REPORT: Ilkeston FC 0-0 Colwyn Bay

Lee Ndlovu in action against Colwyn Bay. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Lee Ndlovu in action against Colwyn Bay. Photo by Craig Lamont.

This was a case of Ilkeston simply being unable to find a key to unlock the door as a dominant performance went unrewarded at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.

Colwyn Bay played with ten men for just under an hour but Ilkeston didn’t test keeper Louis Gray enough despite having the ball for a huge percentage of the encounter.

A cutting edge still looks to be lacking, although a second clean sheet in a row and one goal conceded in three games shows things are improving greatly at the other end.

The Welsh visitors deserve credit for providing a stubborn defence to secure the point they would probably have been happy with before the game let alone with ten men, but ultimately it was Ilkeston who should have been going home happier.

Very little happened in the opening quarter-of-an-hour, Bay starting brighter but only limited to long range efforts which were no threat.

Liam Marshall had Ilkeston’s first opportunity on 16 minutes, heading Mike Williams’ corner wide of the far post.

A good attack from the Robins then ended with Joe Burgess seeing his shot deflected wide, Matt Baker heading over from the subsequent corner.

Archie Love cracked an effort not too far wide for the visitors on 25 minutes, while at the other end Lee Ndlovu headed an Olly Luto cross down at Bay keeper Gray.

Ndlovu saw a shot deflected wide moments later after another good burst forward from the hosts, Marshall again underneath the corner to head over the top.

Ilkeston were knocking harder now and Williams broke forward to see a low shot from 25 yards pass Gray’s left-hand post, before their task was given a helping hand as Colwyn Bay were reduced to ten men on 37 minutes.

Ref Andrew Garratt was left with little choice but to send off Love after he went in late and recklessly on Burgess near the right-hand touchline, Burgess left hobbling for a while but able to continue.

Ilkeston continued to have the best of things, Williams’ low free-kick straight at Gray on 42, but the two sides would go in level at the break.

The second-half followed a similar pattern from the off with Ilkeston dominating possession but struggling to get it right in the final third.

Baker headed a Williams free-kick wide at the back post, before Paul McKay - impressive on his debut in midfield - forced Gray to push his header wide from a Marcus Harness cross.

Gray then got fingertips to a Williams 25-yarder and sub Dan Udoh flicked wide from a free-kick on the right, but Ilkeston were just not able to turn pressure into goals as Bay held out to take a point back to North Wales.

The Robins are next in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Stamford.

Ilkeston: 1 Ross Durrant, 2 Joe Burgess (Marcus Harness 62), 3 Olly Luto, 4 Matt Baker, 5 Jordan Wheatley, 6 Liam Marshall (c), 7 Joe Doyle, 8 Paul McKay, 9 Lee Ndlovu (Dan Udoh 78), 10 Jack McKay, 11 Mike Williams

Subs not used: Eli Bako, Charlie Coulson, Evandro Rachoni

Colwyn Bay: 1 Louis Gray, 2 Shaun Dowling, 3 Zac Corbett, 4 Archie Love, 5 Luke Denson, 6 Sam Barnes, 7 Cory Williams, 8 Robbie Booth, 9 John Marsden, 10 Rob Hopley, 11 Glenn Matthews (Mike Lea 73)

Subs not used: Jordan Fagbola, Mike Brewster, John Dillon, Kevin Holsgrove

Ref: Andrew Garratt

Att: 534

Star Robin: Paul McKay