Ilkeston FC exited the Integro League Cup at the first hurdle on Tuesday night after being beaten on penalties at Rugby Town.
The Robins, who fielded a much-changed and very youthful side to face the Division One South strugglers, couldn’t break their hosts down and two misses in the shoot-out proved crucial.
The match was an even encounter, Ilkeston seeing Ryan Head’s effort from a corner fly too high, Charlie Scanlon’s free-kick saved and Tevahn Tyrell’s shot cleared off the line in the first-half, Rugby too missing good openings with Robins keeper Ross Durrant in good form.
The second-half again saw both teams create openings, Rugby hitting the post early on after Durrant had again saved well.
In the dying moments, Tyrell nearly won it for Ilkeston with an effort which hit the crossbar, the home side also missing a sitter in stoppage time meaning the game went straight to penalties.
Rugby converted all four of their kicks, Haydn Goddard and finally Tyrell the men seeing their shots saved by Rugby goalkeeper Louis Connor to see the hosts through.