Ilkeston Town put five past hapless Spalding
Ilkeston Town took delivery of a bundle of early Christmas presents from visitors Spalding United on Tuesday as they romped to a 5-0 win at the New Manor Ground.
Four of the five goals were heavily contributed to by Spalding mistakes, but the Robins took their chances well, dominated the game anyway and fully deserved the three points in response to a disappointing loss at home to Chasetown three days earlier.
One downer on the evening was injuries to four Robins players that forced their withdrawal from the encounter, Joe Maguire, Aman Verma, Remaye Campbell and Alex Troke all retiring hurt and looking unlikely to feature at Carlton Town on Saturday.
But the win was a welcome one for Ilkeston who remain committed to challenging for the top places in this season’s NPL Midlands.
After a fairly even start, the Robins began to get hold of the game and were gifted the lead on 14 minutes. Sam Cartwright was under very little pressure as he attempted a back pass to his goalkeeper Michael Duggan but proceeded to knock the ball straight past him and towards goal, Billy Bennett able to run in and claim the goal for himself by helping it over the line.
Spalding were a mess at the back, soon playing themselves into trouble again as Dan Bucciero’s clearance hit Troke and forced Duggan to push the ball wide.
But from Bennett’s corner, the ball found its way to the back post where United defender Shane Clarke sliced the ball into his own net when trying to clear.
The Robins lost captain Maguire injured on the half-hour which led to a re-shuffle and Verma moving to centre-half, Paddy Webb coming on up front.
Troke saw a 25-yard free-kick pushed wide by Duggan, before the third goal arrived and again Spalding’s defensive work was questionable as they failed to clear a cross, Troke seeing a shot saved but Bennett following up to score from a couple of yards out.
Half-time arrived with the Robins three up but with another injury, Campbell also retiring hurt to be replaced by Ollie Brown-Hill.
Spalding’s best moment so far came on 55 minutes when Jordan Macleod’s long range strike was inches wide of Ross Durrant’s post.
Ilkeston seemed happy not to move much out of third gear in the second-half initially, Charlie Wakefield’s shot deflected wide on 67 their first real moment of quality going forward since the break.
Zak Goodson then saw a lob tipped wide by Duggan after Troke’s long ball over the top, but the fourth goal would soon come and again a United error caused it.
Webb charged into the penalty area after a long ball found him and was barged to the ground by defender Oliver Price as he prepared to shoot, Price sent off for the offence and a penalty awarded.
Troke stepped up to side foot the ball home and make it 4-0.
The fifth followed not long afterwards, sub James Carvell beating his man superbly down the right, getting to the byline and finding Brown-Hill at the back post who slammed the ball home.
Stern Irvine had to clear a goalbound header off the line at the other end as Spalding looked for a consolation, but they would have nothing to show for their presence at the end of the game.
Ilkeston: Durrant, Tomlin, Tait, Wakefield, Maguire (Webb 31), Irvine, Goodson, Verma (Carvell 70), Campbell (Brown-Hill 41), Troke, Bennett.
Subs not used: Rogers, Stainsby.
Spalding: Duggan, Price, Flitton, Clarke, Cartwright, Ward (Stainfield 46), Floyd (Baker 46), Bucciero, Assombalonga, MacLeod (Robinson 59), Yala.
Ref: Gareth Davis