• Mark Duffy

Last-gasp Leiston deny Ilkeston all three points

SPL Central

Ilkeston Town 2

Gibson 32, Goodson 89

Leiston 2

Barnes 65, Quantrell 90+3

An injury-time equaliser denied Ilkeston all three points on Saturday as Leiston battled back twice to earn a share of the spoils.

In what was a fairly even game, both sides could argue they deserved all three points and it looked like Zak Goodson’s 89th minute strike would do just that for the Robins.

But George Quantrell had the last say in stoppage time to again see Ilkeston denied maximum returns right at the end.

The hosts had the first real opening seven minutes in when Jamie Ward’s ball into the six yard box nearly found Remaye Campbell but keeper Sam Donkin dived at the Robins man’s feet to deny him.

Leiston looked a threat going forward, however, and Will Davies drove low at Saul Deeney on 16 minutes before Wyatt Hill had time and space on the edge of the penalty area but blazed his shot high and wide seconds later.

Ilkeston responded with Campbell’s shot hitting a defender and rebounding into Donkin’s arms after they'd threatened from a corner, while at the other end Quantrell was freed on the left edge of the six-yard box but hit shot flew across the face of goal and away from danger.


Jamie Ward in action for Ilkeston against Leiston. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Ward shot straight at Donkin from distance on 29, before Quantrell’s powerful effort was parried away by Deeney as the visitors again continued to carry a real threat in the final third.

But Ilkeston took the lead on 32 minutes in some style. A corner was only cleared as far as Montel Gibson on the edge of the penalty area and his strike hit the underside of the crossbar then inside of the post before bouncing back into play, the assistant referee flagging the ball had crossed the line much to the dismay of Leiston’s players.

Gibson then volleyed another chance just over the top moments later as the Robins looked to turn the screw, but half-time arrived with just the one-goal lead.

The Robins started the second-half the stronger side but it was Leiston who had the first clear chance when Davies headed just over the top from Quantrell’s cross.

Campbell saw a shot blocked by a superb diving challenge soon afterwards, and it was from a counter-attack from the subsequent corner that Leiston would equalise.

The ball was cleared to the dangerous Finlay Barnes and he ran from just inside his own half to beat two defenders and finish superbly past Deeney for the leveller.

Chances dried up after that, Leiston sub Joe Marsden floating a free-kick just over the top with four minutes left in the next effort to seriously threaten.

But the Robins wouldn’t be denied on 89 minutes. Sub Goodson had been quiet since arriving 15 minutes earlier, but he would produce one of his trademark finishes when receiving the ball on the right-hand edge of the penalty area, curling a superb effort into the top corner leaving Donkin with no chance.

However, that wasn't that as Ilkeston fell asleep at a free-kick in the third minute of stoppage time and the ball was played to Marsden who squared to Quantrell and he hammered home the equaliser and the points would be shared.

Ilkeston: Deeney, K Thomas, Brown-HIll, Troke, Daly, Fenton (C), Ward (Bird 88), J Thomas, Campbell (O’Grady 82), Gibson, Wakefield (Goodson 74)

Not used: Turner, Bukowski

Leiston: Donkin, Hill (Marsden 74), Dunbar (C), Hutchings, Ross Jarvis, Bailey-Dennis, Ryan Jarvis, Dronfield, Quantrell, Barnes, Davies (Mills 90).

Not used: Fernandes, Saunders.