Saturday 27th April 2024 | Northern Premier League

Warrington Rylands  2 Ilkeston Town 0

Ilkestons eight game unbeaten run came to an end in their final match against playoff side Warrington Rylands. Keeper Matt Yates who has played in every league game this season was outstanding again and kept the Robins in the game until the final 15 minutes when Momodou Touray broke the deadlock. A Ben Hardcastle penalty deep into added time sealed Ilkestons fate.

Rylands started strongly and Yates denied Ben Hardcastle then had to make a double save to keep out Dan Cockerline. Rylands defender Liam Brockbank made a surging 40 yard run down the left all the way to Ilkestons box before letting fly and bringing another fine save by Yates. Ilkeston then had a chance to go ahead when Tom Cursons was dragged down in the area. The referee initially waved away Ilkestons appeals but after consulting his linesman he changed his mind and gave a penalty. Unfortunately Jamie Walkers spot kick thudded against the foot of the post and came back into play. Ilkeston had another chance when Luke Pilling saved a Cursons header from Walkers cross. LVarn Brandy drew gasps from the crowd with some fine skills but it was Rylands making the better chances and Mark Duffy was next to be denied. Yates and Tom Marshall with some fine defending had done well to keep Ilkeston level at half time.

Rylands started the second half as they ended the first looking for the win that could give them home advantage in the playoffs and Ilkeston were forced to spend most of the time defending. Ilkeston had a lucky escape before Cockerlines deflected effort was saved by Yates as the pressure mounted. It took 75 minutes for the breakthrough to arrive when Touray stabbed the ball home following a corner which wasnt cleared. The goal brought an immediate response from the Robins. Alex Marshall forced his way past two defenders but saw his effort saved by Pilling. Ilkeston fought hard to rescue a point but Rylands victory was sealed when they were awarded a penalty in the 5th minute of added time. Despite the defeat, its a mid table finish for Ilkeston with 60 points from their 40 matches.

Written by John Attewell

Photo by MPsportsphotography