Sat 6th April 2024

Northern Premier League

Ilkeston Town  3  Atherton Collieries  0

The Robins made it five games unbeaten against almost certain to be relegated Atherton Collieries. The strong wind didnt help Athertons cause but Ilkeston were always in charge and the Colliers created very few chances. After a goalless first half Ilkeston clicked Into gear with second half goals from Tom Cursons, Callum Minkley and Ben Hutchinson.

Ilkeston started the match kicking into the wind and it was soon apparent that any high balls forward would be blown off course. Ilkeston had an early opportunity when Collieries keeper Tom Donaghy did well to block a close range shot from Jaiden White. Connor Dixon fired wide before Atherton won a corner which the wind blew behind. On 8 minutes The Colliers had a chance to strike first from a free kick just outside the area. It was a decent effort from Ethan Beckford but his shot just cleared the crossbar. Declan Eratt-Thompson had a shot blocked then Tom Marshalls attempt drifted wide. Atherton seemed content to keep numbers in defence rather than take advantage of the wind and the first half ended goalless.

Cursons fired straight at Donaghy then Yates saved from Beckford as the second half started brightly. Cursons gave Ilkeston the lead on 50 minutes with a finish from Whites cross. Cursons was then close to scoring again but his header from a Larell King cross was well held by Donaghy. Eratt-Thompson sent over a superb in-swinging corner similar to the one he scored from in the last home game. This time it was headed off the line at the far post. A second Ilkeston goal arrived on 70 minutes and It was a great finish by Callum Minkley making it two in two games when he connected powerfully with a free kick into the box. Atherton briefly threatened a reply following a corner which Ilkeston had trouble clearing but the hosts were always more likely to score. Alex Marshall forced his way past a defender before his close range attempt was blocked. Donaghy had to race 40 yards out of his goal to clear from Cursons but in added time Ilkeston scored a third goal much to the annoyance of the Atherton keeper who thumped the ground in frustration. It came from a low free kick into the box after Jamie Walker had been fouled. Donaghy seemed to have it covered but Hutchinsons contact took the ball past him and into the net.


Written by John Attewell
Photo by Jim Bolton