ILKESTON FC are through to the next round of the FA Trophy after overcoming Biggleswade Town at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.
FA Carlsberg Trophy
First Qualifying Round
ILKESTON FC 2
Adam Colton 44
Joe Wilcox 84
BIGGLESWADE TOWN 0
by Rod Malcolm
UP on the Market Place, fairgoers were paying good money to be catapulted into the air, to suffer that sinking feeling and then elation to discover they had survived.
Down on Awsworth Road, Ilkeston fans were enduring and enjoying pretty much the same range of emotions as the Robins made progress in the FA Trophy.
While some were still rolling up, Joe Wilcox came close to scoring as he cut in from the right. Keeper Dean Bull was ready despite there only being 20 seconds on the clock and he made a good save.
Daryll Thomas and Gary Ricketts began to show they can be a potent strikeforce and Biggleswade were lucky to be still at the Kentucky Derby.
Thomas was making imaginative runs and his senior partner twice jabbed efforts narrowly wide.
Wilcox was running riot, in front of James Cullingworth who was getting on with the task of subduing danger man Ashley Fuller.
The Biggleswade winger eventually managed to turn inside but the effort only left an impression on a pitchside advert.
It was a tight contest but Ilkeston were about to take a 43rd minute lead, with Wilcox at the heart of it.
His effort was blocked but Adam Colton delivered the ball into the one spot beyond Bull’s reach. The midfielder’s joy was unconfined as he scampered back.
“It was a good first goal,” groaned the sporting Bull. But there was plenty of work after Ilkeston’s half-time break excluded candy floss and hot dogs.
Colton was more expansive about the effort and said: “It was great to be back in the side and I am grateful to have been given another chance.”
Green-shirted Waders, a rare bird in these parts, began to flock around the Ilkeston goal and Ben Gathercole was soon winning applause.
Alex O’Brien fired straight at him but he deserved a toffee apple for turning aside Kevin Gilroy’s 72nd minute shot.
This helter skelter match was resolved by Wilcox, after Tyrell Waite came off the subs’ bench and enhanced a reputation as someone to make things happen.
In 85 minutes, he emerged from a crowd and reached the touchline. Wilcox dispatched the cross, later deflecting praise by saying: “It was a great ball by ‘T’ and I put it away.”
When referee Michael Ball decided on added time, there was still enough tension for a boy to yell: “Five minutes, you’ve got to be joking.”
Striker Brett Donnelly headed home but an offside flag was fluttering. An Ilkeston fan shouted a tactical plan: “Stick the ball in the cut.”
Josh Hill misheard but tested a van’s warranty with a clearance which left the ball resting against the coalyard fence.
He would have won a coconut if he’d managed that at the fair.
Ilkeston: 1 Ben Gathercole 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson (Dan Partridge 90+3) 4 Liam Green 5 Josh Hill 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Joe Wilcox 8 Adam Colton 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Daryll Thomas (Tyrell Waite 83) 11 Russell Peel
Subs not used: Robinson, Josh Wisdom, Aaron Butcher (GK)
Ref: M Ball (Rotherham)
Star Man: Joe Wilcox