In the grand scheme of things, this result may not be remembered as the one that began Ilkeston’s unlikely escape from relegation but it was a welcome one nonetheless.
The game was a poor spectacle and bad-tempered too, things boiling over in the dying moments and afterwards with several arguments and fall-outs marring the victory from an Ilkeston point of view, but the end result was three points that will at least delay the inevitable as far as the Robins are concerned.
Frickley lacked the quality to seriously harm the hosts although it took a fine goalkeeping display from Dale Eve to keep them out, Eve’s afternoon, however, ending a little earlier than everyone else’s with a red card in stoppage time.
But a win is a win, and Ilkeston will be relieved to have got it.
Ilkeston edged a quiet first 15 minutes, Dexter Atkinson heading a corner straight at keeper Seb Malkowski early on, while at the other end Bailey Gooda shot wide after an offside trap from a free-kick spectacularly failed and left six Frickley players onside and no defenders in sight.
It then got very dull. Neither side were able to break the other down with only half chances and pot shots materialising, Luke Mangham for Frickley the closest to a goal and his effort was about 15 yards too high.
Ilkeston woke everyone up with a couple of good chances on 39 minutes. A corner from the right fell eventually to Dante Leverock whose shot was blocked on the goal line, and as Frickley cleared Matt Baker drove straight at the keeper from just outside the penalty area.
An awful game was suddenly brought to life in the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the half. Dexter Atkinson did well to break forward and when his shot was deflected into the path of Tevahn Tyrell, the Bermudian struck a fine effort from outside the penalty area that looped over Malkowski and into the corner of the net to send Ilkeston in ahead at half-time.
The second-half was similarly uneventful for the most part, it taking 25 minutes of it before either goalkeeper had to make a save, Eve gathering Jake Picton’s weak header as the visitors sought an equaliser.
Eve had to be alert again a couple of minutes later when Adam Priestley pounced on the ball in the penalty area, the Robins keeper blocking his eventual shot out for a corner.
Eve continued to be the busier keeper and had to parry away a powerful strike from sub Zeph Thomas with eight minutes to go, the Bermudian’s handling and shot-stopping excellent throughout when called upon.
Thomas was again denied by Eve on 88 with a flicked header which was superbly tipped over the bar, Waide Fairhurst then beating the keeper but seeing his shot fall just wide as the game entered stoppage time.
Eve’s red card came when he lashed out at Tyler Blake following the Frickley man’s late challenge on him in the six-yard box, Blake escaping with a booking but Eve sent off and perhaps deservedly so. A penalty might have followed had Blake not been flagged for offside.
Max Thornberry went in goal as Ilkeston saw the game out, further bad-tempered incidents developing as the players left the pitch from which the repercussions could well be felt in the coming days, but the points were in the bag and Ilkeston now march on to Hednesford on Tuesday night.
Ilkeston: 1 Dale Eve, 2 Max Thornberry, 3 Charlie Scanlon, 4 Dante Leverock, 5 Matt Baker (c), 6 Tom Gamblen (Jaylon Bather 78), 7 Tevahn Tyrell, 8 Danny Gordon, 9 Anthony Dwyer, 10 Ben Morris (Ryan Head 78), 11 Dexter Atkinson (Reece Horne 69)
Sub not used: Jamie Hannis
GOAL: Tyrell 45+1
Frickley: 1 Seb Malkowski, 2 Gary Stohrer, 3 Macauley Parkinson (Waide Fairhurst 81), 4 Jake Picton, 5 Bailey Gooda, 6 Reece Fielding, 7 Luke Mangham, 8 Sam Akeroyd (c), 9 Noel Burdett (Zeph Thomas 46), 10 Adam Priestley, 11 Tyler Williams
Subs not used: Joe Pugh, Julian Lawrence, Josh Diggles
Ref: Matthew Smith
Star Robin: Dale Eve