• John Attewell

Ilkeston's unbeaten run ends with defeat at Newcastle

Ilkeston’s unbeaten record came to an emphatic end on Tuesday night after a below par performance against also unbeaten hosts Newcastle Town saw them lose 4-1.

Three of Newcastle’s goals came from speedy counter attacks which Ilkeston had difficulty dealing with throughout the match, this being their first loss in all competitions this season and coming just four days before their big FA Cup fourth qualifying round game with Hartlepool United.

Ilkeston started well, forcing the hosts to defend, but were caught out by Newcastle’s first attack as speed merchant Ryan McLean broke free and fired past Ross Durrant after just six minutes.

Ilkeston responded but without creating a meaningful opening while Newcastle had another good opportunity when a Joe Berks shot was saved low down by Durrant.

On 24 minutes Ollie Brown-Hill forced Dominic Kurasik into good save and Brown-Hill was close again when his shot on the turn hit the side netting.

Ilkeston got themselves level on 33 minutes when Alex Troke equalised from the spot after he was taken out in the box.

Alex Troke equalised for Ilkeston.

However, five minutes later Newcastle had a penalty themselves and regained the lead through McLean which they held until half time.

As in the first-half, Ilkeston were first to press in the second and had two early shots blocked before once again they were stunned by a lightning break out with James Melhado lashing the ball home on 50 minutes.

Mitchell Tait’s effort was just too high as Ilkeston retaliated while Jack Thomas tested Kurasik during a good spell of Robins possession, but Newcastle scored again after Ilkeston thought they should have had a free kick, Joe Berks taking advantage as he raced away and slammed in number four on 70 minutes.

On 80 minutes Ilkeston had a strong penalty shout turned down when Joe Wilson appeared to be scythed down.

Troke was close with a header near the end but Newcastle were worthy winners because of their superior finishing. James Reid was Ilkeston’s shining light on disappointing night.

By John Attewell