Danny Holland was the hero as his late goal earned Matlock a deserved victory in Saturday’s local derby at the Reynolds Stadium.
It was fitting that Holland hit the headlines for he had been far the most dangerous forward on view and he could and probably should have scored earlier which would have made Matlock’s task far easier.
There were just ten minutes left when Micky Harcourt hoisted a cross deep into the Robins’ penalty box. Defender Joe Maguire could not find sufficient power in his clearing header and Holland, lurking with intent just inside the 18 yard area, wrapped his boot around the ball to smack a fine finish past Lloyd Allinson.
It was a game that took a while to get going. Ilkeston’s James Reid was well off target twice in the opening 20 minutes, while former Robin Daryll Thomas skied an effort well over the bar and on to the cricket pitch.
Clear cut chances were scarce early on before Matlock then began to stamp some authority on proceedings as Corey Gregory had a shot charged down and Liam Needham pulled a shot well wide after neat build up play from Holland.
Chances suddenly became more clear cut and only a fine save from Allinson off a fiercely struck Holland drive kept the scoresheet blank on 35 minutes.
Two minutes later Holland headed a Leesley cross onto the roof of the net before a tremendous tackle from Ellis Storey stopped Needham who was set to pull the trigger after bursting into the heart of the penalty box.
A great chance went begging for the hosts two minutes from half-time when Thomas skipped around Allinson who had come charging out of his penalty area. A short pass found Holland whose shot cannoned off the post and Ilkeston then got back en masse to block Holland’s follow up.
The second period, like the first, began cautiously with Reid shooting tamely and harmlessly wide before Allinson blocked a strike from Gregory.
Ilkeston created little of note and the gilt-edged chance they did get came from a bad error by Adam Yates who let in Hooton to set up Reid, only for him to lift his shot against the bar with the goal gaping.
That 56th minute escape spurred Matlock on and they played some neat football but just needed that killer touch.
Holland headed a Leesley cross straight at Allinson on 73 minutes before Micky Harcourt swerved a 20-yarder wide.
Holland then pulled an effort across the face of the goal as the pressure became more sustained before the same player struck the winner which had been coming.
Matlock looked in no danger after the goal and comfortably earned the three valuable points.
Saturday, October 26, 2013:
Matlock: 1 Jon Kennedy 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Joe Leesley 4 Martin Foster 5 David Haggerty 6 Adam Yates 7 Liam Needham (c) 8 Corey Gregory 9 Danny Holland 10 Daryll Thomas (Lewis McMahon 60) 11 Lavell White (James Ashmore 81). Other subs: Bradley Grayson, Oscar Radford, Matty Leese
Ilkeston: 1 Lloyd Allinson 2 Laurie Wilson (c) 3 Aaron Webster 4 Danny Gordon (Che Adams 85) 5 Joe Maguire 6 Ellis Storey 7 Jason Stokes 8 Callum Chettle (Akil Wright 54) 9 Aaron Hooton (Lejaun Simmons 85) 10 James Reid 11 Kane Richards. Other subs: Matt Baker, Mike Williams
Att: 498 Ref: T Nield Star Man: Danny Holland
Report by Ian Richardson