finish across Timms and into the top corner to win the game.

Ilkeston introduced James Reid and Ryan Osborne late on but with little impact, and their fifth defeat of a difficult season so far was confirmed.

Ilkeston: 1 Ashley Timms 2 Chris Jones 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Dan Partridge 6 Ellis Storey 7 Jack Watts (James Reid 84) 8 Matt Richards 9 Adam Somes (Will McCall 46) 10 Daryll Thomas 11 Dion Chambers (Ryan Osborne 84). Subs not used: Joe Wilcox, Chris Martin

Scorers: Harrison 7og, Booth 50og
Witton: 1 Matthew Cooper 2 Anthony Gardner 3 Mathew Wood 4 Ben Harrison 5 Paul Booth 6 Anthony Sheehan 7 Josh Hancock 8 Matthew Cross 9 Ashley Stott 10 Shaun Tuck (Steven Connors 65) 11 Daniel Andrews (Rory Fallon 65). Subs not used: Josh Glover, Matthew Woolley, Mark Buchan

Scorers: Hancock 23, 29, Wood 80

Att: 499 Ref: Mark Howes (Solihull)

Star Robin: Laurie Wilson

by Mark Duffy