• Mark Duffy

Ilkeston round off pre-season with draw against Coalville


Ilkeston Town 2-2 Coalville Town

Ilkeston Town completed their pre-season programme with an encouraging 2-2 draw at home to step three side Coalville Town on Saturday.

The Robins controlled much of the game against a side fancied to go well in the league above, capping an overall impressive pre-season campaign ahead of their NPL Midlands opener at Stamford next Saturday.

And it all bodes well as Martin Carruthers' men look to hit the ground running in their promotion pursuit over the next nine months.

Remaye Campbell struck a low early shot at keeper Saul Deeney as the Robins began well, then James Carvell hit a first time shot from Zak Goodson’s pull back which Deeney pushed onto the inside of the post and the ball rebounded back into his hands.

The Robins did, however, get the lead on 18 minutes and it was from the penalty spot. Campbell was brought down by Kalern Thomas as he broke into the area and Alex Troke stepped up to stroke home the spot kick.

Ilkeston remained on top for much of the half without creating too much more in the way of chances, but the visitors got level on 38 minutes when Joe Doyle-Charles got to the byline and forced Ross Durrant to parry his low shot, only for Billy Kee to follow up and turn home the rebound.

James Carvell (right) challenges Kalern Thomas. Photo by Lee Prewett.

Tim Berridge then forced Durrant into another block from a narrow angle after Thomas’s good run down the right three minutes later, before Kian Thomas’s free-kick from 25 yards out was well tipped over the bar by the Robins keeper right on half-time.

Doyle-Charles was just wide from the edge of the area as Coalville started the second-half well, then another Thomas free-kick saw Durrant alert to parry clear.

Coalville did get their second on 61 minutes as sub David Assuncao crossed for Kee to nod in at the back post from a few yards out.

Ilkeston, however, got level six minutes later when a corner wasn’t cleared by the Coalville defence and James Carvell somehow managed to scramble the ball over the line from a yard out.

Troke saw a 25-yard free-kick strike the post for the hosts in the latter stages but further chances would be few and far between as the game petered out amid a flurry of substitutions, the Robins nevertheless happy to have more than matched their higher level opponents.