Report from ILKESTON TOWN 4-1 HIGHGATE UNITED as the Robins march on towards title

Goalscorer Jermain Hollis in action against Highgate. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Goalscorer Jermain Hollis in action against Highgate. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Ilkeston Town maintained their title charge with a comprehensive 4-1 win at home to Highgate United on Saturday.

The win keeps the Robins top of the Midlands Football League Premier Division by three points, their closest rivals Walsall Wood also winning again to keep the pressure on.

The game was very quiet in spells but Ilkeston got the goals at key times to ensure victory, the visitors rarely a threat aside from their second-half consolation goal.

And it continues to set things up nicely for the mouth-watering fixture that is next on Ilkeston's calendar, with Walsall Wood visiting the New Manor Ground on April 20.

Ilkeston had an opening inside the first minute as Alex Marshall was released through on goal by an error at the back but with plenty of time to pick his spot he could instead only force keeper Brad Catlow into a save with his legs and the ball went for a corner.

But the game didn't produce any more real openings until Highgate's Shay Palmer headed a corner over the top 26 minutes in, the encounter having become a stale midfield battle with little quality from either side.

The opening goal then arrived three minutes later. A bit of pinball in the box followed Elliott Reeves' pass into the danger area and eventually the ball fell to Jermain Hollis who was able to fire into the corner of net.

Alex Marshall then saw a close range effort blocked by a defender after good work from Reco Fyfe, before at the other end Jason Goddard's firm free-kick was pushed away by Liam Mitchell and Stefan Moore's follow up was deflected wide by the challenge of Matt Baker.

When the corner was cleared, Ilkeston countered through Reeves who squared to Kyle Dixon but Catlow was equal to the effort as the Robins should have extended their lead.

The lead was doubled, however, right on the stroke of half-time. Tom Marshall's long diagonal ball found Fyfe breaking into the penalty area and he brought the ball down well before finishing low into the corner for a 2-0 half-time lead.

Chances were few and far between in the opening stages of the second-half, Reeves heading a Fyfe cross wide of the post not long after the hour.

The third goal arrived within moments. Reeves won the ball out on the right hand side before cutting inside and curling a fine effort into the far top corner past the despairing dive of Catlow.

Five minutes later, Highgate pulled one back as Marco Addagio found space eight yards out to turn and fire low into the corner of the net.

The fourth Ilkeston goal, however, would kill things off with seven minutes to go. Sub Kyle Perry chased down a long ball and won possession before finding Reeves who beat his man before finishing low past Catlow to secure the points.

Ilkeston: Mitchell, T Marshall, Dixon (Orlando-Young 63), Smith (Piliero 75), Baker, Shaw (c), Fyfe, Hollis, Reeves, A Marshall (Perry 58), Walker

Subs not used: Hopkinson, Rowland

Highgate: Catlow, Bryan, Puilsciano, Cortney, Oji (c), Carruthers, Palmer, Goddard, Addagio, Moore (Jagroop 59), Taylor (Rolfe 76)

Subs not used: Goncalves, Rickards, Yahiya

Ref: Niall Smith

Att: 950

Star Robin: Reco Fyfe