A strong Ilkeston FC side dismantled Ashby Ivanhoe in the FA Cup first qualifying round as the Robins produced a majestic display in front of a record attendance of 693.
Ilkeston headed into this FA Cup tie with great expectation being three divisions higher but the atmosphere at Ashby was incredible as FA Cup fever hit new heights.
The Robins began unchanged from the side that drew with Matlock. Anthony Dwyer sat up front with Dexter Atkinson and Haydn Goddard on the flanks. Mark Shelton sat behind Luis Rose, accompanied by Danny Gordon in central midfield.
From the early stages Ilkeston pressed high and were looking to force pressure on the Ashby back-line. The hosts generated a few early efforts but all trickled well wide of Ross Durrant’s goal. Atkinson threatened early for Ilkeston as he ran in behind but the striker opted to cross instead of shoot and the chance was gone.
With the home fans generating lots of noise in the biggest game in Ashby’s history, they were nearly quietened when Shelton’s free-kick from 25 yards went just over.
Rose nearly found Goddard at the back post with a lovely ball in behind but Goddard was always stretching. Dwyer then came inches from connecting with Rory Coleman’s low ball in.
However with 18 minutes gone, Dwyer opened the scoring to sink many of the Ashby fans’ hearts. A long punt forward by Durrant found Dwyer in a pocket of space, he raced on and hit a sweet half-volley into the bottom corner to settle the nerves.
Evan Cawley nearly produced the moment for the hosts when he headed wide before Danny Quinn danced past Matt Baker and Goddard before producing a save from Durrant at the near post inside the box.
Ilkeston soon made it two when Shelton’s pass found Atkinson onside in the box, the striker’s first effort was saved by Luke Hemingay, before he rolled in the rebound into an empty net.
The second-half saw Ilkeston extend the lead with just a minute on the clock, as Shelton again found space before bending a strike which took a slight deflection and found the bottom corner.
The Robins continued to dominate the second half, restricting the hosts to limited efforts and all of which rarely troubled Durrant.
Atkinson nearly made it four when he hit the post from Dwyer’s cross, Coleman’s follow up was blocked before Rose’s effort was also wide. Durrant then did well to deny Luke Thorogood’s point blank effort.
Rose then added a fourth wrapping up a lovely move with a strike into the bottom corner, then Ben Morris made it five with just his second touch, Rose again producing a moment of danger forcing Hemingay into a save but Morris was on hand to tap in the rebound.
In stoppage time Ilkeston cemented the destruction when Shelton hammered a strike which went in off the bar from Connor Walter’s square ball.
Ilkeston had marched into the second qualifying round of the FA Cup with a flair filled and professional performance.
Next up is the league trip to Warrington Town next Saturday, 3pm kick off.
Ilkeston FC: Ross Durrant, Jak Kenworthy, Matt Baker, Luke Foster, Rory Coleman, Danny Gordon (Connor Walters 77), Mark Shelton, Luis Rose (Reid Owen 74), Dexter Atkinson (Ben Morris 71), Haydn Goddard, Anthony Dwyer
Subs Not Used: Ryan Head.