CHAMPIONS! Report from LOUGHBOROUGH 1-8 ILKESTON TOWN as the Robins win the title in style

Ilkeston Town are MFL Premier Division champions.
Ilkeston Town are MFL Premier Division champions.

Ilkeston Town are MFL Premier Division champions after they ran riot in Loughborough on Saturday to secure the title in style.

Leading the table from Walsall Wood only thanks to a goal difference of plus four ahead of play, the Robins allayed any fears that they might be overtaken with a blistering first-half and comfortable second, Wood themselves only managing a 3-0 win over Wolverhampton SC.

That left the West Midlands side somewhat harshly missing out on both the title and promotion on goal difference, but it's hard to argue that Ilkeston aren't deserving champions given the season they've had which has included two changes in management.

Their flourish to end the campaign saw them score 15 goals in their final two matches, responding perfectly to the defeat dished out by their title rivals just seven days earlier.

And it all means a first championship win in 27 years since their West Midlands League success back in 1992.

Ilkeston had the first clear chance nine minutes in when a corner found Kyle Dixon in space but he drove low and wide when he should have hit the target.

But the Robins got their lead four minutes later, as Reco Fyfe swung in a corner from the left which curled straight into the net with the help of the wind.

And the second goal would arrive within three minutes. Rod Orlando-Young's superb cross finding the unmarked Kyle Perry whose header was powered into the net.

The avalanche continued - three minutes later Orlando-Young again was the architect as he cut inside and squared the ball to where Fyfe was on hand to stroke the ball into the corner of the net.

Things went quiet, but not for long. Another corner caused havoc in the Loughborough box on 31 minutes and Jamie Walker was able to stab the ball home from close range.

Loughborough replied with Dan Collins forcing Liam Mitchell to parry his shot away, then Ben Last's drive was blocked by Mitchell's legs.

Reeves curled an effort too high for the visitors two minutes before half-time, but the break arrived with Ilkeston firmly in charge in both the match and the title race.

The second-half saw Ilkeston continue to dominate, Reeves' back heel saved by keeper George Hobbs early on after great work by Dixon, then Orlando-Young fired wide after a good burst forward.

Dixon then saw an effort blocked on the line after Reeves' pull back, before goal five arrived and it was Fyfe who completed his treble, a deflected effort after another good break forward by the Robins.

Reeves was then denied at point blank range by a fine block from Hobbs, but goal six arrived on 69 minutes when Walker's cross went under the body of the goalkeeper and rolled in.

It was seven just a few minutes later, Orlando-Young getting a deserved goal as he cut in and curled a fine effort into the far corner of the net on his left foot.

Loughborough nearly registered through Connor Smith's fine volley which Mitchell had to tip onto the bar and over the top, although Smith did then net with a deflected effort to reduce the arrears.

However, the Robins finished with a final flourish as sub Fabian Smith headed home after Alex Marshall's shot had been parried well by Hobbs, and their joy was complete.

Loughborough: Hobbs, Bardsley-Rowe, Clibbens, Sorunke, Bonner, Lewis, Dasaolu, Last (Croud 62), Collins, Smith, Crookes (c) (Akpobire 75)

Subs not used: Martin, Ferrinho, Olapo, Akpobire

Ilkeston: Mitchell, White, Walker, Dixon, T Marshall, Shaw (c), Hopkinson (Smith 55), Fyfe, Reeves (Bennett 64), Perry (A Marshall 68), Orlando-Young

Subs not used:Baker, Meikle, Bennett