This was as good a performance as many a Robins fan will have seen for years and made a mockery of Stamford’s impressive start to the season.
The hosts had won all of their league games up until Tuesday night but the second this one got underway it became apparent Ilkeston had no intention of letting them win another.
A display full of pace, power and energy followed that left Stamford run into the ground and somewhat shell-shocked - they were barely able to muster a shot throughout the 90 minutes.
All of that left manager Kevin Wilson purring at what he’d just seen and some of the home fans going out of their way to applaud the Robins players off the pitch at the end.
It wasn’t that Stamford were particularly poor, it was more that they rarely had the ball enough to get the chance to be any good.
From the off Ilkeston created chances, Joe Maguire heading a James Reid free-kick too high on three minutes and Kane Richards’ shot deflected wide moments later.
The opening goal came on nine minutes. Chey Adams was a bundle of excitement all night and when he cut in from the left and hit a shot from range that keeper Richard Knight parried away, wing-back Luke Shaw reacted quickest to net the rebound from close range.
Maguire produced a perfectly-timed challenge to deny Ryan Robbins a run in on goal and within a few minutes Ilkeston were two goals to the good.
A soft free-kick given away for a foul on Adams 30 yards out gave Reid the chance to wield his left boot from the set piece and when his powerful shot smacked against the crossbar it was a Robins player who again reacted quickest to score - Rob Duffy this time on hand to nod home his seventh goal of the season.
Stamford didn’t know what had hit them as they were regularly turned around by Robins attacks that were incessant, dynamic and probing.
Shaw sent Adams clear with a delicious ball over the top on 29 minutes but the young midfielder’s shot was touched on to the post by a diving Knight.
It mattered little as goal three arrived seven minutes before the break. Adams was again the architect, breaking into the penalty area and seeing his shot saved but Richards arrived to pick up the pieces and effectively end the game as a contest.
The second-half saw Ilkeston still the stronger side although Stamford did at least manage to carve out more openings only to usually be met by a well-organised defence.
Shaw, Maguire and Adams all saw good chances for a fourth go close, while at the other end a rare shot on goal for the hosts saw Nabil Shariff’s effort rebound off a post onto diving goalkeeper Jordan Smith and back out of play for a corner.
Adams then got his reward for another impressive display on 70 minutes as he picked the ball up 35 yards out, beat a defender with ease and slid the ball home to round off the scoring.
Robbins and Lewis Carr both had late openings for Stamford but they had been left bewildered by the visitors’ display and seen their excellent run come to a grinding halt.
Indeed, sub Mike Williams nearly added a fifth late on, his header from Reid’s cross saved by Knight, but the Robins’ job had been comprehensively done to put them fourth in the table.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014:
Stamford: 1 Richard Knight 2 Ellis Myles 3 Nathan Fox (Ryan Clarke 53) 4 Lewis Carr 5 Richard Jones (c) 6 Cameron Powell (Jon Challinor 39) 7 Matt Cotton (Shawn Richards 46) 8 Dan Lawlor 9 Nabil Shariff 10 Jordan Smith 11 Ryan Robbins. Subs not used: Emeka Nwadike, Dalton Bettles
Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith 2 Luke Shaw 3 James Reid 4 Akil Wright 5 Joe Maguire (c) 6 Jack Lane 7 David Morgan 8 Callum Chettle 9 Rob Duffy (Rai Simons 86) 10 Kane Richards (Mike Williams 79) 11 Chey Adams. Subs not used: Ellis Storey, Kieran Wallace, Danny Gordon
Att: 329 Ref: Matthew Smith
Star Robin: Chey Adams
Report by Mark Duffy (Twitter - @DuffersSport)
Photos by Craig Lamont (@_CLPhotography)