REPORT: Ilkeston 0-0 Halesowen Town

Ben Morris gets forward for Ilkeston. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Ben Morris gets forward for Ilkeston. Photo by Craig Lamont.

On paper this always threatened to be a horrendous game and so it proved.

Ilkeston, already relegated, faced a Halesowen side all but safe from the threat of the drop, and the ‘dead rubber’ status was more than lived up to as a goalless match full of poor passes, poor shots and poor floodlights left those in attendance wishing they’d stayed at home.

It did earn the Robins a point, just their 27th in this dreadful season, and the clean sheet will no doubt have pleased manager Shaun Goater too, but it was a match that can be firmly stashed in the ‘easily forgotten’ category.

Anthony Dwyer made a bright start for the Robins, cutting in from the left and firing into the side netting in just the second minute.

At the other end, Ethan Delaney headed a James Bennett-Tindall cross straight at Robins keeper Jamie Hannis, while Halesowen keeper Daniel Platt then had to be alert to push away a stinging Ben Morris effort.

Kartel O’Neill Martin tested Hannis with a half volley easily gathered on 23 minutes as the two sides traded chances, but then, for the second time this season, the lights went out.

Floodlight failure had seen the match against Hednesford abandoned in September and there then followed a 20-minute delay here midway through the first-half, the lights this time coming back on for the remainder of the encounter.

The blackout had something of an effect on the rest of the first period, very little of note happening for the remainder and the sides belatedly went in level.

Some good football early in the second-half from Ilkeston ended with Morris volleying too high after being fed by Dwyer.

Morris then came much closer on the hour mark, his low drive striking the foot of the post and being cleared to safety.

The game then drifted back into a lull until 15 minutes from the end when Matt Baker’s shot was mis-hit wide after Halesowen hadn’t cleared a corner, but that was as exciting as it got as a truly dire encounter petered out into a goalless draw.

Ilkeston: 1 Jamie Hannis, 2 Reece Horne, 3 Charlie Scanlon, 4 Dante Leverock, 5 Matt Baker (c), 6 Jaylon Bather, 7 Ben Morris, 8 Tom Gamblen, 9 Tevahn Tyrell (Danny Gordon 67), 10 Anthony Dwyer, 11 Ryan Head

Subs not used: Connor Paine, Max Thornberry, Kieran Tonge

Halesowen: 1 Daniel Platt, 2 James Bennett-Tindall, 3 Rob Taylor (Bradley Lewis 63), 4 Jay Denny (c), 5 Asa Charlton, 6 Ben Clarke, 7 Karel O’Neill-Martin, 8 Danny Bragoli, 9 Ethan Delaney, 10 Andre Johnson (Cameron Steele 63), 11 Lee Chilton

Subs not used: Adam Skeldon, Cameron Milne, Jack O’Day

Att: 211

Star Robin: Ben Morris