Ilkeston’s learning curve in the MFL Division One continued with a comfortable win on Monday as Coventry Alvis were beaten 3-0 at the NMG.
The Robins - much like the game in general - didn’t really get out of second gear in considerable heat but in truth they didn’t really have to, a poor Alvis outfit rarely troubling the home side.
It meant a second home win on the trot as Ilkeston attempt to make the NMG something of a fortress, something which could prove a key factor given their so far disappointing results on the road.
And with striker Alex Marshall adding two more goals to his brace the previous week, Steve Chettle’s search for a consistent goalscorer could also have proved fruitful.
Ilkeston’s Billy Bennett had the first shot in anger, volleying high and wide five minutes in from the Robins’ first meaningful attack.
Bennett was closer a minute later, this time his strike from 25 yards straight into the arms of Alvis keeper Jack Tregarth.
Indeed, Bennett was proving the Robins’ main threat, his next shot parried by Tregarth as far as Alex Marshall who shot wide but the flag was raised for offside.
There was then a nine-minute delay as Alvis defender Corey Blackwood received treatment for an ankle injury that ended his match.
Alvis were offering little going forward, Dennis Oppong their main outlet but his shot in a decent position going way too high on 35 minutes.
The opening goal finally came on 40 minutes. Montel Gibson broke into the box and saw his effort parried by Tregarth, and when the ball eventually fell to Jamie Walker his fine cross to the back post was nodded home well by Alex Marshall for his third goal of the season.
The same combination nearly produced a second moments later, this time Walker’s cross being flicked onto the bar by the goalscorer’s left boot.
Gibson should then have scored when a corner fell to him eight yards out but he miscued his shot too high, Walker then heading a Lavell White cross wide of the target as Ilkeston took a one-goal lead into half-time.
Alex Marshall was very close to adding to his tally early in the second-half, heading Tom Marshall’s free-kick powerfully towards goal but Tregarth saving well.
Gibson saw a shot parried soon afterwards as Ilkeston continued to look favourites to score again, and they did just that on 58 minutes.
Ian Robinson’s long pass from the back released White in on goal and he proceeded to slide a cool finish past Tregarth and into the corner of the net.
Alvis nearly got back in it when Putryk Swiercz cut inside only to see his shot well blocked by debutant player/coach Ian Deakin in the Robins goal.
Walker was once again proving a useful outlet down the opposite flank to White and he ran in to see a shot saved by Tregarth on 67, while at the other end Deakin tipped Ben Steane’s free-kick over the top in a rare Alvis attack.
It should have been 3-0 when Gibson’s ball into the box found Alex Marshall whose header was cleared off the line, Gibson then blazing the ball over the top when the ball fell to him on the rebound when he should have scored.
The third arrived with a minute to go, Tom Marshall’s corner met with a diving header from his namesake Alex which found the net to seal the win.
Deakin pushed a late Oppong effort wide but the Robins had done the job and their best win of the season so far was assured.
Ilkeston: 1 Ian Deakin, 2 Lavell White, 3 Jamie Walker, 4 Ian Robinson, 5 Charlie Jemson, 6 Elliot Hodgett-Young, 7 Martin Lench (c), 8 Tom Marshall, 9 Alex Marshall, 10 Montel Gibson (Tim Hopkinson 90), 11 Billy Bennett.
Subs not used: Curtis Hall, Romaine Graham, Paris Simmons, Craig Swinscoe.
GOALS: A Marshall 40, 89, White 58.
Coventry Alvis: 1 Jack Tregarth, 2 Luke McKiernan, 3 Corey Blackwood (Josh Duffield-Harding 23), 4 Adam Day, 5 Mitchell Boe, 6 Ben Steane (c), 7 Luke Collins, 8 Ryan Isherwood, 9 Dennis Oppong, 10 Putryk Swiercz, 11 Jacob Wint.
Subs not used: Jojo Mukwita, Reece Snape, Jagjit Aujla.
Ref: Alec Simpson.
Star Robin: Alex Marshall.