KRIS Nurse scored an injury-time winner as Ilkeston fell to defeat at struggling Quorn on Saturday.
Evo-Stik Division One South
Ashley Robinson 5
Kris Nurse 71, 90+4
ILKESTON FC 2
Gary Ricketts 28
Tyrell Waite 86
by Mark Duffy
BOTTOM of the table, without a win and hosting the league leaders – the odds were hardly stacked in Quorn’s favour as the Robins ventured into Leicestershire on this sunny autumn day.
But the beautiful game sees many a form book ejected from the window when least expected, and this was the case after a match which for the most part was pretty dull before sparking into life late on.
Having got themselves level with five minutes to go, Ilkeston’s young goalkeeper Ben Gathercole lost the plot moments later to earn himself an early bath, and in the minutes added on for that incident Kris Nurse scored his second and Quorn’s third goal past stand-in stopper Gary Ricketts and the game was won.
What preceded the late drama was an even match which Ilkeston failed to get the grip on that their lofty league position suggested they should have.
Quorn took the lead with their first meaningful attack, a cross from the left finding its way to Ashley Robinson 12 yards out who hit a fine half-volley into the corner of the net.
Ryan Wilson had the Robins’ first opening two minutes later when he played a one-two with Ricketts but saw a looping volley drop just over the top, before a quiet spell followed where Ilkeston had the majority of the possession but struggled to create chances.
Shawn Richards’ low effort on 27 minutes was easily gathered by Gathercole, but the Robins were to equalise in somewhat direct style a minute later.
Josh Hill took a quick free-kick from centre-half which dropped over the home defence and allowed Ricketts to arrive on the scene and lob Matt Nurse to make it 1-1.
Quorn player/manager Lawrie Dudfield then blasted a volley over the top in a decent position, and Hill had to produce an excellent tackle to stop Kris Nurse as the striker prepared to shoot when bursting in on goal.
Ricketts saw an early chance blocked in the second-half following good work by Daryll Thomas, and from the resultant corner Hill’s header was cleared off the line by Anthony Marriott.
Thomas then had an opening when he was released by Ricketts but Matt Nurse did well to come out and block the effort, while at the other end Quorn’s Kiwi skipper Kris Mathews, once of Eastwood Town, was inches wide with a header from Robinson’s corner.
But the hosts were to re-take the lead on 71 minutes, when great work down the right by Richards saw him beat James Cullingworth before pulling the ball back to Kris Nurse who finished well from ten yards out.
Wilson flashed a volley over the top two minutes later as the Robins sought to score the second goal their possession deserved, with Andrew Osei-Siribour and Tyrell Waite both introduced as subs to try and salvage some points.
And sure enough that duo combined to make it 2-2 on 86 minutes, when Osei-Siribour put in a cross from the right and Waite bundled the ball home under pressure from two Quorn defenders.
But the drama wasn’t over. After a corner was caught by Gathercole, he was challenged late by Kris Nurse and Gathercole reacted by throwing the ball in the face of the striker and seemingly pushing him over for good measure. Referee Mr Plowright took a dim view and sent the Forest loanee for an early use of the showers, Gathercole’s shirt and gloves thrown away in disgust as he left the pitch.
With the Robins having made all three allotted substitutions, back-up keeper Aaron Butcher could only look on as Ricketts instead took over the gloves for the final three minutes, and nearly conceded straight away when Mikel Suarez flicked a header just wide.
In the third minute of stoppage time Adam Millson’s header from a corner was even closer, and Ricketts then pulled off a decent save to deny Kris Nurse a minute later, pushing his powerful shot away from danger.
But Nurse wasn’t to be denied in the fourth minute of time added on, as this time he controlled in space buried the ball in the corner leaving Ricketts no chance of stopping the shot, and Ilkeston no time to save the game.
Ilkeston: 1 Ben Gathercole 2 Dan Partridge (Andrew Osei-Siribour 63) 3 James Cullingworth 4 Liam Green (Tyrell Waite 73) 5 Josh Hill 6 Callum Williamson 7 Joe Wilcox 8 Darren Caskey (Adam Colton 80) 9 Gary Ricketts (c) 10 Daryll Thomas 11 Ryan Wilson
Subs not used: Russell Peel, Aaron Butcher (GK)
Ref: D Plowright (Mansfield)
Star Man: Gary Ricketts