Perhaps the biggest compliment Ilkeston could be paid after this horror show on Tameside was that they’re not always this bad.
Defensively shambolic, lethargic going forward and lacking any notable link in midfield, the Robins were picked off with ease by four first-half goals that emphasised any promotion hopes still require a lot of work to be done, with many tougher assignments than this one to come.
The best that might come from it is that this hefty kick up the backside generates more focus in the remaining weeks.
Things started as they were destined to go on for the Robins as they fell behind to the first chance of the game, Niall Cummins finding space in the penalty area and calmly slotting the ball into the corner of the net.
After Ilkeston’s Jack Lane had fired high and wide from 35 yards, it should have been 2-0 six minutes later as Ilkeston struggled to settle, Sam Walker’s free-kick nodded inches wide by Ryan Brooke.
Ilkeston were being wasteful in possession and paid for it on 20 minutes as Curzon scored their second.
Jordan Smith spilled Cummins’ shot and when Cummins followed up he was brought down by the Robins keeper as the ball went out of play to the left of the goal, Smith not punished any further given any clear goalscoring chance had gone.
Skipper Walker stepped up to net the penalty.
The Robins had only themselves to blame for events so far although Jake Wright was their most lively threat, his low shot at keeper Hakan Burton a rare scare for the hosts.
David Morgan then saw a low effort pushed away after a Rob Duffy knock down, Eddy Samba next to try from long range with Burton saving, but that was all Ilkeston seemed to have to offer.
Just as it seemed half-time would arrive with just the two goals to make up, a doubling of the advantage in the final minute before the break effectively ended the game as a contest.
Both were shambolic from a defensive point of view.
First, Burton’s goal kick somehow got all the way through to Brooke and he hammered home first time.
Then in the dying seconds, Jack Lane and Smith got in a mix-up and Jordan Wright nipped in to slide the ball home from a seemingly impossible angle.
The second-half started in similar fashion with Joe Guest able to get a shot in which Smith pushed away.
Ilkeston looked a little more lively having no doubt had more than an ear-bashing from their management team, Wright heading straight at Burton after a good cross from Luke Shaw.
But chances were then few and far between as Curzon sat happily on their lead and Ilkeston lacked any cutting edge up top.
The most dramatic event of the half came right at the end, Curzon’s Tom Eckersley red carded for an off the ball kick on Wright which deserved an early bath, Eckersley hurt more by the challenge which saw him carried off by the medical staff.
Morgan put the free-kick straight into Burton’s arms and sub Brad Fortnam-Tomlinson saw a late effort cleared off the line, but the Robins’ fate had been sealed over an hour earlier on this very bad day at the office.
Curzon: 1 Hakan Burton, 2 Simon Woodford (Alex Brown 62), 3 Darren Thornton, 4 Daniel Shaw, 5 Tom Eckersley, 6 Chris Rowney, 7 Jordan Wright, 8 Sam Walker (c), 9 Niall Cummins (Luke Horrocks 76), 10 Ryan Brooke (Matt Warburton 73), 11 Joe Guest
Subs not used: Tom Schofield, Jonathan Hunt
Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith, 2 Luke Shaw (Rai Simons 75), 3 James Reid, 4 Matt Baker, 5 Joe Maguire (c), 6 Jack Lane, 7 David Morgan, 8 Callum Chettle, 9 Rob Duffy (Brad Fortnam-Tomlinson 62), 10 Jake Wright, 11 Eddy Samba (Mike Williams 46)
Subs not used: Akil Wright, Lawrence Gorman
Ref: Elizabeth Simms
Star Robin: Jake Wright