Ilkeston secured their fourth win in a row with a 2-0 victory over Stafford Town on Tuesday night.
The form book suggested the result would go this way but Ilkeston will be disappointed the margin wasn’t more emphatic, an early not lead not built on until late in the game.
However, whilst the Robins were a little wasteful at times, the three points were deserved as their fine run continued.
It took Ilkeston just four minutes to open the scoring with what was their first attack. Montel Gibson’s cross found Ben Morris whose shot was deflected and then parried by keeper Josh Moreton, Calum Smith following up to net the rebound from close range.
The Robins dominated early on but couldn’t create any more chances in the first quarter-of-an-hour, Stafford the next to threaten with their first shot seeing Walter Vundla’s dipping volley drop just wide, Ian Deakin then holding a low effort from Jasper Johns and Craig Hulme firing wide after an error at the back.
Charlie Jemson got up to head a corner wide just after the half-hour as the Robins continued to have plenty of possession but few chances.
Ilkeston got lucky on 43 when a goal kick got all the way through to Hulme but, one on one with Deakin, he went for a delicate finish which rolled slowly towards danger but eventually wide.
The hosts looked as though they should have had a penalty right on half-time as Morris was sent flying but the referee deemed the ball had been played - somewhat controversially.
The second-half took a while to get going too with only half chances initially, Morris with the best of them as he volleyed wide following a corner.
The second goal eventually came on 70 minutes and it was a little farcical. Lavell White’s ball into the six yard box found defender Tom Wright but he could only clear it straight against fellow defender Vundla and the ball looped over the keeper and in.
Stafford still created the odd opening, Anthony Goodwin shooting too high in a good position on 76 minutes.
Sub Tim Hopkinson nearly added a third on 87 after Moreton had dropped a long ball, Hopkinson’s scuffed shot cleared off the line for a corner, the same player forcing a save from Moreton moments later as Ilkeston ultimately made do with a 2-0 win.
Ilkeston: 1 Ian Deakin, 2 Lavell White, 3 Billy Bennett, 4 Chris Shaw (c), 5 Charlie Jemson, 6 Tom Marshall, 7 Ben Morris (Micah Edwards 82), 8 Jordan Wheatley, 9 Alex Marshall, 10 Montel Gibson (Tim Hopkinson 82), 11 Calum Smith (Ben Fairclough 38)
Subs not used: Elliot Hodgett-Young, Conor Green
Stafford: 1 Josh Moreton, 2 Ben Gutteridge, 3 Oliver Butler (Charlie Marshall 80), 4 Matt Bartlett, 5 Tom Wright, 6 Walter Vundla, 7 Anthony Goodwin, 8 Jack Milgate, 9 Craig Hulme, 10 Jack Partridge (Tom Duffy 90), 11 Jasper Johns
Sub not used: Jordan Dodd
Ref: Reubyn Ricardo
Star Robin: Ben Fairclough