A blood and thunder local derby this certainly wasn’t.
Ilkeston and Matlock met for the fourth time this season at the New Manor Ground on Saturday and the Robisn continued their good form against their county rivals, this being their third win over the Gladiators.
That’s about the only plus they could have taken from this game, won by a fine early strike against a Matlock side struggling for goals of their own recently and toothless going forward here too.
The clean sheet was also earned thanks to some some well-organised defending but the reality was that neither side had enough imagination going forward to make this anything like an entertaining encounter.
The Robins dominated the early stages and took the lead with their first real opening on eight minutes.
James Reid cut inside before passing to Ashley Hunter whose fine return through ball saw Reid run on and finish low past Jon Kennedy.
Kane Richards was then released by Hunter but flashed a good opening across the face of goal, whilst the only other action of note in a scrappy first-half came at the other end when Phil Roe’s weak shot was straight into the hands of Jordan Smith.
It then took 20 minutes of the second-half for any kind of chance to arrive as Reid swung in a free-kick from the right and captain Joe Maguire glanced a header just wide of the far post.
Hunter then saw his low ball into the six yard box palmed away by Kennedy with nobody there to turn in the rebound, before Richards got through after a defensive error only to be crowded out by Matlock players and put his shot well wide with Kennedy out of the game.
Matlock had precious little to offer going forward although Andre Johnson did manage to get a low shot in from an angle on 76 minutes which Smith gathered easily, then Charlie Dawes’ effort was high and wide moments later.
David Morgan was low and wide from distance with five minutes to go before in the fourth minute of two added on at the end, Smith did well to hold a Micky Harcourt header as the visitors threatened an unlikely late leveller.
That was the last action of a very poor game, but one from which the Robins could at least take three points to push them back into the play-off places.
Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith, 2 James Reid, 3 Luke Shaw, 4 Matt Baker, 5 Joe Maguire (c), 6 Jack Lane, 7 David Morgan, 8 Callum Chettle, 9 Rob Duffy (Mike Williams 77), 10 Kane Richards, 11 Ashley Hunter
Subs not used: Akil Wright, Eli Bako, Rai Simons, Danny Gordon
Matlock: 1 Jon Kennedy, 2 Lawrence Gorman (Martin Foster 75), 3 Oscar Radford (Corey Gregory 57), 4 Micky Harcourt (c), 5 Adam Yates, 6 Ellis Humble, 7 Josh Meade, 8 James Ashmore, 9 Andre Johnson, 10 Charlie Dawes, 11 Phil Roe
Subs not used: Caine Winfarrah, Niall McManus
Ref: M Perry
Report by Mark Duffy
(Twitter - @DuffersSport)