REPORT: Ilkeston Town 5-2 Sutton Coldfield Town - The Robins march on at the top

Remaye Campbell hit a hat-trick as Ilkeston Town maintained top spot with another emphatic home win at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 7:37 pm
Remaye Campbell celebrates his goal from the penalty spot. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Remaye Campbell celebrates his goal from the penalty spot. Photo by Craig Lamont.

This display wasn’t without its negatives, with the Robins guilty of some lax defending at times that against the top sides in the division would have seen them come unstuck to a greater extent, but as with many games this season they did more than they had to do to ensure the three points with Campbell’s treble the highlight.

It means the Robins remain top of the league on goal difference with Halesowen also winning again, the match between the two at the NMG in a fortnight getting more crucial as the games go by.

But Martin Carruthers’ men will fear nobody while they continue to win games and score goals aplenty.

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Zak Goodson placed a shot just wide six minutes in with the first real chance of the game as the Robins dominated the early possession.

The lead came eight minutes later, when defender Harry Eden badly mis-hit a back pass and Campbell was able to nip in, steal the ball and round goalkeeper Jonathan Brown before sliding it into the empty net.

The visitors nearly levelled on 17 when Isai Marselia spotted Ross Durrant off his line and his lob from near the half way line only just dropped wide of the post.

Callum King-Harmes then drilled an effort wide as the visitors again threatened on the counter, Ilkeston’s Charlie Wakefield next to threaten with a low shot parried behind by Brown.

Alex Troke’s flick found the side netting on 28, the Robins continuing to look the most likely, Brown having to tip Goodson’s powerful strike onto the bar and over the top moments later, Joe Maguire heading just wide from the resulting corner.

Against the run of play, Sutton Coldfield then levelled on the half-hour as Desean Martin’s persistence down the right saw him win the ball, cross from the byline and find Marselia who netted from close range.

But seven minutes later Ilkeston regained the lead, Wakefield’s corner finding Kieran Fenton and the skipper nodded home from six yards out.

Marselia nearly levelled again when sent through on goal three minutes later but struck the foot of the post, Martin following up but unable to shape well enough to turn the ball home and it instead went over the top.

They’d pay for that miss, as two minutes later Goodson got space to pull a ball back for Troke and he had lots of time to pick his spot and slam the ball home from ten yards out to give Ilkeston a 3-1 half-time lead.

Brown tipped the ball over the top from Campbell’s glancing header early in the second-half as the Robins looked for a fourth goal.

And that they got on 53 as Campbell netted from the spot following a fairly harsh handball decision against King-Harmes after the ball bounced up and hit his arm.

Sub James Reid forced Brown into a save on 66 as a fifth goal looked likely, although Durrant had to get down low to deny Marselia well at the other end soon afterwards before Luke Redfern’s header dropped just wide.

Sub Charles Swan then pulled one back with a fine low finish with 12 minutes to go, but when Reid struck a free-kick against the bar five minutes later, the ball fell at Campbell’s feet and he finished low into the net to complete his hat-trick.

Martin saw red late on for dissent to add to the visitors’ misery, while debutant sub Nathan Caine missed a late chance it looked far easier to score, the teenager getting caught in two minds as he tried to net from close range.

But the Robins were able to reflect on another good afternoon’s work overall and head to Soham Town Rangers next week looking to continue their good form.

Ilkeston: Durrant, Williams, Irvine, Chapman (Carvell 69), Maguire, Fenton, Goodson (Caine 61), Bird, Campbell, Troke (Reid 46), Wakefield.

Subs not used: Brown-Hill

Sutton Coldfield: Brown, Hurley, Eden, Burgess, Beresford, Redfern, King-Harmes (Swan 68), Dodd (Ishichei 51), Marselia (Wilson 76), Martin, Letford

Subs not used: Bakewell, Hart