Goals in each half enough for Robins

Liam Green scored a sumptuous volley against Carlton Town.
Liam Green scored a sumptuous volley against Carlton Town.

GOALS from rare and regular sources were the order of the evening on Monday as Ilkeston FC overcame Notts neighbours Carlton Town.

Evo-Stik Division One South


Liam Green 8

Daryll Thomas 60


by Mark Duffy

GOALS from rare and regular sources were the order of the evening on Monday as Ilkeston FC overcame Notts neighbours Carlton Town.

It should perhaps have been more comfortable as once again the Robins were a little wasteful in front of goal, but three points and a clean sheet were more than welcome.

Carlton came a whisker away from opening the scoring after just 50 seconds, when a corner from the right was met with a looping header by Nick Hall which bounced off the top of the crossbar and out for a goal kick.

But the Robins were to go in front on eight minutes in spectacular style. Gary Ricketts’ cross deflected up off a defender and out to the edge of the penalty area where Liam Green timed a powerful left-footed volley perfectly to send the ball past statuesque keeper Danny Marshall or his first goal of the season.

Ricketts tried something fancy of his own minutes later with an overhead kick from the edge of the 18-yard box but his effort dropped just over the top.

Next to go close was Daryll Thomas on 14 with a chance he really should have put away, but in space ten yards out he could only blast a volley over the top.

A minute later Ricketts picked up Ryan Wilson’s pass and his low shot was palmed away by Marshall for a corner as the Robins continued to dominate.

Wilson himself had the next opening, volleying Will McCall’s cross straight at Marshall, while at the other end Terry Hawkridge’s long range strike was clear of Ben Gathercole’s crossbar on 27 minutes.

The introduction of 46-year-old Carlton sub Neil Grayson then brought a family feel to the encounter with his son Ashley already in the visitors’ line-up, the veteran even making Ilkeston’s own ‘oldies’ Ricketts and Darren Caskey no doubt feel like spring chickens.

McCall then had Marshall back-pedalling to tip over a cross which almost crept in at the far post, Joe Wilcox heading Caskey’s resultant corner just over the top.

Wilson was then inches from connecting with McCall’s pass inside first-half stoppage time, but the ball was nicked away from him as he was about to connect.

Carlton’s Hall started the second-half as he did the first, though this time his right foot shot went just past the woodwork rather than hitting it, and moments later his header from Hawkridge’s free-kick was high and wide.

McCall had Ilkeston’s first real chance of the second period, cutting inside after being fed by Wilson but skewing his shot wide.

But the second arrived on the hour and it was simple yet beautifully executed. Russell Cooke threaded a perfect 40-yard through pass for Thomas to run on to and the free-scoring Robins striker drew Marshall before sliding the ball into the far corner.

Ricketts headed Caskey’s corner wide three minutes later, and Wilson should have made it three on 71 when fed by Thomas but his effort was blocked by Marshall for a corner.

A rare Carlton attack saw Ashley Kitchen volley wide on 75 after a corner wasn’t cleared, and Neil Grayson went even closer on 83 with a flicked header that drifted just wide.

Wilson again was off target late on with a shot over from distance, but Ilkeston were comfortably home and dry and, temporarily at least, back on top of the table.

Ilkeston: 1 Ben Gathercole 2 Joe Wilcox 3 James Cullingworth 4 Liam Green 5 Josh Hill 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Will McCall 8 Darren Caskey 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Daryll Thomas (Tyrell Waite 81) 11 Ryan Wilson. Subs not used: Dan Partridge, Adam Colton, Andrew Osei-Siribour, Russell Peel

Ref: P Booker Att: 579

Star Man: Liam Green