Ilkeston rue defensive errors as Khalsa take the points
Ilkeston Town 2
Campbell 1, Goodson 30
Sporting Khalsa 3
McKenzie 11, 41
Ilkeston Town failed to follow up their impressive win at Stamford on Saturday as visitors Sporting Khalsa recovered from going a goal behind in the opening minute to take the points on Tuesday night.
The Robins only had themselves to blame after a disappointing overall display that also saw them gift Khalsa all three of their goals, although the visitors were impressive throughout and could easily have won by a bigger margin.
It left Robins boss Martin Carruthers admitting it was 'back to the drawing board' as he reflected on a frustrating night.
The Robins took no time to get their noses in front, scoring the opener just 49 seconds in as Zak Goodson released Billy Bennett down the left and his low ball into the six-yard box was turned in by Remaye Campbell.
Campbell had another chance three minutes later when Goodson’s effort was blocked by keeper Sam Arnold as he rushed out of goal, Campbell following up 35 yards out but his chip hitting the back pedalling Arnold on his rear end and eventually the ball was cleared.
Khalsa’s first effort of note came on eight minutes when Liam Armstrong’s low strike from the edge of the penalty area was well pushed wide of the post by Ross Durrant.
The visitors were then gifted an equaliser three minutes later. It was a horror show for Robins right-back Charlie Marzano, whose back pass was horribly short to Durrant and Josh McKenzie was able to intercept, run on and finish well past the Robins keeper to level the scores.
Chances then dried up as both sides probed aplenty but without much joy, although the Robins would soon regain the lead on the half-hour mark as Goodson received the ball on the edge of the penalty area, switched to his left foot and curled an effort past Arnold and into the corner of the net.
But Khalsa came back again and once more it was McKenzie who levelled. This time Armstrong’s through ball too easily cut the defence open and the veteran Khalsa striker got goal side of Kieron Fenton who then lost the foot race to the penalty area and McKenzie slid the ball past the onrushing Durrant.
Alex Troke’s 25 yarder was dealt with by Arnold as the half came to a close, both sides having given as good as they got in an entertaining first 45.
Durrant was forced into action ten minutes into the second-half when James McGrady’s header from a free-kick out wide was well parried.
But Durrant was then left disappointed moments later as McGrady saw another effort not held by the Robins keeper and this time Jake Gosling followed up to slide the ball home from the rebound.
Durrant then made amends as he produced a sublime double save to twice deny McGrady, first with a header from a right wing cross and then his volleyed rebound.
The duo’s personal duel continued as McGrady then got free down the right and saw his low shot pushed aside well by Durrant.
The Robins were struggling to make headway but nearly levelled on 80 when Troke’s pull back found Goodson who flashed an effort just wide of the post.
McGrady again saw Durrant push a shot wide with five to go as Khalsa searched for a fourth, Campbell flicking a header a few yards wide in stoppage time as Ilkeston had a late flurry but without success.
Ilkeston: Durrant, Marzano (Verma 46), Bennett, Wakefield, Maguire, Fenton, Goodson, Spence (Carvell 68), Campbell, Troke, Tait.
Not used: Irvine, Rogers, Stainsby.
Sporting Khalsa: Arnold, Franco, Worsey, Perks, Robinson, Ferrier, Armstrong (Woodhouse 79), Whittaker, McKenzie (Cameron 83), Gosling, McGrady.
Not used: Jones, Williams, Howkins.
Ref: Thomas Hales