VIDEO FEATURE: Ilkeston FC’s most memorable games

Matlock Town v Ilkeston Derbyshire Cup Final
Matlock Town v Ilkeston Derbyshire Cup Final

Ilkeston FC may only have been in existence for five years but in that time there have been many incredible games that will live long in the memory.

Whether dramatic play-off games, cup finals or just crazy league matches, the life of the new Robins has seen plenty of encounters that will never be forgotten.

We’ve picked five of the best.

Ilkeston FC 4-0 Goole AFC - Saturday, August 15, 2011

Where it all began. This was Ilkeston’s first ever competitive game and attracted nearly 1,400 people to the New Manor Ground for the historic all-ticket encounter.

And what a start it was. It took only nine minutes for the historic first goal to be registered, Tyrell Waite turning in a cross from Will McCall.

McCall then scored a goal that really set the NMG alight in the second-half, running onto a long ball from Josh Hill and slamming home a powerful half volley that left the goalkeeper with no chance.

Daryll Thomas would be a key member of the Robins squad in their first two seasons and he scored the third just after the hour mark, the fourth following soon afterwards as Kristian Cox turned in a cross from Liam Green.

Ilkeston team: Ilkeston: 1 Aaron Butcher 2 Joe Wilcox 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Adam Colton 5 Josh Hill 6 Russell Cooke 7 Kristian Cox (Josh Wisdom 78) 8 Liam Green 9 Darryl Thomas 10 Tyrell Waite (Darren Caskey 76) 11 Will McCall (Andrew Osei-Siribour 83). Unused sub: Dan Partridge.

Ilkeston FC 7-0 Sheffield FC - Monday, April 23, 2012

The end of that first season ended in promotion through the play-offs and this match was the semi-final, as Ilkeston hosted Sheffield FC.

Played in atrocious conditions at the New Manor Ground, it was if the pouring rain inspired the Robins even more and dampened the spirit of the visitors who were never in the game once they’d conceded two quick goals in the first-half and had striker Conor Higginson sent off soon afterwards.

The hosts produced the kind of ruthlessness so often demanded by then boss Kevin Wilson against a side rarely short of a goal or two themselves.

The first goal came on 27 minutes when James Cullingworth swung in an excellent cross from the right and Gary Ricketts found space to head low past Josh Mimms and put the Robins in front.

Ricketts was a constant threat and when the second goal arrived on 33 it was he who was the creator.

The big striker got a touch to Matt Richards’ cross from the left to send the ball up in the air, and Jack Watts arrived to guide a header perfectly into the corner off a post.

The second-half saw Ilkeston well and truly turn the screw. Watts got free down the right on 53 minutes before putting in a fine cross which was beautifully guided home by Daryll Thomas.

It was four on 59, Thomas the architect this time as his centre was sliced into his own net off the crossbar by Matt Varley.

Thomas wasn’t done just yet, as just four minutes later he raced onto Watts’ fine through ball and smashed an excellent finish into the roof of the net.

It was six on 77 minutes when Cullingworth’s cross was headed along a sodden goal line and off a post by Ricketts, leaving sub Francis Green to put the ball into an empty net with virtually his first touch.

Richards sealed the win on 82 by curling home a fine effort to complete both the scoring and Sheffield’s misery, the Robins going on to beat Leek Town 2-0 five days later to seal promotion.

Ilkeston team: Ilkeston: 1 Lloyd Allinson 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Dan Partridge 6 Russell Cooke (c) 7 Jack Watts (James Reid 67) 8 Matt Richards 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Daryll Thomas (Francis Green 69) 11 Will McCall (Sam Duncum 71) Subs not used: Joe Wilcox, Josh Hill

Ilkeston FC 4-4 Kendal Town - Saturday, November 3, 2012

This game wasn’t perhaps memorable due to Ilkeston’s performance, mostly because for the majority of it they were pretty awful.

At 4-1 down with just six minutes of normal time to go they were seemingly dead and buried, but three goals in the dying stages salvaged them a draw out of absolutely nowhere.

Kendal were two goals to the good at half-time thanks to strikes from Joe Bunney and Josh Amis.

