Ilkeston win FA Cup thriller to see off Hanley
Ilkeston Town emerged victorious from a tough FA Cup second qualifying round test on Saturday as they overcame NWCL side Hanley Town 4-1 at the New Manor Ground.
The scoreline didn't tell the full story, with Hanley having led the game at one point and then missing a penalty in the second-half that would have made it 2-2 had it found the net, but the Robins ultimately deserved their victory and a place in the third qualifying round.
The result also maintained Ilkeston's unbeaten run so far in a season that continues to promise plenty.
Zak Goodson saw an early effort parried by Hanley keeper Ben Chapman early on as the Robins started strongly, Alex Troke then heading wide from Charlie Marzano’s cross.
At the other end, Tim Sanders’ long ranger was straight at Ross Durrant ten minutes in, but it was with their next attack that Hanley took the lead on 21.
The ball fell to Niall Cope just outside the penalty area and his low shot skidded off the surface, taking a deflection en route that did Durrant no favours before rolling into the net.
Kieran Brown headed narrowly wide for Hanley on the half-hour mark as they continued to take control of the game, but it was Ilkeston who would peg them back with the equaliser on 34 minutes.
Goodson was sent clear down the inside right channel and was able to run on and finish well.
Three minutes later Ilkeston led, as Goodson held off a challenge and squared to Nat Watson just outside the penalty area and his well-placed shot found the corner of the net.
Ollie Brown-Hill’s low shot was pushed wide by Chapman on the stroke of half-time, but the Robins went into the break in front.
Ilkeston had the first opening of the second-half as Watson’s low drive was beaten away by the Hanley keeper.
Chances then dried up despite Ilkeston dominating proceedings, until Hanley nearly levelled on 68 minutes as sub Daniel Needham’s shot beat Durrant but not Brown-Hill on the line.
Ilkeston’s Joe Maguire then also saw an effort cleared off the line following a corner, before Hanley had a golden chance to level from the penalty spot.
Newly-arrived sub Ricardo Fuller was brought to ground by Kieran Fenton, but the veteran striker then saw his penalty saved superbly low down to his left by Durrant.
That proved crucial, as with eight minutes to go Ilkeston got their third goal when great work from Brown-Hill down the left saw him pull the ball back to Goodson who had time to control and finish well.
The Robins weren’t done there, as sub Mason Lee was then brought down on his way into the penalty area by Kyle Stubbs and Alex Troke stepped up to stroke home the penalty and round off the win - Cope shown a red card for dissent before the kick was taken to compound Hanley's misery.
Ilkeston: Durrant, Marzano, Tait, Thomas, Maguire, Fenton, Goodson, Brown-Hill, Troke (Dill 90), Watson (Lee 75), Reid (Bartram 85)
Not used: Stainsby, Render, Bryant, Cullingworth
Hanley: Chapman, Faulkner, Sheldon (Anthony 46), Beaumont, Stubbs, Sanders, Barton (Needham 61), Okome, Brown (Fuller 69), Cope, Ashton.
Not used: Feeney, Thompson, Langridge, Lawrence
By Mark Duffy