Hard earned point for Ilkeston on Merseyside

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Ilkeston FC earned a hard fought point on Merseyside as all four goals were scored in the first half in a thriller at Marine.

The Robins arrived on Merseyside with several changes from the 2-0 defeat to Rushall Olympic.

Jak Kenworthy came back into the side at right back.

Jaylon Bather started alongside Matt Baker, Danny Gordon played in behind Malachi Lavelle-Moore.

From the start, the Mariners aimed to pile the pressure on the Ilkeston defence, in particular with Michael Monaghan running Kenworthy up and down the right flank.

Early crosses arrived but Bather, Rory Coleman and Baker dealt with the danger well.

But with ten minutes gone, the Robins led.

A neat build up on the edge of the Marine box saw Ben Morris slid in, he showed quick feet to adjust and then fire into the top corner past Calvin Hare.

Marine attempted an equaliser but Captain Danny Mitchley rolled his shot wide of the far post after dispossessing Bather.

With 22 minutes on the watch it was two for Ilkeston.

Luis Rose raced onto a loose ball and fired a strike which was heading wide; however the ball hit Liam Willis; bamboozled Hare and nestled in the far corner.

Anton Brown then came close but his header lacked proper connection from a Coleman corner.

Marine pulled one back on 27 minutes, Mitchley received the ball at the far post and his volley cannoned off Coleman and wrong-footed Ross Durrant; nestling in the corner.

Just five minutes later Marine would equalise.

Bather brought down Lewis Field in the box after dragging the left back down.

Kurt Sherlock then stepped up and converted the penalty to wrap up a blistering first half.

The second saw both sides restrict the space at the back and early on Ilkeston generated openings.

Coleman curled over the bar before a long throw saw consecutive flick on’s from Brown and Lavelle- Moore but Rose’s effort was blocked.

Marine threatened, Warren Bellew forced a stop from Durrant at the near post, Mitchley then scooped a shot way over the bar.

The Marine captain then missed a bigger chance; taking the ball past Durrant but from a tight angle he couldn’t find the empty net and fired wide.

Sherlock’s free kick was then blocked well by the Ilkeston wall as Marine continued to push.

Durrant was called into action again with 63 on the clock, tipping Sherlock’s flying header wide.

Baker then was alert to clear the ball under the crossbar after the Robins failed to deal with a ball into the box.

The Robins rallied and begun to attack late on, Goddard rifled a strike wide of the far corner; Baker’s strike was then cleared off the line after the Ilkeston captain collected Bather’s shot in the box.

Bather then nearly found the third but his far post header was stunningly saved by Hare.

However both sides couldn’t find the winner and the points were shared, but it will be Ilkeston who will head home happier after defending well in the second half and digging in to prevent further goals.

A point gained for definite.

Ilkeston FC Starting XI: Ross Durrant, Jak Kenworthy, Rory Coleman, Ben Morris, Matt Baker(c), Jaylon Bather, Luis Rose, Danny Gordon, Malachi Lavelle-Moore, Anton Brown, Haydn Goddard.

Subs Not Used: Connor Walters, Brandon Clarke, Reid Owen, Anthony Dwyer, Tom Gamblen.

Marine Starting XI: Calvin Hare, Lewis Field, James Short, Liam Willis, James Foley, Adam Hughes, Michael Monaghan (Obi Anoruo 90), Billy Smart, Danny Mitchley(c), Kurt Sherlock, Warren Bellew.

Subs Not Used: Chad Whyte, Ryan O’Hare, Sean Hessey, Craig Lindfield.