This was another of those games where Ilkeston should really have won by more but a single goal success was, in the end, a welcome result.
Ramsbottom have struggled in recent months since their team was dismantled after their previous manager left for Salford, but were very much in this game throughout despite the Robins’ dominance of much of it.
In the end, a James Reid penalty proved the difference on a pudding of a pitch not helped by a steady downpour just before kick-off, the three points keeping Ilkeston’s play-off hopes, and maybe even title chances, alive.
The Robins started brightly on a sodden pitch, Mike Williams with the first effort of note from 25 yards which was easily gathered by keeper Grant Shenton.
Rai Simons was lively from the off and on 12 minutes he cut inside from the right, beating two players, but hit a shot with his right foot rather than his left which might have seen a better outcome than the ball going wide of Shenton’s goal.
Williams then ran infield from the other side but curled a shot well over the top, before a rare threat from a Rammy corner saw a header down from Matthew Burke cause problems before the ball was hacked clear.
Jake Wright was also making his presence known up top and on the half hour mark got to the byline but his ball across evaded any incoming attackers.
The Robins, however, would only have to wait another minute to open the scoring. Reid swung in a free-kick from the left which was met by Joe Maguire who was in acres of space. His header was saved by Shenton but the skipper was able to poke home the rebound.
It was nearly two moments later as Jake Wright received the ball from his namesake Akil and had his shot saved, Williams’ follow-up blocked and then Reid blasting too high.
Akil Wright then found space and saw his low shot blocked by Shenton, but out of nowhere it would be the visitors who would equalise as the game entered first-half stoppage time.
Jamie Rother got the ball in midfield and his floated ball over the top was well finished first time by Luke Heron, whose shot went in off the far post.
The second-half took a while to see any openings created but it was Ramsbottom who came close on the hour, Chris Baguley firing a low shot in from distance which was just wide of the post.
Reid shot too high moments later at the other end, but Ramsbottom were looking more lively and Rother wasn’t far off from distance on 65 minutes.
The lead was eventually regained by Ilkeston on 75 minutes and it was from the penalty spot.
Ramsbottom player-manager Jon Robinson clattered into Reid as the Robins man played the ball out wide leaving little doubt in the referee’s mind, Reid able to fire in the penalty although Shenton got a big hand on the ball as it found the corner of the net.
Maguire headed a Reid corner just over moments later, then sub Eddy Samba played the ball across the face of goal but Jake Wright couldn’t get a touch.
Williams missed a golden late chance to make it 3-1 after a late breakaway, firing wide after being found by Jake Wright.
Nerves jangled at the end as a late Rammy corner resulted in Osebi Abadaki driving too high from the edge of the box, but the final whistle soon blew and a welcome three points were safe.
Ramsbottom: 1 Grant Shenton (c), 2 Kyle Harrop, 3 Lee Pugh, 4 Matthew Burke (Malachi Slaven 80), 5 Jon Robinson, 6 Callum Jones, 7 Osebi Abadaki, 8 Jamie Rother, 9 Lee Gaskell, 10 Chris Baguley, 11 Luke Heron
Subs not used: 12 Phil Edghill, 14 Tom Hartley, 15 Tom Brooks, 17 Michael Smith
Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith, 2 Akil Wright, 3 James Reid, 4 Lawrence Gorman, 5 Joe Maguire (c), 6 Jack Lane, 7 David Morgan, 8 Callum Chettle, 9 Jake Wright, 10 Mike Williams, 11 Rai Simons (Eddy Samba 76)
Subs not used: 12 Matt Baker, 14 Danny Gordon,15 Curtis Burrows, 17 Brad Fortnam-Tomlinson
Ref: Martyn Rawcliffe
Star Robin: Rai Simons