Kimberley MW 2-3 Ilkeston Town
Montel Gibson struck a hat-trick as the Robins ran out 3-2 winners in the heat at Kimberley MW on Saturday.
Ilkeston were made to work hard for their victory by a stubborn Kimberley who twice came from behind. The Robins hero was Gibson who scored his treble after coming as a 30th-minute substitute – his last goal the winner with the last kick of the game from the penalty spot.
The Robins started the game brightly in the sweltering conditions at a packed Stag Ground. The crowd of 312 was the second highest ever for the Miners at their present home.
Ilkeston controlled possession from the kick off and with their fluent passing movement they looked to be over-powering the hosts. Despite this domination Ilkeston were finding it difficult to create clear-cut chances against a resolute Kimberley defence.
The home side did, however, have the occasional break away in the opening half hour but Saul Deeney in the Robins goal saved each effort comfortably.
The game changed after Ilkeston made their first batch of substitutions after 32 minutes. Gibson was played through and scored with a vicious shot in to the left hand corner of the net to give Ilkeston the lead.
Gibson had yet another effort minutes later that was well saved by the Kimberley keeper Danny Rigley and he then set up Ollie Brown-Hill whose strike was well saved by the by the hosts’ custodian.
As the game approached half-time, Kimberley finally broke out of defence and scored after some fine inter passing to make the game level at the break, Nathan Banton with the finish.
After half-time Ilkeston continued to press forward and it was no surprise when Gibson swooped at the far post to score with a well-placed header.
However, again Ilkeston let their lead slip from their grasp on 57 minutes when a Kimberley player volleyed home from close range after the Robins failed to clear their lines. The hosts then had a chance to go in to the lead but the header went just over.
Ilkeston got stronger as the game progressed however and Kimberley appeared to be wilting somewhat in the heat. Remaye Campbell, Brown-Hill and Gibson all had shots that went close.
Despite this, on 84 minutes Kimberley almost took the lead when their substitute was put clear but he fluffed his lines and dragged his weak effort well wide.
The hosts were made to rue this missed chance when well into added time Brown-Hill again surged into the box and was bought down giving Ilkeston a penalty and a the chance to win the game. Gibson stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot and claim his hat trick.
The 3-2 scoreline did not reflect Ilkeston’s domination of possession and without the brilliance the Kimberley keeper the Robins could have won by a much greater margin.
Ilkeston entertain Shepshed Dynamo on Wednesday night at the Microlise New Manor Ground.
Ilkeston Town line-up:- Deeney, Bennett, O’Hanlon, Bradley, Turner, Fenton, Thomas J, Wakefield, Gibson. Troke and Willock. Subs: Bird, Brown-Hill, Triallist, Gibson, Campbell and Triallist.
Report by John Shiels