Ben Morris’s stoppage time goal gave Ilkeston their second win of the season in a dramatic comeback at Steel Park - in a huge bottom of the table clash with Corby Town.
Ilkeston made changes from the 1-0 defeat to Rushall with Malachi Lavelle-Moore leading the attack. Morris, Luis Rose and Danny Gordon all started, while Jak Kenworthy returned.
With a great atmosphere at Steel Park there appeared to be lots of anxiety on the pitch. Corby had lost three league games in a row, with Ilkeston fairing no better with one league win so far this season prior to kick-off.
Both sides struggled to muster possession and generate a rhythm, Rory Coleman had to be alert to chest a Callum Ball cross to Ross Durrant. The hosts nearly took the lead with ten minutes gone. Reece Webb was denied by great defending from Coleman at the back post, with the Ilkeston man getting a vital touch to hit the ball off Webb and prevent a tap in.
However the first half soon descended into a dull contest, the midfield became a key area for control with both teams lacking conviction and confidence to raise the tempo and run at either defences.
Rose nearly found Morris with a sharp through ball but again the ball was cut out.
Lavelle-Moore then produced the first shot on target after 35 minutes, collecting a half cleared ball. He chested the ball down and forced Aidan Grant to tip the ball wide.
This gave Ilkeston their best period of play with several corners won but again the Robins failed to capitalise on a period of relative dominance.
Then, towards the end of the half, Corby wasted two huge chances. The first came to Ben Milnes whose effort was saved point blank before Femi Orenuga curled way over the bar inside the box.
The second half was a complete turnaround from both sides, an increased tempo enabled play to open up and slowly but surely chances came. Coleman’s corner early on, found Lavelle-Moore whose glancing header was cleared off the line from Jordan Crawford. But with 48 minutes gone, the hosts led. A header back from Luke Foster was short and allowed Ben Milnes to nip in and take the ball past Durrant, he crossed and the ball came off Kenworthy and went in the corner.
The goal lifted the home side and they created more openings. Orenuga’s shot was saved by Durrant, then Milnes was denied by quick reactions from the Ilkeston goalkeeper.
Paul Holland looked to the bench and added Anthony Dwyer and Dexter Atkinson, Corby nearly made it two but Ball skewed his effort inside the box.
Then with 74 minutes gone, Ilkeston won a penalty after Coleman was brought down in the box. He stepped up and saw his penalty saved but converted the rebound to the delight of the Ilkeston faithful.
The goal brought Ilkeston back into the game and suddenly the Robins dominated the play in the later stages with Gordon and Haydn Goddard recycling play and utilising Rose and Atkinson.
As time ticked on, a draw looked likely before Morris provided the magic in stoppage time.
He collected Goddard’s pass on the edge of the box, turned and fired via a deflection into the corner to create a magical moment and win the game for the Robins.
Ilkeston FC: Ross Durrant, Jak Kenworthy (Dexter Atkinson 72), Rory Coleman, Haydn Goddard, Matt Baker(c), Luke Foster, Luis Rose, Mark Shelton, Malachi Lavelle-Moore (Anthony Dwyer 62), Ben Morris, Danny Gordon. Subs Not Used: Jaylon Bather, Rhys Dolan, David Jones.
Corby Town Starting XI: Aidan Grant, Connor Kennedy, Liam Marshall, Jamie Anton(c), Brad-Lee Gascoigne, Danny Draper, Femi Orenuga (Andre Johnson 81), Reece Webb (Michael Ogilvie 81), Callum Ball, Ben Milnes, Jordan Crawford. Subs Not Used: Ryan Bell, Adam Frisch, Bradely Marshall.