Ilkeston Town 0

Belper Town 1 (Litchfield 49)

By Mark Duffy

Our final pre-season friendly ended in defeat on Saturday as an injury-hit Robins were beaten by Derbyshire neighbours Belper Town.

The game lacked any real quality throughout and few clear chances were created, the visitors taking theirs just after the break to secure the win.

Harry Middleton put a 25-yard free-kick over the bar on 12 minutes with the first real opening of note, it being the 26th minute before another chance came and it was for the hosts as Montel Gibson drove low at former Robin Ross Durrant in the Belper goal who parried the ball away.

Ollie Brown-Hill’s strike from distance was then too high two minutes later, then Chris O’Grady headed straight at Durrant from a Jack Thomas cross.

Half-time soon arrived with us having dominated possession but unable to break down the hosts’ defence.

It was then Belper who would take the lead when a loose ball in midfield was pounced upon and Brodie Litchfield was sent in on goal, rounding Saul Deeney before rolling the ball into the empty net.

Very few chances followed as the game became more of a midfield battle, punctured by regular substitutions, and despite our late pressure on the Nailers’ goal they held out to claim the win.

Ilkeston: Deeney, K Thomas (Hilton 77), Brown-Hill, Troke, Bradley, Fenton (Bird 37), Goodson, Bird (J Thomas 30), O’Grady, Gibson (Campbell 30), Wakefield

Belper: Durrant (Culverwell 74), Rhodes (Trialist A 78), Lobley, B Middleton (Morris 76), South, Jordan, H Middleton (Dixon 69), Wilson, Gibson, Litchfield (Trialist B 74), Hinsley (Robson 56)