ILKESTON FC marked their first ever league game with a devastating display of attacking football to dispose of Goole at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.
In front of a crowd of just over 1,300, the Robins hit four goals and could even afford to miss a penalty as they began life in the Evo-Stik Division One South in style.
Ilkeston’s first effort of note came inside five minutes when the ball fell to debutant Kristian Cox on the edge of the box and his low shot was parried away for a corner by Jevon Hodgson.
But the hosts were to score their first ever league goal on the stroke of ten minutes. Joe Wilcox fed a brilliant ball down the right for Daryll Thomas, and his low cross evaded everyone but Will McCall at the far post.
He proceeded to jink past a defender and pulled the ball back across goal where Tyrell Waite was on hand to slide home from six yards out.
Vill Powell provided Goole’s first shot on goal in the 17th minute with an effort which was straight at Aaron Butcher along the ground, before a moment of brilliance nearly brought Ilkeston a second when Thomas picked the ball up 40 yards out and burst through two challenges before firing in a low effort which Hodgson beat away.
Goole were nearly level on the half-hour mark when Luke Jeffs’ fine free-kick struck Butcher’s left-hand post, then the Robins custodian full in the face, before dropping wide. Aaron Martin headed a good chance past the upright from the resultant corner.
Martin was in action again on 38 minutes when the ball broke to him in the box but having worked space he poked the ball wide in a good position.
Thomas then volleyed over an empty goal on 43 after Hodges had made a mess of a Robins through ball, but the hosts would lead by a single goal at the break.
Waite nearly added a second in the opening moments of the second-half when Wilcox got into the area and chipped in a cross, but Waite’s diving header went wide.
And moments later the Robins went close again. A Goole corner was cleared and when McCall won the ball on the halfway line he was one of three Ilkeston players charging down on goal with only one defender to worry about. But McCall couldn’t get his shot in before Hodgson arrived and eventually the ball was cleared.
But the second was to arrive in spectacular style on 54 minutes. The previous week against Mickleover, McCall ran on to a fine long ball by centre-half Josh Hill and, after taking a touch, struck an unstoppable volley which ripped into the top corner of the net to send the New Manor Ground into raptures.
Waite was next to show, cutting in from the left and curling a shot just over the top on the stroke of the hour, as Ilkeston continued to stamp their authority on the game.
And sure enough the third came on 62 minutes. McCall was again the architect as he beat Nathan Cuttell easily before putting in a great ball for Thomas to nod home.
The fourth came six minutes later, when after a fine passing move, Liam Green’s cross from the left bounced once before new recruit Cox dived in to head home at the far post.
Goole had simply no answer to the quality Ilkeston were now producing, though Grant Allott did head wide from a free-kick on 73 minutes.
Wilcox nearly got in on the act with ten minutes left when he cut in and hit a left footed effort into the side netting, while Powell dragged a shot wide at the other end.
Goal five should have come three minutes from time, when Wilcox was brought down in the area and a penalty awarded. Up stepped Thomas but Hodgson dived to his left to produce a fine save as he pushed the ball onto the post and away for a corner.
But Ilkeston had provided more than enough entertainment and saw out the remainder of a pulsating performance to claim all three points.
Ilkeston: 1 Aaron Butcher, 2 Joe Wilcox, 3 Ryan Wilson, 4 Adam Colton, 5 Josh Hill, 6 Russell Cooke, 7 Kristian Cox (Josh Wisdom 78), 8 Liam Green, 9 Daryll Thomas, 10 Tyrell Waite (Darren Caskey 76), 11 Will McCall (Andrew Osei-Siribour 83)
Subs not used: Dan Partridge