Ilkeston were back in contention within four minutes of the second-half. Gary Ricketts flicked the ball over the heads of two opponents and Daryll Thomas hit a low cross which was collected and steered home by Jack Eades, making his debut on loan from Cambridge United.

But things would soon go sour again for Ilkeston as Alex Taylor rammed in Kendal’s third goal on 53 minutes and Bunney ran though to make it 4-1 and surely game over on 69.

Ilkeston, however, were made of stern stuff and would stun even their own fans with their comeback.

Ricketts ran across goal and hooked home in the 85th minute, Thomas sprinting into the goal to retrieve the ball and get things going again.

Left-back Ryan Wilson, composed in defence and attack, tried a shot in 87 minutes after a scramble and was delighted with the huge deflection which lifted the ball up and over keeper Craig Dootson and into the net to make it 4-3.

Then, as the game went into four minutes of added time, a long ball forward from James Cullingworth was nodded into the path of Thomas and his low ball across the six-yard box was turned in by Eades at the far post to end his debut, and a remarkable comeback, in style.

Ilkeston team: 1 Chris Martin 2 James Cullingworth 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Joe Maguire 6 Russell Cooke 7 Jack Eades 8 Matt Richards (c) 9 Aaron Hooton (Gary Ricketts 46) 10 Jordan Smith (Daryll Thomas 46) 11 James Reid (Jack Watts 46). Subs not used: Greg Pearson, Dereece Gardner

Ilkeston FC 2-1 Matlock Town - Derbyshire Senior Cup Final, Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This was another game where in the most part, Ilkeston were pretty average.

Trailing 1-0 going into the dying moments of the game at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium, the Derbyshire Senior Cup looked all set to be heading to the Derbyshire Dales.

Matlock had scored on 68 minutes. After Micky Harcourt’s long range volley had been palmed over by keeper Chris Martin, James Ashmore’s resultant corner was flicked home by the head of Lewis McMahon at the near post with some ease.

But, with the Robins looking far more dangerous having switched from 5-3-2 to 4-4-2 after falling behind and with James Reid pulling the strings, it was he who would steal the show as the game entered stoppage time.

First, he received the ball some 30 yards out and after initially coming close to losing possession he found some space before unleashing a sweetly-struck effort that moved away from the goalkeeper and into the net off the inside of a post.

With no extra-time planned, that goal looked to have condemned the tie to a penalty shoot-out but Ilkeston had other ideas, albeit the clash would indeed be decided from 12 yards.

That came about because defender Adam Yates was deemed to have handled a cross, a decision which mystified many in blue who felt Yates had been fouled, but Reid had no fear and stepped up to hammer home the spot kick and send the large and vocal Robins support into raptures as the final whistle soon followed.

Ilkeston team: 1 Chris Martin 2 Ellis Storey (James Cullingworth 69) 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Laurie Wilson (c) 5 Joe Maguire 6 Russell Cooke 7 Danny Gordon (James Reid 69) 8 Matt Richards 9 Aaron Hooton 10 Antwan Russell 11 Kane Richards. Subs not used: Greg Pearson, Callum Chettle, Ryan Swift

Stamford 0-4 Ilkeston FC - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

This was a match where Ilkeston’s ‘going young’ policy really started to show its worth.

Stamford had won all five of their opening games in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, whilst Ilkeston’s only two wins thus far had seen them thrash Witton Albion 4-1 on the opening day and Trafford 6-0.

On this occasion, Ilkeston produced one of the best and most dominant first-half displays ever seen by a Robins team to be 3-0 up by the break and firmly in control.

It was also a match that would see one young man in particular catch the eye, teenager Che Adams putting in a scinitillating display that would no doubt have inspired Sheffield United to make the move they did for him six weeks later as he headed to Bramall Lane.

A display full of pace, power and energy from Ilkeston left Stamford run into the ground and somewhat shell-shocked - they were barely able to muster a shot throughout the 90 minutes.

The opening goal came on nine minutes. 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.

The second goal soon followed. A soft free-kick given away for a foul on Adams 30 yards out gave James 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.

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.

Adams got his reward for his 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.

Ilkeston team: 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 Che Adams. Subs not used: Ellis Storey, Kieran Wallace, Danny Gordon