Nantwich Town moved to within 1 win of securing a play off spot as they beat already relegated Ilkeston 3-0 at the Weaver Stadium. The Dabbers needed to show their patience against a resilient Robins side who set up to counter attack and frustrate the home side at every opportunity.
After 40 minutes of constant probing, the all important breakthrough came 4 minutes from half time when Steve Jones beat the offside trap and advanced on goal. He kept his composure and slotted past Robins stand in keeper Keiran Tonge.
In the 2nd half, more good work from Osebi Abadaki won the Dabbers a spot kick and Ryan Brooke stepped up and converted to double the lead. Abadaki had the goal his play deserved just before the hour mark when he cut inside and fired past Tonge at his near post. The Dabbers had chances to extend their lead, but in the end 3 was enough to seal all 3 points and move them to within touching distance of securing a top 5 spot.
Phil Parkinson made just 2 changes from the side that beat Ashton United last Saturday. In came Steve Jones and Abadaki and out went Joe Mwasile with a knock, whilst Josh Hancock dropped to the bench. Tom Peers returned to the squad amongst the subs. The visitors were forced into a change in goal during the warm up, as Jamie Hannis was forced to withdraw and youngster Tonge replaced him.
The game started off at a quiet pace, with no early chances for either side. Brooke had the first effort on goal as he shot from distance, but it was easily saved by Tonge. Steve Jones then laid in Matt Bell, but he couldn’t get the ball under control and Tonge was out to gather.
The Dabbers were doing all the probing and Bell put a great ball in behind the Robins defence, but it just eluded Abadaki. From a free kick, Ben Harrison tried to flick the ball to a team mate, but Tonge again gathered.
After controlling possession, the Dabbers were inches away from leading when a superb Ibou Touray free kick rattled off the bar with Tonge beaten. It was a fantastic effort from the left back, who almost opened his account for the club in stunning style. Abadaki then was played in after some quick football, but he could only shoot wide from close range.
Tom Gamblen had the first effort of note for the visitors as he fired just over from long range. The Dabbers continued to look the more likely team to score. Abadaki skewed a shot wide from distance and a Touray cross was cleared in the 6 yard box with Brooke and Bell lurking.
After getting caught several times by a high Ilkeston defensive line, the Dabbers finally beat the offside trap with 4 minutes to go in the half. Brooke released Steve Jones and, with the Robins defenders appealing in vain for a flag, Jonah advanced into the box, drew Tonge and slotted past the keeper to put the Dabbers ahead. It was no more than the home side deserved for their patience and persistence.
The Dabbers started the 2nd half looking for the 2nd to give themselves some breathing room. A White delivery just missed Wayne Riley in the 6 yard box, but the flag was up against the midfielder. Ilkeston hit back and enjoyed a period of pressure. Dan Gyollai had to tip over a long range Anthony Dwyer free kick and then made another smart stop from Jaylon Bather from range. