Second-half horror ends Trophy hunt

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FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round

Whitby Town 4 Ilkeston FC 2

It was ‘Bram Stoker Weekend’ in Whitby and, sure enough, Ilkeston joined in with a horror story of their own in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Comfortably leading 2-0 at half-time the Robins proceeded to throw it all away in the second period, Whitby coming out revitalised and putting four goals past the visitors.

It had all started so well for Ilkeston, who began with a new 3-5-2 formation which seemed to work a treat right from the off.

Just three minutes had elapsed when a delightful move involving Gary Ricketts, Laurie Wilson and Matt Richards ended with the latter slotting into the corner of the net.

Whitby were sluggish at best in the first-half and received further punishment on 19 minutes as Ricketts was freed down the right and his cross to the back post was headed home by Wilson for 2-0.

The scorer then missed a good chance to add another two minutes later when he chested James Cullingworth’s cross straight at keeper Nick Liversedge.

Ilkeston suffered a big blow just before half-time when the influential Richards retired hurt with a back injury, however only after the break would the full effect of not only his departure but seemingly that of the Robins’ composure and belief as well be truly evident.

Three minutes in Steven Snaith headed home from a right-wing corner, and four minutes later the Seasiders earned a penalty when Cullingworth was judged to have fouled Nathan Mulligan.

But when Mulligan picked himself up to take the spot-kick his powerful effort was saved superbly down low by Ashley Timms and perhaps, after all, it would be Ilkeston’s day.

But that optimism was short-lived.

Just a minute after Graeme Armstrong had seen a shot saved by Timms’ legs, a cross from the left found its way to Tom Portas who finished well past an unsighted Robins keeper.

And Timms was to again have little chance with Whitby’s third on 61, Armstrong hitting a stunning strike into the top corner from outside the penalty area to complete the turnaround.

Ilkeston were stunned, though Wilson did force Liversedge to parry away his long-range strike on 65 minutes.

But not long after Russell Cooke had cleared sub Jamie Clarke’s effort off the line on 79, another sub, Ashley Corker, lived up to his name with another drive from distance which arrowed into the corner and completed the home side’s excellent comeback, as well as the Robins’ misery.

Whitby: 1 Nick Liversedge 2 Ibrahim Hassan 3 Mark Robinson (c) 4 Kevin Burgess 5 Craig James 6 Dave McTiernan 7 Tom Portas 8 Shane Henry (Michael Tait 83) 9 Steven Snaith (Ashley Corker 70) 10 Graeme Armstrong (Jamie Clarke 74) 11 Nathan Mulligan. Subs not used: Darren Williams, David Campbell

Scorers: Snaith 48, Portas 56, Armstrong 61, Corker 84

Ilkeston: 1 Ashley Timms 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Joe Maguire 6 Russell Cooke 7 Greg Pearson 8 Matt Richards (c) (Jack Watts 43) 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Dereece Gardner (Daryll Thomas 57) 11 James Reid. Subs not used: Dan Partridge, Dion Chambers, Chris Martin

Scorers: Richards 3, L Wilson 19

Att: 272 Ref: W Broadbent Star Robin: Laurie Wilson

by Mark Duffy