REPORT: Ilkeston Town 3-1 Coventry United

Steve Chettle oversaw his side's fourth win in five games.
Steve Chettle oversaw his side's fourth win in five games.

Ilkeston Town maintained their top-of-the-table status with an impressive 3-1 win at home to Coventry United on Monday night.

The points were secured largely thanks to a superb first-half display from the hosts which saw them score all of their goals and effectively kill off their visitors who weren't without quality and looked a threat going forward all evening.

But the end result was a fifth win in six for the Robins as they continue to impress in their first season at step five.

Elliott Reeves saw a low early effort find the hands of Brad Casswell in the Coventry goal, before at the other end, Shaquille McDonald's strike was well tipped over by Liam Mitchell.

Robert Prinzel's low strike also called Mitchell into action in what was a lively start, indeed the Robins then took the lead 14 minutes in.

Tom Marshall swung a corner in from the left which was headed against the post by United defender Yoann Tsamas but Jamie Walker was on hand to smash home the rebound from virtually on the goal line.

Three minutes later, McDonald fizzed a shot against the bar from just outside the penalty area, then saw a shot which was rolling towards goal cleared from danger by Chris Shaw with Mitchell out of the equation.

Billy Bennett's looping header was just wide of the target at the other end on 23 minutes, but three minutes later it was 2-0.

Tim Hopkinson scored from around 35 yards last week and he was at it from outside the penalty area again as he received the ball on the edge of the D and turned before firing into the top corner of the net leaving Casswell with little chance.

Hopkinson then drove straight at Casswell moments later as Ilkeston began to turn the screw and the third goal soon arrived on 35 minutes.

Bennett's deep cross from the left found Reeves at the back post and he headed powerfully home to make it 3-0.

A good Coventry move ended with Curvin Ellis's shot being well saved by Mitchell just before half-time, but the break arrived with the Robins well in control.

Tsamas had an early second-half effort for Coventry which Mitchell gathered well, while Bennett's 35-yard free-kick was pushed wide by Casswell.

McDonald then forced Mitchell into a double save as United tried to force a way back in, Tsamas again testing the Robins keeper who again was equal to the shot a few minutes later.

The game then drifted into a much quieter final quarter as Ilkeston dropped down a gear without really threatening a fourth, and Coventry plugged away and created several half chances but didn't get reward until the 90th minute when sub Scott Hammond curled a fine effort into the top corner from 30 yards.

It wouldn't be enough though as Ilkeston saw out the remainder unharmed, Alex Marshall nearly getting a fourth but being denied by Casswell and then Lavell White striking the post in the dying moments with Casswell getting a crucial touch.

Ilkeston: Mitchell, T Marshall, Bennett (Fairclough 60), Dixon, Jemson, Shaw (c), White, Wheatley, Reeves (A Marshall 87), Hopkinson, Walker

Subs not used; Whitehurst, Morris, Hodgett-Young

Coventry: Casswell, Sinclaire (Hendricks 46), Vallance, Thornton (Holt 63), Prinzel, Clarke, Carey, Downes, Ellis, McDonald, Tsamas (Hammond 70)

Subs not used: Barnett, Palmer

Ref: Ben Scott

Att: 626