Monday, April 20, 2009

Ilkeston Town: Title hopes hit as Robins' unbeaten run finally ends

Source: This is Derbyshire

Monday, April 20, 2009, 07:30

A LAST-MINUTE goal saw Ilkeston Town taste league defeat for the first time in five months on a day when they could have gained a couple of points on UniBond Premier Division leaders Eastwood Town.

The goal was lashed home from an improbable angle by FC United substitute Danny Williams after both teams had thrown everything into attack.

At least the Robins can finish no lower than second, meaning a home tie in the play-offs.

This was also the first league defeat under Paul Hurst and Rob Scott, who have built meticulously on the work of David Holdsworth since Christmas.

Sadly, the Robins were below their best for the visit of FC United, also the previous team to beat them in the league.

It was their 15th game in 42 days and Scott said: "We tried to shuffle the side around but there are going to be tired legs.

"If you don't have tired legs at this time of the season, you have not been doing your job properly and you certainly can't say that about the lads.

"They are bitterly disappointed but I told them great teams go on good runs and bounce straight back when those runs end. That is what we need to do."

The Ilkeston defence was kept busy by wingers Carlos Roca and Jerome Wright in a game which often lacked fluency.

After 33 minutes, Amari Morgan-Smith nearly turned in a corner from Ben Pringle, who later won the Supporters' Player of the Season award.

As Ilkeston got a grip on the game, Sam Duncum squirmed free of two challenges before slipping as he was set to shoot.

But home keeper Chris Adamson was busy forcing away efforts from Tunji Moses as well as Wright and Roca.

Leading scorers Jon Douglas and Tom Cahill were called into action for a late assault on the United goal.

But an Ilkeston goal would not come and United adopted the same tactics as the home side, throwing plenty of men forward when they had the ball.

It worked in the 90th minute, giving the Robins only seconds to respond.

Douglas got his head to a cross, only for United's defence to whack the ball away.

ILKESTON TOWN: Adamson, Harrison, Hurst, Church, Weaver, Murphy, Sleath (Douglas 67), Pringle, Morgan-Smith (Cahill 62), Newsham, Duncum (Istead 76). Other subs: Wild, Thompson.

FC United: Ashton, A Carden, Garner, Platt, Tong, Nugent, Roca, S Carden (Baguley 78), Marsh (Chadwick 72), Wright, Moses (Williams 60). Other subs: Neville, Wilson.

REFEREE: D Street (West Yorkshire).