Mark Shelton’s first-half beauty sent Ilkeston FC into the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with an impressive display against Barwell at Kirkby Road.
The win was the Robins’ second on the road in the competition this season and they will now be in Monday’s draw for the next round, £4,500 in prize money having been won from beating league rivals Barwell.
Ilkeston began with Anthony Dwyer up front and Luis Rose and Rory Coleman sat on the wings. Anton Brown and Luke Foster returned to the side and sat in midfield and defence respectively. From the start there was early pressure for Ilkeston to survive as skipper Matt Baker cleared an early cross away.
But the Robins soon started to control the game. Dwyer claimed for a penalty after being pulled back in the box, then Barwell responded with a Spencer free kick from just outside the box which went just wide of Ross Durrant’s left post.
Rose tried an ambitious volley from outside the box which went way over the bar after neat build up play.
The build up from Ilkeston continued to threaten the Barwell defence, Shelton collecting Dwyer’s back-heel, and releasing Coleman whose shot went inches wide of the bottom corner.
Dwyer, a constant threat, nearly provided an audacious opener, collecting Durrant’s long punt up field, but the striker’s lob went just over the bar.
Coleman and Rose again looked to find the opener with Coleman’s free-kick hit straight into the wall and Rose’s dangerous run denied by a last ditch recovery tackle in the box. Shelton did put the ball in the net on 26 minutes with a great header, but the linesman ruled the goal out for offside.
Then with 34 minutes gone, Shelton found the opener with a beautiful hit, as he hammered a strike into the top corner from outside the box to send the travelling Ilkeston fans behind the goal into ecstasy.
Durrant then produced another good save, tipping a strike from outside the box over the bar.
Ilkeston started the second-half well as Dwyer trickled a ball across the face before he twisted and turned his man and fired over the bar. Hickey threatened with a fierce strike outside the box but Durrant held well.
The Robins soaked up massive amounts of pressure from the hosts and chances dried up as the half wore on, the gaps in both sides midfield’s tightened and more fouls came into the game. Dwyer nearly found a second just before the hour, prodding wide of the far post before Coleman’s curling effort was saved.
With a few minutes left, Ilkeston were sent down to ten men as Jaylon Bather confronted Anderson after a challenge and appeared to lean into the Barwell player, the referee deemed this a red card offence whilst Anderson was booked.
But after heroic defending throughout the second-half and what seemed like an age of stoppage time, the Robins earned a fantastic win once again in the FA Cup.
Next up is the return to league duty and the visit of Hednesford Town for Ilkeston’s second home game of the season on Tuesday evening, 7.45pm kick-off.
Barwell: Smith-Varnam, Taylor, Rowe, Wheatley, Ballinger, Julien, Spencer, Anderson, Shorthouse, Hickey(c), Shannon-Lewis.
Ilkeston: Durrant, Kenworthy, Coleman, Goddard (Gordon 78), Baker, Foster, Rose, Shelton, Dwyer (Jones 75), Brown, Bather.
Subs not used: Walters, Dolan, Morris, Atkinson, Owen.