Ilkeston are held by Division One South duo

Kingsley Williams heads home Ilkeston's first goal against Gresley. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Kingsley Williams heads home Ilkeston's first goal against Gresley. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Ilkeston FC continued their pre-season campaign with two draws in four days against teams from Evo-Stik Division One South.

Saturday saw Ilkeston take a 2-0 lead at Gresley FC before two late goals earned the hosts a draw, then on Tuesday night Basford United held the Robins to a 0-0 stalemate.

At Gresley on Saturday, the appearance of former West Brom and Notts County striker Lee Hughes on the Robins team sheet got fans talking before the game, the 39-year-old officially listed as a trialist.

Dan Udoh headed an early chance over the top for the Robins before former Ilkeston striker Dereece Gardner fired wide of Evandro Rachoni’s post.

Gresley continued to look dangerous and Matt Langston’s free-kick found Mitch Hanson but Rachoni was equal to his effort.

Hughes nearly put Ilkeston in front but could only fire wide, while Udoh also put a shot past the post before setting up Hughes who suffered a similar fate.

Recent signing Kingsley Williams saw a weak shot saved and Udoh fizzed another effort wide, before there was a lengthy stoppage after Hanson went down following a fall in the box.

Either side of half-time, Aiden Print fired over the top for Ilkeston and Gardner shot straight at Rachoni, before the Robins went in front on 50 minutes when Luke Shaw’s deep cross was met by Williams who headed home.

Shaw and Elliott Hodgett-Young both saw efforts go close to a second but it finally came on 74 minutes when Hughes collected a cross from Print and finished low past the keeper.

Gresley pulled a goal back two minutes later when Ryan King lobbed Rachoni, before Robins sub Jonathan Edwards caused the hosts problems and saw several efforts go close.

Gresley salvaged a draw with six minutes to go when Langston received a free-kick outside the penalty area and produced a thunderbolt to give Rachoni no chance.

Tuesday night’s game at Basford saw Ilkeston up against a side promoted as champions from the Midland Football League last season featuring players such as former Robin Aaron Webster and ex-England man Lee Hendrie.

First-half action saw Charlie Coulson end a good Ilkeston move with a shot that was tipped around the post, Jonathan Edwards hitting the crossbar late in the half from distance.

Edwards and Coulson saw further efforts go close in the second-half, but ultimately neither side could break the other down.