Saturday 13th January 2024 – Northern Premier League
Worksop Town 1-2 Ilkeston Town
Ilkeston produced probably their best performance of the season to stun promotion contenders Worksop Town. The hosts had only been beaten at home once in the last two seasons but goals by L’Varn Brandy and Jamie Walker gave Ilkeston a deserved win. Keeper Matthew Yates played a big part in keeping out Worksop’s high scoring attack when the hosts threw everything at Ilkeston in the closing stages
A fast start saw both teams look for an early goal. Jay Rollins fired wide for Worksop in the opening minute and Walker had two quick fire efforts blocked inside the area for Ilkeston. Jordan Burrow glanced a header wide of the post before Ilkeston replied through Tom Cursons who forced Seb Malkowski to save at full stretch. Worksop went ahead with a looping header from Burrow on 11 minutes but Ilkeston levelled two minutes later when Brandy was perfectly placed to prod home Connor Dixon’s cross at the far post. The best move of the game involving Cursons and Dixon ended with Malkowski denying Dixon a spectacular finish with an outstretched foot. Malkowski was soon in action again pushing Tom Marshall’s free kick round the post.
On 53 minutes Worksop had a goal disallowed for offside. Ilkeston went up the other end and Walker headed them into the lead. Cursons nearly doubled the lead when he got past Malkowski but he couldn’t find the net from the tight angle. Worksop made a big effort to rescue the game in the final 20 minutes and Yates and the Ilkeston defence had to be at their best. On 83 minutes Yates made two unbelievable saves to deny Rollins. Luke Hall then had a chance but put his shot wide before Yates did really well to hold on to Alecs Starcenko’s low drive. Deep into added time Ilkeston’s keeper denied Burrow with yet another outstanding save after Vaughn Redford’s back heel had created the opportunity.. Ilkeston threatened to make the game safe on several occasions with counter attacks but Malkowski like Yates was in superb form between the posts.
Written by – John Attewell
Photo by – Worksop Town