Saturday 24th February 2024 – Northern Premier League

Ilkeston Town 1-2 Radcliffe

Missed chances left Ilkeston pointless and Radcliffe 16 points clear at the top after a close encounter at the NMG. Radcliffe led by a single goal at half time but the afternoons most furious action came as the players left the field. when a full scale brawl broke out involving bench occupants and players of both teams. It took several minutes before order was restored and the outcome was a red card for Radcliffes Willem Tomlinson and Ilkestons Luke Cox.

Radcliffe had the ball in the net inside 3 minutes but the offside flag had been raised. Connor Dixon then had a great chance to put Ilkeston ahead but he placed his shot wide after good build up play by Ben Starkie. Next,Tom Cursons brought a diving save from Mateusz Hewelt who couldnt hold onto the shot but managed to grab the loose ball. Matt Yates was then forced into acton at the other end pushing a shot round the post. On 29 minutes Lois Maynard put Radcliffe ahead from close range following a Nicky Adams corner. Ten minutes later there was a massive penalty appeal by Ilkeston when Lindon Meikles shot hit a defenders arm but the referee rejected the appeals of most people in the ground and decided in Radcliffes favour. Radcliffe defender Rick Smith did well to block a Starkie effort then Cursons appeared to be sent tumbling in the area but again nothing was given.

The visitors held on to their lead until half time but within two minutes of the restart Ilkeston were level when Dixon slammed the ball into the top corner. However two minutesafter that Anthony Dudley restored Ratcliffes lead with a bending finish into the far corner. Jordan Hulme and Josh Hancock had shots saved by Yates as Radcliffe tried to add to their score. Then it was Ilkeston on top but Radcliffe were canny enough to see out the game. Cursons created a chance for himself but fired wide then Alex Marshall saw his effort from a tight angle saved by Hewelt. Ilkestons best chance to grab a point came in added time from a free kick after Cursons was brought down on the edge of the area. It was not to be though as Hewelt did really well  to beat out Tom Marshalls fierce effort.


Written by John Attewell