If ever there was a case of ‘after the lord mayor’s show’ then this was it.
Fresh from an excellent display to see off high-flying Salford on Saturday, the young Robins this time produced an awful display that resulted in second-from-bottom Stamford taking three goals and three points back to Lincolnshire.
The result owed much to a poor first-half from the hosts that saw two set pieces and a penalty kick do the damage and put Stamford into a comfortable lead they never looked likely to sacrifice.
Ilkeston, meanwhile, looked every bit the team full of teenagers that they are, a huge disappointment to the fans following the standard set just two days earlier. They simply failed to deal with Stamford’s direct style and physical presence.
It didn’t take long for the fizz from Saturday’s win to go a little flat as Stamford scored inside four minutes.
A throw-in on the right was flicked on by Paul Malone and Lee Beeson turned the ball in from close range.
Ilkeston were struggling to settle and a second Stamford goal wasn’t long in coming, although there was a touch of misfortune about it from Ilkeston’s point of view.
A ball into the penalty area bounced up and hit the arm of Matt Baker but that touch crucially took it away from danger and ref Steven Meredith pointed to the spot. Greg Smith rolled home the penalty on 14 minutes.
Mike Williams had the Robins’ first shot of note three minutes later from 30 yards but Stamford keeper Paul Bastock caught it comfortably, Greg Smith heading wide from a Beeson free-kick soon afterwards.
The third goal came from a corner on 32 minutes and it was too easy from a Stamford perspective, Jake Duffy’s header finding the towering Malone and he headed in from six yards.
Ilkeston nearly got one back when Williams’ header from a corner hit a post and neither Curtis Burrows or Baker could turn in the rebound.
A shambles in the Ilkeston defence then led to Greg Smith volleying over when he should have done better just before half-time.
Williams headed a Luis Rose cross over the top early in the second-half as Ilkeston tried to claw a way back into the game, Udoh seeing a long range effort deflected just over soon afterwards.
Ilkeston had little to break Stamford down with and then paid the price for indiscipline too.
Williams had talked himself into a yellow card in the first-half and after appearing to give the referee more verbals on 74 minutes he was sent off by Mr Meredith - disappointing from one of Ilkeston’s more experienced players.
That extinguished any faint hope the Robins had of getting anything from the game and it petered out somewhat as Stamford held on to what they’d earned and Ilkeston struggled to make any impact in key areas, the result not flattering the visitors as they deservedly went home with the points.
Ilkeston: 1 Jamie Hannis, 2 Luke Shaw, 3 Aiden Print, 4 Jordan Wheatley, 5 Matt Baker (c), 6 Haydn Goddard, 7 Curtis Burrows (Ben Morris 81), 8 Danny Gordon, 9 Dan Udoh, 10 Mike Williams, 11 Luis Rose
Subs not used: Ryan Head, Connor Walters, Keenan Meakin
Stamford: 1 Paul Bastock, 2 Jon Challinor, 3 Olly Luto, 4 Paul Malone (Jack Wightwick 81), 5 Sam Hill, 6 Curtis Hartley (c), 7 Lee Beeson (James Jepson 78), 8 Jake Duffy, 9 Greg Smith, 10 Jake Newman (Conor Green 68), 11 Jordan Smith
Sub not used: Richard Lovelace
Ref: Steven Meredith
Star Robin: Haydn Goddard