Troke's at the double as unbeatable Ilkeston taste FA Trophy joy
Alex Troke scored twice as Ilkeston Town came from behind to beat Kempston Rovers in the FA Trophy second qualifying round on Saturday.
The result maintains Ilkeston's unbeaten run in all competitions so far this season and added to their FA Cup success in midweek against Alvechurch.
They did it the hard way, being behind at half-time having been hampered by the loss of two defenders through injury in the first-half, but showed good spirit to deal with that adversity and turn the game around.
Erin Amu put the first effort of note straight at Ilkeston goalkeeper Ross Durrant 16 minutes in, the Robins having lost captain Kieran Fenton injured shortly before.
Durrant then appeared to be fouled when challenging for a free-kick played into the penalty area, Riece Bertram having to scamper back to clear the ball off the line just before it crossed.
Mason Lee was then denied by Rovers keeper Peter Denton as he tipped his low shot just wide, the Robins then losing another defender injured as Billy Bennett pulled up and had to be replaced by Jack Thomas – the back four having to be considerably rejigged as a result of both injuries.
Stand-in right-back, Alex Render, fired too high on 35 minutes for the hosts, but it would be Rovers who would get in front moments later as a fine through ball by Jordan Slama dissected the defence and Alvin Magagada ran on to finish well past Durrant.
Joe Wilson saw a shot parried in the closing moments of the first-half but the break arrived with a disjointed Robins needing inspiration.
Thomas fired wide in the early stages of the second-half, but the Robins would get their leveller just after the hour mark.
Sub Zak Goodson got free down the right and his fine cross was powerfully headed home by Troke on 62 minutes.
Troke saw another header saved by Denton five minutes later, but he wouldn’t be denied on 70 as after Magagada made a real hash of a clearance inside the penalty area, Troke was able to control and finish well to put the hosts in front.
Joe Maguire missed a great chance from close range to make it 3-1 with seven minutes left after Rovers hadn’t cleared a free-kick into the box, then Durrant had to be alert to save a free-kick from Ben Baker as the game entered stoppage time, but the win belonged to Ilkeston and their fine season continued.
See a gallery from the match HERE.
Ilkeston: Durrant, Wilson, Bennett (Thomas 27), Bertram, Render (Goodson 53), Fenton (c) (Maguire 11), Cullingworth, Brown-Hill, Troke, Lee, Reid
Not used: Stainsby, Thomas, Dill, Goodson
Kempston: Denton, Green, Stratton, Powell, Bailey, Amu, Baker, Goodman (c) (Akinobola 86), Slama (Atcha 79), Ladipo, Magagada (Boateng 79)
Not used: Nkrumah, Coulson