Report from ILKESTON TOWN 2-4 CARLTON TOWN as Robins fall to a third straight defeat

Kieran Wells is congratulated after scoring. Photo by Lee Prewett.
Kieran Wells is congratulated after scoring. Photo by Lee Prewett.

Ilkeston's miserable Christmas was completed on Boxing Day as they fell to a third straight loss at home to Carlton Town.

That was despite leading the game until three goals in eight minutes turned things around before half-time, the Robins never able to fully recover as they paid for conceding poor goals and not having enough quality in the final third.

It means it's now five defeats in six games for Ilkeston, whose new boss Martin Carruthers only has one win to his name so far, and much improvement is needed if any kind of promotion charge is to be sustained.

It took 15 minutes for the first real chance to arrive, Chris Robertson heading over the top from a corner on the right, both sides having struggled to get a foothold early on.

But the Robins would lead six minutes later. Dean Freeman's long throws were causing Carlton problems and from one on the left hand side, the visitors could only clear to Richard Whyman who in turn nodded back to Freeman out wide and his fine cross was flicked home by the head of Kieran Wells for a well-executed opener.

Carlton replied with Danny Elliott shooting straight at Ross Durrant, and although it would come against the run of play, the visitors got themselves level seven minutes before half-time as Elliott was fouled in the penalty area by Chris Robertson, though it looked a soft decision, and despite Tom Maddison's spot kick striking the foot of the post, Tyler Johal reacted quickest to steer home the rebound.

And barely 90 seconds later the former Robins academy product had scored his second. This time Elliott's free-kick from out on the right found Johal's head and he guided the ball into the far corner of the net.

It would only get worse for the Robins before half-time. An attack broke down allowing Carlton to break at pace and Niall Davie did well to thread in Aaron Opoku and he finished well past Durrant to score the third goal in eight minutes to end the half in style.

The Robins needed an early second-half goal and got one. Reco Fyfe's corner from the left was flicked on and Freeman arrived at the back post to score easily from a yard out.

Wells then headed a good chance over the top moments later as the Robins smelled blood again, but after a period of play where Ilkeston should have got level with several wasted openings, it was Carlton who got the fourth against the run of play.

A corner from the left found Oliver Clarke on the penalty spot and his header down somehow crept over the line despite Durrant and a couple of defenders seemingly being in the path of the ball.

Carlton looked most likely to kill the game off, Davie shooting straight at Durrant after good work by sub Mornone Akaunu with nine minutes to go.

Kieran Fenton's late free-kick went inches too high for the hosts but it would prove to be a bad day at the office once more for a Robins side who will want to begin the new year far better than they've ended the current one.

Ilkeston: Durrant, Smith, Fenton, Racchi, Robertson, Freeman, Whyman, Campbell-Gordon (Hollis 64), Wells, Fyfe (A Marshall 64), Walker (Lambert 73)

Subs not used: Stainsby, T Marshall

Carlton: Steggles, Brown, Fletcher, Ball, Moore, Maddison, Elliott (Akaunu 71), Clarke, Opoku, Davie, Johal

Subs not used: Bako, Robinson, Thomas, Wilson

Ref: Jack Hall

Att: 468