REPORT: Lights go out on Robins’ attempts for an equaliser against Hednesford

Ben Morris scored for Ilkeston before the floodlights failed.
Ben Morris scored for Ilkeston before the floodlights failed.

Ilkeston were denied the chance of stealing a point at home to Hednesford Town on Tuesday night as floodlight failure forced the match to be abandoned after 84 minutes.

Hednesford were winning 2-1 at the time, with the Robins having just scored and looking keen to salvage a point from an otherwise disappointing performance.

But the floodlights, which were being powered by a generator on this occasion, then gave up the ghost and despite the referee allowing time for the problem to be fixed, the match was eventually brought to a halt.

It is now believed a report will be sent to the Northern Premier League regarding the circumstances of the abandonment and they will make a decision as to whether Hednesford will be awarded the match or whether a replay will be required.

Up until the late drama, the match had seen Ilkeston struggle to get a foothold on proceedings, lacking in particular any attacking prowess and conceding two poor goals from a defensive point of view.

Hednesford began the game in control but Ilkeston broke away three minutes in to give Luis Rose a chance from 25 yard s out but his effort was just wide of the post.

Wing back Lewis Wright then burst forward for the visitors but he was put off his stride as he went to shoot and put the ball past the post.

Gurjit Singh then put a shot straight into Ross Durrant’s arms after a good Hednesford move.

Ilkeston soon began to get into the game more and Mark Shelton created a fine chance for himself but, after cutting inside, saw his shot saved by Dan Crane for a corner.

Ashley Sammons put another Town effort wide on 14 minutes as the match continued to offer plenty of entertainment, the same player just wide a few minutes later after some hesitant defending.

The visitors were creating the best chances by far, George Carline finding the side netting after good work by Sammons.

Hednesford finally got the lead they deserved on 39 minutes. Simeon Maye found room to cross from the right and Carline got above Connor Walters to guide his header past Durrant and into the corner of the net.

Anthony Dwyer broke forward and fired wide from distance on 44 minutes the Robins got to half-time a goal down and badly needing some better attacking impetus to try and unlock the door.

Jamie Matthews forced an early Durrant save in the second-half, Ilkeston having begun at much more of the tempo required but leaving the back door open too often.

Ilkeston made a double change on 54 minutes, David Jones and Rhys Dolan introduced, but within seconds it was 2-0 as following a good move out wide, a ball in from the left was turned home by Sammons all too easily and the visitors had breathing space.

Jones headed a Dolan cross well wide a couple of minutes later, but Ilkeston were desperately lacking ideas.

The visitors, meanwhile, pushed for a third and created plenty of half chances, all three of their subs lively in attack.

Eventually, and out of nowhere, Ilkeston pulled a goal back on 80 minutes, as Rory Coleman’s corner was cleared to sub Ben Morris who drove low into the net from the edge of the penalty area.

But as the Robins suddenly came to life and Hednesford equally sought a third and killer goal, the New Manor Ground was plunged into darkness and no further play would be possible.

Ilkeston: 1 Ross Durrant, 2 Connor Walters, 3 Rory Coleman, 4 Haydn Goddard (David Jones 54), 5 Matt Baker (c), 6 Luke Foster, 7 Luis Rose (Ben Morris 72), 8 Mark Shelton, 9 Anthony Dwyer, 10 Danny Gordon, 11 Jaylon Bather (Rhys Dolan 54)

Subs not used: Dexter Atkinson, Keenan Meakin

Hednesford: 1 Dan Crane, 2 Lewis Wright, 3 Cohen Bramall, 4 Tom Thorley (c)( Joel Logan 66), 5 James Mutton, 6 Calum Flanagan, 7 Simeon Maye, 8 Ashley Sammons, 9 Jamie Matthews (Michael Williams 62), 10 Gurjit Singh (Demetri Brown 72), 11 George Carline

Subs not used: Lloyd Ransom, Danny Glover

Att: 332

Star Robin: Mark Shelton