Saturday, October 1, 2011
Evo-Stik Division One South
ILKESTON FC 1
Gary Ricketts 76
Sam Mullarkey 16
Lee Beeson 71
by Mark Duffy
STAMFORD goalkeeper Andy Archer was the curse of men more than twice his age on Saturday as Ilkeston’s winning run ended.
The 17-year-old, on loan from Peterborough’s academy, produced a series of stunning saves to deny veterans Darren Caskey and Gary Ricketts during the second-half at the New Manor Ground, as the visitors earned three points that displaced their opponents at the top of the table.
It was also to be his, and manager Simon Clark’s last games for the club, Archer returning ‘home’ and Clark appointed boss of Worksop Town within 24 hours of this result.
And one could argue Stamford deserved the win, even if for nothing more than being well-organised and more clinical with their chances.
The first real opening came on 13 minutes, when Daryll Thomas ran onto a through ball and had plenty of time to pick his spot but completely mis-hit his left foot effort and the ball dribbled into Archer’s hands.
But it was to be the visitors who opened the scoring on 16. Ben Gathercole’s poor clearance saw Stamford gain possession and move the ball forward to Sam Mullarkey who made space before cutting inside and hitting a low left foot shot from the edge of the area which found the corner of the net.
Mullarkey was nearly in again moments later but was muscled out of a one-on-one by Josh Hill and the ball went out for a corner, and Gary King put a header straight at Gathercole on 25 minutes.
Then came Ilkeston’s best chance so far, when Will McCall’s cross was headed at Archer by Russell Peel and Ricketts couldn’t get to the rebound.
Ricketts flashed a ball across goal after a good break by Ryan Wilson in the 33rd minute, and in first-half stoppage time McCall’s effort from distance was easily held by Archer.
Wilson hit the first notable effort of the second-half wide from distance, while King’s low effort at the other end was gathered by Gathercole in a rare Stamford breakaway, before the Robins came very close to a leveller on 69 minutes.
Sub Andrew Osei-Siribour put in a peach of a cross from the right, but Ricketts’ powerful header was brilliantly tipped away by young Archer. It was a world class save.
And that was to prove the turning point, as within two minutes the visitors went further with just their second attack of the half. Lee Beeson cut in from the left-hand side and his low shot beat Gathercole at his near post.
Archer denied Ricketts again on 75 minutes after an angled drive was pushed over the top, but it was to be third time lucky in the duo’s personal duel moments later when Ricketts ran on to a through ball and teased the youngster before going around him and slotting home.
But Archer wasn’t finished. Three times he dived full-length to turn Caskey free-kicks wide of the post late on, while Ricketts saw a goal chalked off for pushing following Caskey’s corner as the Robins continued their attempts to salvage a point, but Stamford held on and Archer was left basking in both sunshine and applause come the final whistle.
Ilkeston: 1 Ben Gathercole 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Liam Green 5 Josh Hill (Tyrell Waite 89) 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Russell Peel (Andrew Osei-Siribour 54) 8 Darren Caskey 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Daryll Thomas 11 Will McCall
Subs not used: Dan Partridge, Adam Colton, Joe Wilcox
Ref: A Barney Att: 664
Star Robin: Gary Ricketts