Late heartbreak for Worksop Town as Ilkeston take all three points.
Worksop Town travelled to the New Manor Ground to face Ilkeston Town on Saturday, fresh from their 4-0 win against Wisbech Town in midweek.
Ilkeston had the first chance of the game after four minutes when Lavell White made a good run down the right, passing the ball to Shaun Harrad, but his effort was wide of the target.
Just four minutes later Worksop had their first chance through Craig Mitchell. He had a shot from the edge of the area but it didn’t trouble Durrant in the Ilkeston goal and went wide of the goal.
Worksop had a goal disallowed in the 19th minute. Jed Phillips played the ball round the corner to Niall Smith, who ran into the box and crossed the ball to Craig Mitchell, who chested the ball into the net. Unfortunately for the Tigers and Mitchell, the assistant referee adjudged Mitch to be offside and the goal was ruled out.
This seemed to spark Worksop into life and they bombarded the Ilkeston goal with chance after chance. The first of those chances came in the 27th minute: Steve Woolley lifted a free-kick over the Ilkeston wall but Durrant was equal to it and tipped the ball over the bar and out for a corner.
Worksop then had another two chances to take the lead. The first came through Craig Mitchell, who volleyed the ball towards goal, but once again Durrant made a great save to keep it out. Seconds later Smith crossed the ball into the box and found Leon Mettam, who chested the ball and let it bounce, then unleashed a thunderous shot which Durrant tipped over the bar. It was a real world-class save from the Ilkeston ‘keeper.
With just one minute left until the half-time whistle, Andrew Gascoigne crashed a shot against the post from outside the area, the ball coming back out to Craig Mitchell. He hit the ball hard and low, which Durrant saved.
The two teams entered the changing rooms level-pegging despite Worksop ending the half with real momentum around their play.
Ilkeston came out for the second half with purpose, and in the 47th minute came very close to taking the lead. A shot from Harrad was well saved by David Reay; from the rebound Ilkeston could only hit the post and the ball was cleared by the Worksop defence.
Seven minutes later Reece Fyfe fired a shot which just went over the crossbar. At this point both teams were having a lot of possession but not creating many chances with it.
With 25 minutes left to play, Ilkeston took the lead. A superb run from Alex Marshall saw him skip past Matthew Reay and into the box. He squared the ball across to Harrad, who had the easy job of tapping home to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
Despite the game having to wait 65 minutes for its first goal, another one came along just ten minutes later. Woolley delivered a beautiful free-kick from the left and found Matthew Reay, who rose highest and headed the ball into the net. Durrant did get a touch on the ball, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to stop it from going in.
Ross Durrant, who surely had to be voted “Man of the Match” for Ilkeston, foiled the Tigers once again in the 85th minute. A mix-up in the defence allowed substitute Connor Brunt to poke the ball past Durrant and lay the ball off to Mitchell, but his effort was blocked by the ‘keeper and cleared.
Ilkeston went straight up the other end and had an appeal for handball turned down by the referee. The referee did give them a free-kick with just minutes to play, but it came to nothing.
There was heartbreak for the Tigers in the 95th minute, though, when substitute Kevin Bastos put the ball through a Worksop player’s legs and scored at the near post.
The referee blew his whistle moments later, which gave The Robins all three points despite a great performance from the Tigers. It was a cruel way to end the game: Worksop could have come away from the New Manor Ground with at least a point but for a heroic performance from ‘keeper Durrant.
The Tigers have dropped one place in the NPL South East Division Table to 10th, although we have now played one game more then everyone else. We face Frickley Athletic next, on Monday 26th August at Westfield Lane.
Goals: Harrad (65’), Reay (75’), Bastos (95’).
Worksop Town: David Reay, Deegan Atherton (Jack Brownell), Niall Smith, Steve Woolley (C), Matthew Reay, Steve Wankiewicz, Max Pemberton, Andrew Gascoigne (Connor Brunt), Craig Mitchell, Leon Mettam (Lynton Karkach), Jed Phillips.
Unused Subs: Kyle Jordan, Matthew Templeton.
By Mitchell Radford.