DARREN Caskey’s early penalty was enough for Ilkeston FC to overcome Shepshed Dynamo on Saturday.
Evo-Stik Division One South
SHEPSHED DYNAMO 0
ILKESTON FC 1
Darren Caskey 10pen
by Mark Duffy
IT wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but the Robins did enough to see off bottom side Shepshed on Saturday and keep up their pursuit of a promotion spot.
This one probably falls into the ‘a win is a win’ category, Darren Caskey’s early penalty the only goal in a match where Ilkeston should have registered on several other occasions.
After a dominant but unproductive start, the Robins took the lead after ten minutes when Joe Maguire’s shot was blocked by the raised hand of a Shepshed defender. Caskey stepped up to find the corner of the net with his spot-kick.
Jack Watts put a header wide on 17 minutes and had he been braver from a long ball a few minutes later he could well have nodded past onrushing keeper James Martin who instead was able to gather.
Watts was then sent through again by a Dan Lowson clearance but his low effort struck Martin on its way just wide of the goal, and Gary Ricketts was only slightly too high after a corner reached him on the edge of the box on 30.
Jerome O’Connor had the hosts’ first real opening but having run on to a free ball he couldn’t find the target with a left-foot strike.
James Reid saw a shot pushed wide by Martin and Caskey’s free-kick was just too high as the Robins went into the break with just the one-goal lead.
A fairly sterile opening to the second-half was ended on 68 minutes with a great opportunity for Shepshed to equalise, when a corner from the left was headed over the top by sub Max Pembleton who was free inside the six-yard box.
Reid then fired an effort straight at Martin as Ilkeston continued to seek a second goal, but Shepshed were starting to sniff an equaliser and Steve Chaplin tested Lowson with a low drive from the edge of the penalty area on 68 minutes.
Sub Darryl Thomas, Maguire and Matt Richards all had efforts either drift wide or find the hands of Martin - manager Kevin Wilson frustrated by the chances his side were missing.
Pembleton was next to try his luck from distance for Dynamo but saw his shot drift wide of Lowson’s right-hand post, before Reid managed to somehow slice wide from six yards out after the ball had broken to him following a scramble in the Dynamo box - probably the best chance so far to kill the game off.
Martin denied Reid again a minute later with a good diving save to turn the winger’s curler wide of the post, but ultimately the single goal would prove to be enough.
Ilkeston: 1 Dan Lowson 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson (Joe Wilcox 66) 4 Joe Maguire 5 Dan Partridge 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Darren Caskey (Daryll Thomas 46) 8 Matt Richards 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Jack Watts 11 James Reid. Subs not used: Andrew Osei-Siribour, Tyrell Waite, Russell Peel Att: 251 Ref: David Plowright