Scarborough Athletic booked their spot in the Doodson League Cup Final with a 5-3 penalty shoot-out win as Ilkeston’s journey ended in devastating fashion.
Athletic will now face Marine or Colwyn Bay in the final on April 29, Ilkeston’s last remaining hope of silverware now gone as they edge towards the end of the season.
Ilkeston started with David Jones up top, Roy Lee sat in the hole behind Jones, Curtis Burrows and Luis Rose on the flanks with Danny Gordon and Mike Williams holding.
The hosts started well, Callum Robinson produced a quick turn before hitting an effort straight at Jamie Hannis. Scarborough were pressing the ball well, the midfield was congested with a physical battle setting the tone in the early stages.
The hosts continued to look more dangerous going forward. Steve Mallory whipped in a devilish corner which caused a scramble and this saw Aiden Print slice a clearance nearly into his own net, but Jamie Hannis reacted well to touch the ball over. Williams then was unlucky to see his effort blocked after a Haydn Goddard corner.
Jones nearly put the Robins ahead as a good move saw Print find Lee who chested the ball down to Jones outside the box, the striker then hit a venomous effort which went inches over the bar.
However after 35 minutes, Ilkeston were ahead. Rose delightfully chipped a through ball into the box and found Jones who showed stunning technique to volley a low effort into the corner.
The hosts aimed for a response but vital interceptions from captain Matt Baker and Ryan Head kept Boro at bay, with the killer pass eluding the hosts in the final third.
The second-half saw Ilkeston on the back foot; Scarborough won an early free-kick which Print did well to clear but the Robins began to drop slightly deep and lost the ball in the midfield too frequently, thus inviting the pressure on.
With 54 minutes on the clock, Boro equalised. The ball was lost in the midfield and Dean Lisles found Ryan Blott who finished low across Hannis into the corner.
Scarborough continued to press and Print cleared an effort off the line which came through a crowded box before the Robins soaked up more pressure clearing several corners.
Hannis then had to react well to punch a Robson corner from underneath his own bar before Dexter Atkinson was denied clean through by the on-rushing Nicky Draper. The hosts created more waves of attack but again the likes of Head and Baker denied efforts on goal.
Robinson was next to threaten as he curled an effort way over the bar but Ilkeston were reduced to chasing the ball and conceding free-kicks to slow the tempo of the game.
The Robins mustered late chances, Lee’s effort inside the box lacked power before he nearly won the game coming inches wide with an effort which grazed the near post.
But there was nothing to separate the sides after 90 minutes and the game headed to a penalty shootout.
Despite Luke Shaw, Matt Baker and Mike Williams all finding the net, Danny Gordon’s effort was saved onto the bar by Draper before Joe Lamplough won the game for Boro and sent them through.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016:
Scarborough: 1 Nicky Draper 2 Tom McNamee 3 Paul Robson 4 Dean Lisles 5 Steve Mallory (Chris Bolder 86) 6 Nathan Peat (c) 7 Eddy Birch 8 Matty Bloor (Jamie Forrester 56) 9 Ryan Blott (Joe Lamplough 67) 10 Niall Flint 11 Callum Robinson
Subs not used: Harry Holden
Goal: Blott 54
Ilkeston: 1 Jamie Hannis 2 Aiden Print 3 Haydn Goddard 4 Danny Gordon 5 Matt Baker (c) 6 Ryan Head 7 Curtis Burrows 8 Roy Lee 9 David Jones (Luke Shaw 81) 10 Mike Williams 11 Luis Rose (Dexter Atkinson 54)
Subs not used: Ben Morris, Max Thornberry, Connor Walters
Goal: Jones 35