Robins go through at Lambs expense
24 October 2009
Gary Mills took his depleted squad to The New Manor Ground for the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup to face Blue Square North side, Ilkeston. The form book goes out of the window in games like this, but the home side came into the tie on the back of five without defeat while The Lambs were looking to end the four game without a win losing streak.
Mills was only able to name four subs on the bench although there was only one change to the starting eleven that had played at Rushden, with Michael Wylde taking the place of Des Lyttle in a rejigged back four.
Tamworth, all in blue, kicked off the game towards the travelling faithful segregated behind the goal and immediately put the home side on the back foot with Russell moving forward. Alcock got his first touch shortly after from a wasted throw by Ilkeston and launched the ball long.
A knock on the leg to Wright on the half way line saw him needing treatment just 4 minutes in and he hobbled off in some obvious discomfort.
While he was off the pitch Russell and Pritchard combined but Lowson was quick to put the latter off his shot and when the ball came back out the resulting shot went over the bar.
Wright was unable to continue, so Lyttle left the bench after 8 minutes which moved Blackwood into a central striking position.
Although the sun was now shining on the ground, underlying water from an earlier downpour made passing on the surface difficult, and a number of players found their feet going from under them in various areas of the pitch.
Morgan-Smith fell foul of the slippy surface on 13 inside the Lambs box while on 15 at the other end Tamworth won a corner which Shaw took right footed and although Blackwood got his head to it Lowson was not troubled and scampered wide of the post to collect the effort.
With the wind whipping down the ground towards Alcock, Lowson watched his goalkick bounce once and into the Lambs keeper's arms on 18 and it was also hampering Alcock's weffortrs to get the ball over the half way line.
Morgan Smith picked up the loose ball about 20 yards out on 19 and rifled a right footed shot at Alock, which he parried away and in the next move Dempsey headed over the bar from 8 yards out after a good right wing cross.
Russell hit a right footed shot at Lowson on 21, receiving the ball from Blackwood's left wing cross which went over the top of the home defence, but the keeper dropped and caught the effort well and Tamworth tried to keep up the pressure but Ilkeston were having none of it and this made for a scrappy midfield battle.
O'Loughlin was penalised for a late challenge that didn't connect on 27 but the resultant freekick went over the bar.
Ilkeston took the lead on 31 when Beecroft got the better of the home defence to put a right sided cross to the far post, which Burge headed towards goal. Alcock pushed the ball onto the post and was unfortunate, but could do nothing about it rebounding off his legs as it bobbled back along the line into the net and the home side took the lead (0-1, 31 mins)
Ilkeston won a freekick on the left about 15 yards from the halfway line on 38 which was headed behind for a corner and Graham put his header from the flagkick well high and wide, but worryingly it was a totally unmarked effort by the home striker.
Morgan-Smith chased a long ball down and took it past on-rushing Alcock only to be seemingly blocked by Briscoe as he burst into the box, but nothing was given by the referee or the assistant on the far side much to the consternation of the Ilkeston player.
Ilkeston won a corner on 42, from Graham's blocked shot from 18 yards, and when the ball worked it's way out to Morgan-Smith he hit a good shot from distance, but missed the far post by a few feet.
A case of massed handbags in the centre circle occurred just before half time and resulted in bookings for Pritchard, Blackwood, Holmes and Bonner. From the resulting Lambs freekick Briscoe received the ball when Lowson punched clear and won a corner when his rising shot took a deflection. Russell tried to hit a last ditch effort at Lowson, but the whistle blew on the first half with the home team in the driving seat.
Ilkeston got the second half underway, making a sub during the interval although it was Tamworth who had the wind behind them for the second period.
The Lambs reshaped a little too with Sheridan moving into a loan striker position ahead of a five man midfield, Russell and Blackwood working the flanks with Tait, Pritchard and Shaw taking the centre of the park.
Morgan-Smith left the field after a knock saw him needing treatment on 55 but returned seemingly none the worse for wear and on 57 Pritchard was felled on the half way line allowing Gaughran to punt the ball forward. Despite Pritchard's attempts the home defence cleared the danger and pushed up the pitch, ending with a booking for Gaughran following a foul on Morgan-Smith on the right wing.
Wylde and Pritchard combined to send a left wing cross into the area shortly after but it evaded everyone and went out for a goal kick.
Another Pritchard cross was head away on the hour and Tait's cross took two deflections to give The Lambs a short corner a minute later. Pritchard flicked on the cross and Blackwood put the ball into the net, but he was a yard offside at the far post and the goal didn't stand.
Ilkeston then doubled their lead on 63 via a low shot from Graham from the edge of the area, but it was caused when Lyttle lost the ball on the right and Morgan-Smith passed for Graham to slot home (0-2, 63 mins)
Shaw hit a shot at goal from 30 yards on 68 which deflected over the bar for a left sided corner, but play was halted for a foul after Briscoe got a head to the dead ball past the far post, and Russell strayed a yard off side from Tait's flicked header on 71.
Sheridan became the sixth player to go into the book in the next move with a late challenge which send Waterfall tumbling.
Mills brought himself and Mackenzie into the fray on 73 and on 75 Graham almost latched onto a ball which split the Lambs defence, but Alcock was on hand to boot the danger clear, outside his box.
Ilkeston went down to 10 men shortly after when Beecroft left the field to receive attention to a nose bleed and during his absence MacKenzie launched a freekick from the left wing into the area but the wind took it out of play.
A mix up in the home defence saw a corner conceded on 78 which Mills put into the area, but Ilkeston broke through Morgan-Smith and it took a diving header from Blackwood to cut out his cross after the Ilkeston man had run fully 60 yards with the ball into the final third of the field.
Graham kicked the ball away and picked up a booking on 81 and the ever dangerous Morgan-Smith crossed from the right looking for Graham on 83. Alcock pushed the ball out but only as far as Burge who cleared the bar with his snap shot.
Mackenzie found the head of Gaughran with a floated left foot effort on 85 but the Peterborough youngster couldn't get any power on it as teammates O'Loughlin and Waterfall clashed heads in their own box and both needed treatment.
Wylde sent a deep ball to the far post on 87 which Briscoe managed to direct but not sufficiently to test Lowson and when the keeper put a poor kick into the centre circle, Mills pushed the ball forward to Sheridan to chase and he got a boot to it, but Lowson blocked his effort.
Graham was sandwiched off the ball by the right corner flag as five minutes added time was shown and when the ball was worked back to him his snap shot at Alcock was well taken by the Lambs keeper.
Good interplay between Tait and Sheridan as time ticked down looked to have created an opening at the death, but the latter's final shot let him down and summed up The Lambs afternoon as he struck weakly into the side netting from 6 yards out to the left of the goal.
Alcock, Tait, Blackwood (capt), Wylde, Wright (Lyttle 8), Pritchard, Sheridan, Shaw (MacKenzie 73), Briscoe, Russell (Mills 73), Gaughran
Ilkeston FC Team:
Lowson, Bonner, White, Holmes D (Hooks HT), O'Loughlin, Waterfall, Beecroft, Dempsey, Graham, Morgan-Smith, Burge
Subs: Holmes R, Green, Harris, Caskey
Man of the Match: Mr. R. L. Lewis (Shrewsbury)