Football can be a frustrating game and that was certainly the case at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.
Ilkeston dominated this game from start to finish and also played much of it with a man advantage, but they couldn’t break down a stubborn Marine defence, the Robins’ poor finishing also proving costly.
It all added up to two points dropped by the Robins and although they remain unbeaten at home since the opening day of the season, their four-game winning streak at the NMG wasn’t extended.
Mike Williams saw a shot deflected wide in the opening moments as Ilkeston began well, Danny Gordon’s low effort parried by Matt Cooper 15 minutes in.
Ilkeston continued to control things and JJ Blake was next to go close as his free-kick from 25 yards out found the side netting.
Joe Doyle shot harmlessly wide before Marine’s first effort of the game came on 35 minutes as Danny Mitchley’s low shot was gathered by Evandro Rachoni near to his left-hand post.
Williams also saw a low shot saved just before the break, but the teams would go in level without either having created much in the way of clear cut chances.
The second-half saw early efforts from Williams and Mitchley both go close at either end, before Ilkeston’s cause would be helped by Marine’s ill discipline.
Player-manager Sean Hessey saw danger 25 yards out when Dan Udoh received the ball and dealt with it heavy-handedly by going in two-footed on the Robins striker. Ref Joe Clarke had no hesitation in sending him off.
Ilkeston continued to dominate although it wasn’t necessarily much easier against ten men, Lee Ndlovu’s shot deflected just wide and Joe Burgess’s header from the corner also just past the post.
Ndlovu then headed a corner straight down at Cooper as the Robins knocked further on the door.
Blake came the closest to breaking it down on 75 minutes as his 25-yard free-kick smacked the crossbar and was cleared, Cooper appearing to have got a touch to keep it out.
Olly Luto saw a shot blocked with Ilkeston unable to pick up the pieces, several set pieces going without reward and Marine fouling their way through much of the second-half.
Blake’s 35-yarder was then superbly touched wide by Cooper, Udoh putting a header past from a corner minutes later. It simply wasn’t Ilkeston’s day.
Marine nearly broke forward and caused a shock on 89 as Mitchley’s shot deflected into Rachoni’s hands, but in the end they held on for an honourable draw in the circumstances.
Ilkeston: 1 Evandro Rachoni, 2 Danny Gordon, 3 Olly Luto, 4 Jordan Wheatley, 5 Matt Baker, 6 Joe Burgess (c), 7 Joe Doyle, 8 JJ Blake, 9 Dan Udoh, 10 Mike Williams, 11 Lee Ndlovu
Subs not used: Eli Bako, Rhys Dolan, Haydn Goddard, Luis Rose, Jamie Hannis
Marine: 1 Matt Cooper, 2 Stephen Wainwright, 3 James Short, 4 Sean Hessey, 5 Liam Willis, 6 Andy Nichols (c), 7 Sean Myler, 8 Alan Burton, 9 Danny Mitchley, 10 Chris Sharp, 11 James Foley
Subs not used: Chad Whyte, Karl Clair, Lloyd Ellams, Tom Owens, Oliver Sharman
Ref: Joe Clarke.
Star Robin: JJ Blake