Ilkeston defied having to play over half of the game with ten men to overcome Bedworth United at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.
A poor first-half all round was followed by a much better second, the hosts unflustered by losing James Reid to two bookable offences just before the break.
Bedworth offered little throughout and even their goal came via an Ilkeston head, the Robins’ attacking play – often instigated by the lively Zak Goodson – proving too much for the visitors at times.
Charlie Wakefield scuffed the first effort of note wide from the edge of the penalty area five minutes in for the hosts, then it took another 20 minutes or so for another chance to come when Remaye Campbell was fed by Goodson but mis-hit his shot straight into the arms of keeper Sam Lomax when he should have scored.
The Robins then took the lead on 27 minutes. The ball found Goodson on the right edge of the penalty area and after he cut inside and shot on his left foot, the effort was parried by Lomax straight to Alex Troke who had an easy tap in.
Within five minutes the visitors got level and it was Ilkeston who scored the goal for them, as a free-kick into the penalty area from deep saw Joe Maguire head the ball past his own keeper unchallenged 12 yards out.
Ilkeston then saw Reid sent off for two yellow cards in the space of five minutes, the first a late challenge and the second more of a tangle that saw a United player brought to ground but it was enough for ref Lewis Saunders-Johnson to produce a second booking and half-time arrived with a numerical advantage for the visitors.
Two minutes into the second-half, the Robins got themselves back in front. Goodson was fouled 25 yards out and centre-back Kieran Fenton stepped up to curl a beauty of a free-kick into the top corner for his first Ilkeston goal.
Eight minutes later it was three, as Goodson did well again to break into the penalty area and see a low shot parried and this time Campbell was on hand to tap the ball home.
Bedworth nearly pulled one back when Kyle Barnett’s cross evaded everyone and had to be pushed away well by Robins keeper Ross Durrant, debutant Paddy Webb then cutting in and shooting wide for Ilkeston as they searched for a fourth.
United had plenty of late possession but struggled to penetrate, Wakefield having to clear from danger at the last in one attack, but the Robins were able to see the game out with few concerns for an impressive three points.