REPORT: Troke's on the spot as Ilkeston Town hold Stamford
Ilkeston Town twice recovered from going behind to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Stamford on Tuesday night.
The result leaves the Robins still unbeaten in all competitions and was a deserved point against a much-fancied Daniels side who played the last 15 minutes with ten men.
Harry Limb fired straight at Ross Durrant from distance for the visitors in the opening moments, but it took just four minutes for Stamford to get their noses in front.
Cosmos Mitwasa was sent in on goal and forced Durrant to push his shot away, but Rob Morgan was on hand to fire home the rebound from just inside the penalty area.
Stamford continued to control the encounter but Ilkeston then broke away to get level on 18 minutes. Alex Troke received possession and burst into the penalty area before being brought to ground by Stamford defender Jordon Cooke. Troke dusted himself down to send Danny Haystead the wrong way from the spot to equalise.
Limb looped an effort just wide soon afterwards after errors in the Robins defence, then Tom Siddons headed wide from close range when he should have at least hit the target following a free-kick from out on the right.
Harry Vince’s next free-kick from a similar position then drifted just past the far post without a touch en route which could have helped it into the net, then Stamford’s James Blunden saw his flick cleared off the line by Ollie Brown-Hill from a left wing corner.
At the other end, Zak Goodson’s dipping volley was just wide before the break.
Stamford began the second period brightly, Durrant saving well at point blank range from Siddons and Limb sending the rebound into the car park behind the goal.
Troke headed a Mitchell Tait cross just over the top on 55 minutes, then Brown-Hill shot too high after good work from Goodson.
Stamford’s Morgan saw a shot deflected past the post by team-mate Siddons, then newly-arrived sub Jon Challinor blasted too high from close range.
But Challinor wouldn’t be denied moments later as he was sent clear on goal and finished low past Durrant on 67 minutes.
James Reid’s low volley pushed wide by Haystead as Ilkeston responded well, and they would get level again on 74 minutes in similar fashion to their earlier equaliser.
This time, a cross from the right was handled by Cooke, who had conceded the first penalty too, and he was promptly sent off for his second yellow card. Troke stepped up again and fired home his second penalty of the night.
Stamford didn’t look like they were a man down and put good pressure on after parity had been restored, Morgan forcing Durrant into a good stop low down with five minutes left, but ultimately neither side could find a winner.
Ilkeston: Durrant, Marzano, Tait (Lee 64), Thomas, Maguire, Fenton, Goodson, Brown-Hill, Troke, Watson (Marshall 84), Reid.
Subs not used: Stainsby, Bertram, Cullingworth.
GOALS: Troke 18pen, 74pen
Stamford: Haystead, Armstrong (Wright 46), Bartle, Vince, Cooke, Blunden, Chitiza, Morgan, Siddons (Hicks 80), Limb (Challinor 61), Matwasa.
Subs not used: Duffy, O'Hare.
Ref: Callum Parke
By Mark Duffy
(Cover photo by Lee Prewett)