Ricketts nods Robins to local derby success

Ilkeston winger Jack Watts (left) and Eastwood midfielder Danny Elliott do battle on Monday. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Ilkeston winger Jack Watts (left) and Eastwood midfielder Danny Elliott do battle on Monday. Photo by Craig Lamont.
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Ilkeston FC 2 Eastwood Town 1

Gary Ricketts’ header midway through the second-half secured derby day success for Ilkeston and continued Eastwood’s poor start to the season.

It was a game where neither side particularly impressed and which could easily have ended level were it not for some wasteful Badgers finishing late on.

But ultimately it earned the home side their first win of the season and left Eastwood counting the cost of their slow start.

The first quarter of an hour saw precious little goalmouth action until James Reid saw a goal chalked off for offside and then Will McCall fired wide after cutting inside from the right.

Ricketts and McCall both saw headers drift wide from corners, but the opener came on 23 minutes and McCall this time hit the target as he turned a defender and fired low into the corner of the net.

Eastwood’s first effort of note saw Anthony Griffith Jnr run onto a loose pass by Greg Pearson and beat Chris Martin to the ball but his lob landed on the roof of the net and Ilkeston led at the break.

Both sides looked livelier in the second-half, Ricketts heading Matt Richards’ cross too high for Ilkeston and TJ Nightingale inches away from connecting with Deon Meikle’s header across goal after a Paul Riley free-kick.

Jack Watts then forced a fine save from Ian Deakin, with a stinging volley following a corner being pushed away well, and sure enough Eastwood then punished the Robins with an equaliser.

A long ball forward found Nightingale in the penalty area and he had time and space to pull the ball down and volley superbly into the roof of the net.

Griffith Jnr and Jermaine Hollis then saw shots beaten away by Martin and at the other end McCall had an effort deflected onto the crossbar, but the winner arrived on 71 and it was Ricketts who did the damage.

McCall turned and crossed well from just inside the right-hand edge of the penalty area and Ricketts got up highest to power a header past Deakin to put his side in front.

Griffith Jnr volleyed a good chance wide on 79 following Fabian Smith’s cross and he went close again with two minutes left when he curled over the top from distance, but Ilkeston had done enough to take all three points and the local bragging rights.

Ilkeston: 1 Chris Martin 2 Joe Wilcox 3 Greg Pearson 4 James Reid (Russell Peel 89) 5 Dan Partridge 6 Russell Cooke 7 Jack Watts 8 Matt Richards 9 Gary Ricketts (Joe Maguire 81) 10 Jamie Clarke (Andrew Osei-Siribour 65) 11 Will McCall. Subs not used: Ellis Storey, Mike Williams. 
Scorers: McCall 23, Ricketts 71 
Eastwood: 1 Ian Deakin 2 Elliott Green (Jermaine Hollis 56) 3 Paul Riley 4 Danny Elliott 5 Romaine Graham 6 Deon Meikle 7 Anthony Griffith Jnr 8 Fabian Smith 9 TJ Nightingale 10 Paris Simmons (Gregg Simmons 75) 11 Curtis Shaw (Alex Troke 61) Subs not used: Paolo Piliero, Sam Andrew. 
Scorer: Nightingale 60 Att: 795

Ref: Mark Griffiths (Doncaster)

by Mark Duffy