Hednesford Town 2-0 Ilkeston FC
Two second half goals from Elliott Durrell ensured The Pitmen claimed a sixth league win from seven and kept up the pressure on leaders North Ferriby United with their top of the table clash looming on Saturday.
Ilkeston started the brighter in the first half as Jack Eades dragged his shot wide from a corner on ten minutes before Francino Francis half volleyed over for Hednesford on 23 minutes.
A rare misjudgement by Pitmen left back Darren Campion gave Ilkeston captain Gary Ricketts the opportunity to race in on goal but his powerful shot was beaten away confidently by Dan Crane on 27 minutes.
Ben Bailey headed over from a sumptuous Elliott Durrell cross on 29 minutes and Joe Maguire fired a rasping free kick over for the away side before the game came alive on the stroke of half time.
The Ilkeston travelling support screamed for a goal to be given when a Greg Tempest corner drifted to the back post and beat Crane but the referee deemed the ball hadn’t crossed the line and 60 seconds later the home side had an equally impassioned claim for a penalty when Jamey Osborne was felled in the area but again, the man in the middle was unmoved by the protestations.
The opening goal of the game came a minute after the restart when a deep cross from the right by Elliott Durrell floated over the statue-like Chris Martin and found the top corner to give Hednesford the lead.
Following Durrell’s opener Ilkeston failed to trouble Crane and Hednesford’s second goal secured the win when Durrell converted a penalty despite the efforts of Martin to secure another victory as The Pitmen stalk North Ferriby with a consistent and ruthless intent.
Crane, Disney, Campion (c), Bailey, Barnes (Harvey 45), Francis, Osborne, Durrell (46,84), O’Connor (Lennon 85), Rey (MacPherson 79), Melbourne
Subs Not Used
Martin, Thompson, Wilson, Perason, Maguire, Maduako, Eades Watts 35), Peel (Gardner 77), Ricketts (c), Hocton, Tempest (Cullingworth 65),
Subs Not Used
Bookings – Disney, Campion, Barnes, Melbourne, Pearson, Maduako, Peel, Tempest,
Attendance – 319
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Star Man – Alex Melbourne