Saturday 13th April 2024 – Pitching In Northern Premier League

Ashton United  1  Ilkeston  Town 2

Ilkestons remarkable away form continued with a fine win against playoff contenders Ashton United. Goals from Jonathan Wafula and Tom Cursons sealed a third consecutive away victory. Cursons goal was his 10th in 15 games. No wonder he is being watched by other clubs.

Despite heavy rain the pitch was declared playable and it was ilkeston who adapted better to the conditions. Jamie Walker created an early opportunity for Ilkeston with a brilliant burst forward and cross but the first real chance fell to Ashtons Jason Gilchrist who sliced his shot wide from inside the area. At the other end Alex Marshall lifted the ball over Cooper and into the net with a spectacular lob but the offside flag had been raised. Ilkeston went ahead on the half hour mark following a brilliant double save by Ashton keeper Paul Cooper. Cursons created the opportunity when he intercepted the ball and drove forward down left before cutting inside. Cooper blocked his angled effort but ball fell to Wafula, Cooper then saved brilliantly from Wafula but the same player followed up again and Cooper was finally beaten. On 40 minutes Ilkeston nearly added a second when Cooper couldnt hold Declan Eratt-Thompsons cross which led to a frenzied scramble in the goalmouth. Just before half time Matt Yates was fortunate when his clearance hit an Ashton player and came back to him but Ilkeston were well worth their half time lead.

Ilkeston doubled their lead eight minutes into the second half when Lindon Meikles precision pass into the box was finished in style by Cursons. Ashton responded and Tom Marshall showed his defensive prowess stopping a dangerous attack with a superb tackle. Gilchrist headed into the side netting then Cooper did well to keep out a Cursons effort from the edge the area. Yates didnt look like being beaten but Ashton pulled a goal back on 76 minutes. It was a fine effort drilled in by Benny Couto from just outside the area to set up a tense finish. But with 10 minutes normal time remaining Ashton were reduced to ten players when Gilchrist received a straight red for an elbowing offence when challenging for a high ball. With nothing to lose Ashton threw caution to the wind and chances came at  both ends. A fine save by Yates in stoppage time ensured Ilkeston registered their 9th away win of the season.


Written by John Attewell