Report from Ilkeston Town 3-1 Belper United as the Robins ease to pre-season victory

Elliott Reeves scores the second Robins goal. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Elliott Reeves scores the second Robins goal. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Ilkeston Town eased to a comfortable pre-season win over Belper United on Tuesday night in their final home friendly of the summer.

A largely sedate encounter had a bit more life about it in the second-half as Ilkeston recovered from a goal down to deservedly win, this being a useful exercise for Lee Fowler's men who looked good going forward in particular.

Jermaine Palmer turned a Courtney Richards shot towards goal ten minutes in which was defleted out for a corner, before a good counter attack ended with Reco Fyfe's shot finding the hands of United keeper Mark Rathbone.

Half chances became the order of the day for a while, Richards and Jordan Nadat both seeing efforts fail to trouble the goalkeeper.

And it was the visitors who took the lead on 33 minutes when Josh Wright's corner from the left was headed home by Adam Dring, the striker allowed a bit too much room to execute his effort which was well taken.

Mitch Robinson's header on 41 minutes was saved low down by Rathbone as Ilkeston looked to get level before half-time, Nadat blazing a shot too high from Palmer's knock down three minutes later.

The second-half took a little while to warm up but the Robins got themselves level on 57 minutes as Fyfe cut in from the left unchallenged and shot low through Rathbone's legs and into the net.

Elliott Reeves forced a save out of Rathbone moments later, as did Alex Marshall soon after that, before the Robins had a great chance with 20 minutes left when Alex Marshall was fouled close to the byline in the penalty area but Fabian Smith's penalty was well tipped round the post by Rathbone low to his left.

Reeves broke forward on 75 minutes but again saw Rathbone get in the way of his shot, then Fyfe drilled just too high from distance after more good play.

Reeves then did get his goal, cutting inside with seven to go and placing his shot into the corner of the net.

The Robins were then awarded a controversial penalty moments later when Rathbone clearly won the ball when challenging Alex Marshall who went down. Marshall himself netted the spot kick but it was harsh on United, the game ending soon afterwards.

Ilkeston: Stainsby, Smith, Walker (Boafo 88) Richards, T Marshall (c), Robinson, Fyfe (Batto 87), Hollis (White 46), Nadat (A Marshall 46), Palmer (Reeves 46), Wakefield (Appiah 46)

Subs not used: Ganley

Belper: Rathbone, Walmsley (Baker 16), Curtis, Oliver, Stewart, Anthony, Baker, Dhinsa, Dring (Dallison 53), Wright (Peroto 87), Dunne (Williamson 62)