Rory Coleman’s second half strike was enough as Ilkeston earned a solid win against Derby County’s Under 21s.
Ilkeston began the game with a slight tweak in personnel, Liam Hearn and David Jones started up front, Luis Rose and Rory Coleman sat on the flanks with Jaylon Bather at left back. A midfield partnership of Mark Shelton and Danny Gordon looked to make penetrating passes.
From the early stages Derby moved the ball well, Ross Durrant came rushing out to intercept a long ball forward but was bamboozled as the ball was lofted over him looking for former Robin Lewis Walker. Luckily Jak Kenworthy was on hand to nip in front of Walker and clear.
Rose had Ilkeston’s best chance of the game as his flicked header at the back post from Bather’s cross went inches wide of the top corner.
The Rams threatened in stages in the first period, Charles Vernam found space in the box and curled straight at Durrant. Jones then did well to clear a dangerous Alex Babos cross before the latter scuffed an effort straight at Durrant inside the box.
The second half saw Ilkeston press higher and work the ball with more tempo; Derby continued their threat and Timi Elsnik fired inches wide of the near post following a corner. However the Robins began to create and trouble Kelle Roos, Anthony Dwyer made an impact and trickled a ball to Hearn but his shot was blocked.
But with 57 minutes gone, Ilkeston led. A wonderful pass from Shelton found Coleman in the box, onside and he finished over Roos with excellent composure.
Durrant then produced a magical save to deny Farrend Rawson whose towering header was destined for the bottom corner. The Robins maintained pressure and Hearn had another chance but his header was wide of the near post following a Kenworthy cross, the powerful striker then forced a save from Roos inside the box moments later after holding off Rawson.
Derby produced a late chance with Calllum Guy curling over but Ilkeston held on for a fantastic win in a technical and hard-working display.
Next in the Pre-season schedule is the visit of Borrowash Victoria to the NMG on Wednesday evening, 7.45pm kick off.
Ilkeston FC Starting XI: Ross Durrant, Jak Kenworthy (Connor Walters 78), Rory Coleman (Tevan Brima 66), Danny Gordon (Haydn Goddard 66), Matt Baker(c), Luke Foster, Luis Rose (Dexter Atkinson 75), Mark Shelton (Ben Morris 78), David Jones (Anthony Dwyer 53), Liam Hearn, Jaylon Bather.
Derby County Starting XI: Kelle Roos, Alefe Santos, Calum MacDonald, Jamie Hanson (Timi Elsnik 75), Farrend Rawson, Kyron Stabana (Callum Guy 60), Kellan Gordon, Timi Elsnik (Joe Bateman 60), Lewis Walker (Charles Vermam 75), Charles Vernam (Emil Jakobsen 66), Alex Babos (Micah Edwards 66).
Subs Not Used: Josh Barnes