Ilkeston FC 3 Stamford 0
Ilkeston produced a stirring second-half display to secure their first win of the season on Monday night against newly-promoted Stamford.
The Robins’ attacking football was a pleasure to watch throughout and although the visitors were unlucky not to be ahead by half-time, they could have no complaints at the final results.
The first-half was fairly even with both sides creating plenty of openings.
Stamford’s nemesis proved to be Robins defender Rob Kozluk, as he twice denied the Daniels with clearances off the goal line, both times denying Ryan Robbins.
First a flick on from a corner saw Kozluk head clear, and then Robbins diverted Shawn Richards’ shot towards goal but Kozluk got in the way and the ball ricocheted off him onto the crossbar and away.
Jason Stokes, Laurie Wilson and Kane Richards all saw good opportunities miss the target before the break for Ilkeston, but the hosts were to have no such trouble after it.
Just three minutes in, a free-kick a few yards outside the penalty area saw Chris Palmer step up to do the honours, and he curled a fine effort past keeper Alex Lynch and into the corner of the net.
Four minutes later it was 2-0 as James Reid’s devilish, almost undefendable ball in from a free-kick caused unfortunate Stamford skipper Richard Jones to get the final touch into his own net as he stretched to try and make a clearance.
As was expected given they had scored six in their opening game on Saturday, Stamford were always a threat going forward, particularly Robbins, but the home defence stood firm as Ilkeston looked to kill the game off.
They did just that on 69 minutes as Laurie Wilson picked the ball up some 40 yards out, and after taking a few steps forward struck a low shot past Lynch and into the corner to make it 3-0.
Antwan Russell, Palmer and Kane Richards all threatened a fourth as the Robins dominated the latter stages, but three goals were more than enough to do the damage and claim what in the end was a comfortable win.
Ilkeston: 1 Rob Peet 2 Rob Kozluk 3 Chris Palmer 4 Laurie Wilson (c) 5 Matt Baker 6 Ellis Storey 7 Jason Stokes (Gary Ricketts 64) 8 James Reid (Callum Chettle 77) 9 Antwan Russell 10 Kane Richards (Danny Gordon 89) 11 Matt Richards. Subs not used: Mike Williams, Aaron Hooton.
Stamford: 1 Alex Lynch 2 Jon Challinor 3 Richard Wesley (Tom Batchelor 72) 4 Nathan Haines 5 Richard Jones (c) 6 Ashley Robinson 7 Shawn Richards (Andy Burgess 61) 8 Liam Richardson 9 Jordan Smith 10 Dan Lawlor 11 Ryan Robbins. Subs not used: Aaron Kennedy, James Sage, David Staff Att: 539 Ref: Tom Bramhall
Star Robin: Laurie Wilson
Report by Mark Duffy
All photos courtesy of Craig Lamont - www.craiglamontphotography.com