Dan’s the man to earn Robins a point at Witton

Ilkeston defender Dan Partridge (third from left) is congratulated after making it 2-2 on Saturday. Photo by Rob Stephenson.
Ilkeston defender Dan Partridge (third from left) is congratulated after making it 2-2 on Saturday. Photo by Rob Stephenson.

Witton Albion 2 Ilkeston FC 2

Dan Partridge’s first goal of the season earned Ilkeston a point in Cheshire on Saturday to extend the Robins’ unbeaten league run to seven games.

It was an entertaining encounter that both sides looked keen to win throughout, Ilkeston perhaps left to rue not having made more of good first-half opportunities.

But a point against high-flying Albion was more than acceptable and an outcome the hosts also seemed content with.

The opening quarter of the game was fairly even, Danny Andrews and Steve Foster going close for the hosts and Aaron Hooton’s dipping volley dropping just wide at the other end.

The lead was very nearly the Robins’ on 18 minutes when Jack Watts’ cross was headed firmly against the bar by Gary Ricketts, but only six further minutes would elapse before the opening goal finally arrived.

A foul out wide on Ricketts gave the excellent James Reid the chance to swing in a free-kick, and his low delivery was met by the diving head of Albion skipper Anthony Sheehan at the near post who diverted the ball past keeper Matthew Cooper.

Watts saw a volley saved, Witton’s Foster had a goal ruled for offside and Reid was just wide after a corner was cleared to him, but the hosts got level just before the break when Russell Cooke’s fine tackle only saw the ball break to Anthony Gardner whose left-foot shot deflected in off Joe Maguire.

Hooton nearly restored the lead before half-time with a header from a corner that was well held on the line by Cooper, but it was to be the home side who would edge in front 14 minutes into the second-half.

The industrious Andrews fed a fine through ball into Foster 12 yards out and he finished well across Chris Martin and into the far corner.

Andrews nearly made it three but screwed wide from distance on 66, and just a minute later the Robins were back on level terms.

Reid was again the architect with a great piece of work down the left and when his pull back saw Watts’ low effort saved, Partridge was on hand to fire home the rebound.

The better late chances fell to Ilkeston, Hooton with another header just wide following a corner and Steven Smith blazing over in a good position, but a point each would ultimately be the outcome.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Witton: 1 Matthew Cooper 2 Anthony Gardner 3 Mathew Wood 4 Ben Harrison 5 Paul Booth 6 Anthony Sheehan (c) (Shaun Tuck 79) 7 Josh Hancock (Alex Meechan 68) 8 Oliver James 9 Joe Shaw 10 Steve Foster 11 Danny Andrews. Subs not used: Josh Glover, Adam Clayton, Jamie Harrison

Scorers: Gardner 43, Foster 59 Ilkeston: 1 Chris Martin 2 Dan Partridge 3 Steven Smith 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Joe Maguire 6 Russell Cooke 7 Jack Watts 8 Ryan Wilson 9 Gary Ricketts (c) 10 Aaron Hooton (Dereece Gardner 82) 11 James Reid. Subs not used: James Cullingworth, Greg Pearson, Alex Ford, Joe Wilcox

Scorers: Sheehan 24og, Partridge 67

Att: 454 Ref: P Hodskinson Star Robin: James Reid

by Mark Duffy