Ilkeston FC’s pre-season campaign continued with a narrow defeat against a strong Sheffield Wednesday side at the New Manor Ground.
Wednesday night’s encounter drew a sizeable crowd and saw the Robins compete well against the Championship side, several trialists again given the chance to impress new head coach Gavin Strachan.
Brazilian goalkeeper Evandro Rachoni was perhaps Ilkeston’s best performer, a string of good saves preventing the winning margin being that bit greater.
The Owls fielded a large number of players and contorlled much of the encounter, Tom Lees and Sam Hutchinson both going close early on and Vincent Sasso having a shot cleared off the line by Luke Shaw.
The only goal came on 51 minutes when two new signings combined, Ross Wallace’s shot blocked by Rachoni but Portuguese striker Marco Matias following up to net the rebound.
Rachoni was on hand to block good efforts from Wallace, Sergio Bus and Ryan Croasdale, whilst one of Ilkeston’s many trialists came close to a leveller in the second-half, but a single goal was enough to give the visitors victory in what was nevertheless a useful exercise for Strachan to oversee.
Next up for Ilkeston is Wednesday’s arch rivals, as Sheffield United arrive on Saturday with former Robin Che Adams expected to play a part. Kick-off 3pm.
Robins head coach Gavin Strachan said: “It was a really useful game for us to play as it allowed us to do a lot of defensive work and we coped really well, particularly in the first-half where we fielded a lot of players we’ve already signed up.
“I thought Evandro Rachoni in goal did very well, and although there were some areas I feel we could have done a bit better, a lot of what we’ve trained into the players has been listened to and that’s pleasing.
“I’ll have to start making some decisions on a few of the trialists soon but there will be others become available we can have a look at. There is still a month of pre-season to go and although we want a settled side as soon as possible, there will be plenty of opportunity to look at potential signings too.”