REPORT: In-form Robins see off Alvechurch in FA Cup
Ilkeston Town's impressive and unbeaten season continued as they secured an impressive 1-0 win at home to Southern Premier League side Alvechurch on Tuesday night.
Ollie Brown-Hill struck the winner in the opening minute of the second-half in what was a fine all-round team performance against higher level opposition.
And it puts the Robins in the fourth qualifying round for the first time since their most recent reformation.
The first-half was dull and produced very little excitement. The first chance of the game took 22 minutes to arrive as Jake Wakeling broke down the left but put his effort high and wide of the post.
The next didn’t come until first-half stoppage time, Ilkeston’s Alex Troke turning and shooting ten yards out but his shot easily saved by keeper Jonathan Brown, half-time arriving with very little of note for the fans to chat about.
However, there was plenty to discuss just a minute into the second period as Ilkeston took the lead. Brown-Hill, playing against his brother Dominic for the first time, received possession in space some 25 yards out and found the bottom corner of the net with a fine low strike.
Brown-Hill’s next effort looped on to the roof of the net soon afterwards, before Jack Thomas tried his luck from distance and despite Brown initially spilling his shot, was able to then gather.
Troke was next to try from long range, his curling effort pushed away by Brown as it headed towards the top corner of the net.
Wakeling drove a shot wide of the Robins’ post at the other end, before Ilkeston defender Kieran Fenton nearly headed a second but couldn’t guide his effort on target from a Thomas cross on 68.
Troke put a tricky chance over the top on 75 after Wilson’s knock back as the Robins sought a second, Brown-Hill again testing Brown soon afterwards who gathered his low shot.
Troke then caressed a shot wide from Ricco Spencer’s centre, before a rare chance at the other end saw Wakeling’s powerful effort well parried away by Ross Durrant.
Durrant then had to be alert again to deny Joe Hull on 88 minutes as Alvechurch pushed forward searching for an equaliser, but it wouldn't come and the Robins would hold on.
Ilkeston: Durrant, Wilson, Bennett, Thomas, Maguire, Fenton, Goodson (Spencer 45), Brown-Hill, Troke, Lee, Reid (Bertram 88).
Not used Cullingworth, B Watson, Render, Dill.
Alvechurch: Brown, Cassidy, Sephton, Brown-Hill, Hull, Willets, Chamberlain (Lloyd 58), Botfield (Birch 80), Wakeling, Cook (Hamilton), Monteiro.
By Mark Duffy