This was Ilkeston’s eighth win a row but not for the first time in their fine run they had to bite and scratch their way to the three points.
That was despite leading 2-0 inside 12 minutes and looking for all the world like they were about to dish out a third hammering in a row to a side they’d beaten 5-2 and 6-0 in their last two meetings.
Ultimately, 4-2 was again a comfortable-looking scoreline but the reality was that Trafford fought hard throughout and could easily have nicked a point before Kane Richards wrapped up the win in stoppage time.
It took just 28 seconds for Ilkeston to create the first clear chance, Luke Shaw’s cross headed down by Rob Duffy but keeper Tom Read pushing the effort away.
Just a minute later, the Robins were in front. Ashley Hunter and Richards combined to free Duffy on the edge of the penalty area and he had time to pick his spot and fire high into the roof of the net.
The Robins had controlled things from the off and that continued until the second goal arrived on 12 minutes.
Callum Chettle spread a fine ball out to James Reid on the left and he ran on, cut inside and fired a superb effort into the top corner.
Trafford were stunned but soon started to get more possession and reduced the arrears on 22 minutes when the ball reached full-back Cliff Moyo in space and he finished well past Jordan Smith.
The hosts were keen to get the ball down and knock it around, which often played into Ilkeston’s hands but was a tactic Trafford stuck to as they tried to get a foothold in the game.
Richards was next to threaten for the Robins, however, as his low shot was blocked by Read, while at the other end Rory Fallon was just wide from 25 yards and then Moyo got on the end of a Fallon cross but Smith was equal to his shot.
Chances were being created at both ends in a cracking encounter, Hunter next to go close when he shot too high from Richards’ cross, but it would be the hosts who would equalise on 38 minutes.
Simon Hackney swung in a free-kick from the left, and in a crowd of players a heavy touch from Ilkeston midfielder David Morgan took the ball past Smith.
The hosts should then have gone in front when Michael Oates shot wide in a good position, but the sides would go in level after a highly entertaning first half.
Hunter was first to threaten in the second-half, his low shot tipped wide by Read, then Hunter again went close but shot wide when Duffy’s low shot fell to him eight yards out.
Ilkeston went back in front on the hour mark and this time Hunter was able to hit the target. He was given a great deal of help as two Trafford defenders made a complete mess of dealing with Smith’s long clearance, Hunter getting possession and finishing low past Read.
Robins skipper Joe Maguire retired with double vision midway through the half and surprisingly Hunter was replaced not long afterwards having impressed again throughout.
Duffy saw two efforts go close - a low shot saved and a header just wide - before Matt Baker threw himself in front of an Oates goalbound shot to superbly help preserve the lead.
Ilkeston needed a fourth but, having soaked up plenty of pressure, they had to wait until stoppage time to get it when Richards recieved the ball in the penalty area and hammered the ball past Read to secure the points in style.
Trafford: 1 Tom Read, 2 Cliff Moyo, 3 Andy Smart, 4 Steve Mason, 5 Nia Bayunu (c), 6 Chris Palmer, 7 Shelton Payne, 8 Rory Fallon, 9 Michael Oates, 10 Will Ahern (Lewis Chalmers 76), 11 Simon Hackney (Jordan Harper 84)
Subs not used: Rees Welsh, Connor Roberts-Nurse, Luke Mack
Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith, 2 James Reid, 3 Luke Shaw, 4 Matt Baker, 5 Joe Maguire (c) (Wright 64), 6 Jack Lane, 7 David Morgan, 8 Callum Chettle, 9 Rob Duffy, 10 Kane Richards, 11 Ashley Hunter (Mike Williams 77)
Subs not used: Eli Bako, Rai Simons, Danny Gordon
Ref: I Johnston
Star Robin: Ashley Hunter