Ilkeston’s five-year stay in the Evo-Stik Premier Division is over after they lost 2-1 at home to Stourbridge on Saturday.
Other results combined to send Ilkeston down, although the inevitability of the Robins’ fate meant the confirmed news was met with nothing more than a few unhappy chants from home fans towards the club’s ownership.
They went with barely a whimper, one shot on target bringing their only goal and, as has been the case so often this season, lacking the quality in the team to do any damage.
And it all means Division One South football will greet Ilkeston next season, a return to where they were when reformed in time for the 2011/12 season. It’s been a truly torrid season for the New Manor Ground club.
It took just six minutes for the Robins to fall behind. Luke Benbow sent Ethan Jones clear as the Robins played something of a high line and he was able to run on and sneak the ball past Jamie Hannis, Max Thornberry unable to keep it out on the line.
Stuart Pierpont headed a corner straight at Hannis soon afterwards, then Jones beat his man before hitting a shot which the Robins stopper kept out with his legs.
Benbow’s half volley from 25 yards was wide on 18 minutes as the visitors remained firmly in control, Brad Birch next to go close with a shot past the post after Ilkeston’s attempts to play out from the back failed miserably.
Jones had Hannis scrambling to his right to block an effort on the half-hour, before all of a sudden, Ilkeston got level.
A rare foray forward saw Tom Gamblen hauled down in the penalty area and Anthony Dwyer netted the penalty with the Robins’ first shot on goal.
The half then petered out with little further incident, although Stourbridge lost defender Richard Sho-Silva with a suspected broken jaw not long before half-time, their second forced change of the game.
An untidy start to the second-half saw neither side showing much quality but the visitors got their second goal on 58 minutes. Tom Tonks’ long throw-in wasn’t cleared by the Robins and the ball fell to sub Kennedy Digie whose shot squeezed in at Hannis’s near post.
That merely signalled a complete lull in proceedings as neither side was able to get into gear, Stourbridge happy to coast along in front and Ilkeston lacking the quality to hurt them.
Jordan Archer saw a couple of late efforts go close for the visitors and Benbow tested Hannis who spilled his shot but the Robins managed to clear, before the game fizzled out and Ilkeston’s fate was confirmed.
Ilkeston: 1 Jamie Hannis, 2 Max Thornberry (Reece Horne 72), 3 Ryan Head, 4 Dante Leverock, 5 Matt Baker (c), 6 Connor Paine, 7 Ben Morris, 8 Danny Gordon, 9 Tevahn Tyrell (Jaylon Bather 80), 10 Anthony Dwyer, 11 Tom Gamblen
Subs not used: Charlie Scanlon, Kieran Tonge
GOAL: Dwyer 32pen
Stourbridge: 1 Matthew Gould, 2 Richard Sho-Silva (Drew Canavan 41), 3 Darryl Westlake, 4 Tom Tonks, 5 Kieren Westwood, 6 Stuart Pierpont, 7 Kayeldon Brown (Jordan Archer 61), 8 Leon Broadhurst (Kennedy Digie 21), 9 Luke Benbow, 10 Ethan Jones, 11 Brad Birch
Subs not used: Josh Green, Jacob Wedderburn
GOALS: Jones 6, Digie 58
Ref: Greg Rollason
Star Robin: Anthony Dwyer