Ilkeston Town (A) 18/19


Ilkeston Town FC v Coventry United FC

Midland Football League Premier Division


Date:                 Monday 19th August 2018

KO:                    7.45pm

Venue:              The New Manor Ground

Attendance:       626


Well hello one and all. The games are coming thick and fast with United back in action tonight with an away trip to the New Manor Ground to take on the early table toppers Ilkeston Town. They have had a great start after already playing 5 games so far winning 4 and losing I game. This should be another tough encounter and if it’s half as entertaining as the game against Worcester City on Saturday, then we will be in for another treat.

United’s manager Terry Anderson may have to tinker with his team selection as the influential midfielder Jake Holt had to limp off injured on Saturday so is unlikely to feature.

The referee gets the game under way and United start brightly playing on a fantastic surface. United’s Curvin Ellis combines well with Shaquille McDonald before McDonald shoots and brings out a good early save from the Robins keeper Liam Mitchell in the 4th minute. United force a couple of corners that come to nothing before Robert Prinzel latches onto a loose ball 30yrds out but sends his shot straight to the keeper Liam Mitchell for an easy gather in the 6th minute. United continue to make all the early running and see a Robert Prinzel shot well blocked from a free kick in the 8th minute.

The Robins are looking dangerous on the break with the direct style of play suiting their pacey forward line. They win a corner in the 13th minute that’s taken by the No2 Tom Marshall. His cross seems to deflect off United’s Yoann Tsamas and onto the post before bouncing out free to the Robins No11 Jamie Walker who smashed the ball into the back of the net from close range to open the scoring.


Well that was a little fortuitous for the Robins but it’s all about taking your chances and they certainly did that. United regroup and go looking for the equaliser. They are moving the ball around well but are just lacking that final ball to create the chance. The 18th minute sees a great chance arrive when Shaquille McDonald picks up the ball just outside the area before sending his powerful shot crashing off the cross bar and out to safety. United increase the pressure and another chance for McDonald is not far away when they break forward in the 19th minute. McDonald cuts into the area wide on the left before seeing his goal bound shot cleared off the line by the Robins No3 Billy Bennett to preserve his team’s slender lead.

Now it’s the Robins turn to put the pressure on and they go close after a good cross picks out the No3 Billy Bennett but his header drops just wide of the post in the 23rd minute. The Robins continue to press forward using their direct tactics and the situation gets worse in the 26th minute when they break forward with pace. The Robins No10 Tim Hopkinson receives the ball and does well before rifling the ball into the back of the net to score a great goal and leave United with a mini mountain to climb inside 30mins.


Now that’s a tough blow to take for United but the finish was lethal leaving the keeper Bradley Caswell with no chance.

The Robins are now having the lion’s share of the possession and it’s not long before their next chance comes along. The No9 Elliott Reeves is put through on goal but the United keeper Bradley Caswell makes a great save to deny a certain goal in the 29th minute. Then soon after in the 34th minute disaster strikes for United when a deep cross to the far post is met by the head of the No9 Elliott Reeves and the ball powers into the back of the net to make it 3-0 to the Robins.


Now that mountain has just got a lot bigger after that killer third goal. With the first half drawing to an end, United press forward and see a McDonald shot deflected out for a corner that comes to nothing in the 43rd minute. Soon after the referee blows up for half time.

Half Time


Second Half

The second half gets under way and United have made a change during the break when they replaced Dahmarnae Sinclaire with Ronee Hendricks.

United once again start brightly and see an early shot by Yoann Tsamas easily saved by the keeper Liam Mitchell in the 46th minute.

Both teams are looking to get the ball forward with pace and the Robins win a free kick wide on the right that’s taken by the No3 Billy Bennett in the 51st minute. His effort brings out a great save by the United keeper Bradley Caswell. With the game pretty much end to end soon after United race up the other end and force the Robins keeper into a great double save after shots from Kyle Carey and Shaquille McDonald in the 54th minute.

The 58th minute sees the Robins make a change when they take off the No3 Billy Bennett and send on the No17 Ben Fairclough. More changes follow in the next few minutes when United take off Kevin Thornton and send on Jake Holt in the 63rd minute and then in the 67th minute they take off Yoann Tsamas and send on Scott Hammond.

The game resumes and soon after United’s Robert Prinzel is booked for his challenge in the 69th minute. The game is now into the last 10 minutes and the Robins make their final change of the evening in the 86th minute when they take off the No9 Elliott Reeves and send on the No12 Alex Marshall.

To be fair to United they have not let their heads drop and finally get a reward for that in the 89th minute when the impressive Scott Hammond picked up the ball wide on the left. He skips round a player before sending a delightful shot that drops over the Robins keeper Liam Mitchell’s head for a fantastic consolation goal.


I think Scott was a bit happy with that one and his performance since coming on has been very impressive. The game is now into added time and just before the referee blows up for full time, the Robins nearly increased their lead when the No7 Lavell White hit the post after some good approach play.

Full Time


In summing up this game I would have to say IT’S ALL ABOUT TAKING YOUR CHANCES. On paper this game looks like the Robins won this game with ease but for those that were there would know that was not the case. United started the game brightly and were playing the ball around confidently.

The Robins employed a more direct style to accommodate their pacey forwards and made United pay dearly with some deadly finishing. United had plenty of chances to get something out of this game but failed to take their chances and that proved fatal in the end. This was another very entertaining game to watch and United need to stay focussed and keep creating the chances as once a few start going in they should be ok.

Players worthy of a mention would have to be the Robins No10 Tim Hopkinson. He was always in the thick of things and was strong in the tackle and also popped up with a finely taken goal too.

For United they all worked hard and tried to play football to the end. Ben Vallance once again had a steady game, Luke Downes also had another good game too and is starting to gel in the middle of the park. For me though tonight my man of the match goes to the cameo performance of the impressive Scott Hammond. Scott came on for the last 30 minutes and showed the manager that he wants more time on the pitch with a sterling attacking performance. He was hungry for the ball and when in possession he moved the ball with purpose and indeed scored a glorious goals to cap his performance off so well played Scott Hammond.

Match stats                 United       Robins

On target                        (9)               (6)

Off target                        (4)               (8)

Corners                           (4)               (4)

Free Kick                       (17)               (7)

Yellow cards                 (1)                 (1)

Red cards                      (0)                 (0)

Offside                           (1)                (9)