Ilkeston cup run ends as Hartlepool ease through
Ilkeston Town's FA Cup run ended at the fourth qualifying round stage on Saturday as National League high-flyers Hartlepool United ran out comfortable 6-0 winners at the New Manor Ground.
In front of the live TV cameras, a lightning start from the visitors proved key to their win but the gulf in quality was evident throughout, particularly in attacking areas with five of Pools' goals coming on the counter attack.
Ilkeston have more pressing matters to attend to in terms of their league ambitions but the cup run has provided welcome financial income and complemented their strong early season form.
Luke Molyneux put an early effort wide for the visitors four minutes in, then a superb tackle by Kieran Fenton denied Mason Bloomfield what looked a certain goal – the tackle forcing a ricochet back off Bloomfield and behind for a goal kick.
But Hartlepool produced a double blow with two goals in the space of three minutes.
First, Molyneux was released through the middle and dinked a neat finish over Ross Durrant and into the far corner of the net.
Then, breaking down the left, David Ferguson put a low ball into the six yard box where Joe Grey was on hand to slam home with just seven minutes played.
Ollie Brown-Hill could have pulled one back for the Robins on 20 minutes when released by Zak Goodson but rushed his effort and chipped over the bar.
And that would be costly as on 22 minutes the visitors, deadly on the counter, sent Bloomfield down the right and his low ball in was turned home by Tom Crawford a couple of yards out.
The Robins responded well with James Reid curling just too high moments later, then Bloomfield was wide with a powerful effort at the other end.
Goodson was then inches away from a goal back as he did well to cut inside and then fire low past the post.
Molyneux nearly had a fourth for Pools as he cut in and rifled a shot off the underside of the crossbar, then Bloomfield’s header was gathered by Durrant.
The Robins went close again on 38 as a mistake by Gary Liddle let Alex Troke in but his low shot came back off the post and went wide.
The woodwork was hit again five minutes before the break, Nicky Featherstone this time heading a right wing cross against the crossbar.
Next it was the post to get a rattling again, and once more it was Troke, as his flicked header from Reid’s free-kick struck the upright and the ball was cleared and the break arrived with the visitors well in control.
Billy Bennett blocked an early Molyneux effort early in the second-half, then Joe Wilson denied Gavan Holohan after he’d gone around Durrant and fired in on goal.
Bloomfield fired high and wide moments later, then Jack Thomas forced Henrick Ravas into action with a low shot on target for the Robins which was gathered well – Goodson then breaking clear but forcing another save from Rivas moments later.
Bloomfield was so far having an off day, skewing wide from yards out on 57 minutes, before Thomas broke down the right for Ilkeston and saw Rivas push his low cross wide.
Bloomfield stroked another chance wide after winning the ball well 25 yards out, but finally got his goal on 68 minutes when sub Josh MacDonald pulled the ball across goal and Bloomfield finished with ease six yards out.
The Robins kept plugging away and saw several good attacks snuffed out in the final third, Thomas again forcing Ravas into a good stop with nine to go.
The fifth Pools goal came on 82 minutes as MacDonald broke from an Ilkeston corner and eventually fed fellow sub David Parkhouse who finished well off the inside of the post for a birthday goal.
Joe Maguire’s late and low free-kick saw Ravas again called upon as he parried the ball clear, and there was only time left for Hartlepool to smash a sixth goal in stoppage time as Holohan’s 25-yarder flew into the top corner to seal the emphatic result.
MATCH GALLERY TO FOLLOW
Ilkeston: Durrant, Wilson, Bennett (Tait 80), Thomas, Maguire, Fenton, Goodson, Brown-Hill (Bertram 80), Troke, Marzano (Lee 71), Reid.
Not used: Stainsby, Cullingworth, Render, Dill.
Hartlepool: Ravas, Cass, Ferguson, Liddle, Featherstone, Bloomfield, Molyneux (MacDonald 63), Grey (Parkhouse 71), Holohan, Johnson, Crawford.
Not used: Killip, Odusina, Shelton, Donaldson, Ofoso.