Hinckley LRFC 0 Ilkeston Town 1

Montel Gibson scored his seventh pre-season goal to give Ilkeston a fourth friendly victory in an entertaining game at Leicester Road on Saturday.

Gibson was the main cause of problems for the Hinckley defence so it was no surprise when he put Ilkeston ahead, scoring from close range on 12 minutes after controlling a fine ball over the top from Jack Thomas and beating his defender before finishing well.

The hosts had a chance to pull level five minutes later when Robins keeper Tomasz Bukowski conceded a penalty when he brought down Hinckley forward Joe Lyne. Bukowski was to redeem himself though with a spectacular save from Liam Reid’s spot-kick, diving full length to his left.

Ilkeston threatened to increase their lead on several occasions with some good teamwork but Hinckley nearly equalised when Marshall Willock’s back pass was intercepted by Dom Brennan. His parried shot was heading for goal but Ollie Brown-Hill got back to clear off the line.

Just before half time, excellent interplay between Jamie Ward and Gibson ended with Ward’s shot flying past the post and Ilkeston had to settle for a single-goal lead.

Both sides made changes after the interval and it was Hinckley who started the stronger and they enjoyed an initial period of ascendancy.

Ilkeston regained the upper hand though and came close to doubling their lead when a Kieran Fenton header was just too high.

A Remaye Campbell effort hit the side netting when he cut in from the right as Ilkeston pressed in the closing stages.

Five minutes from time, Brown-Hill and Ward combined to create a real opportunity but Hinckley survived and Gibson’s opener proved to be the winner.

Ilkeston are back in action at home to Boston United on Tuesday night before then hosting Belper Town on Saturday in their final pre-season game.

Report by John Attewell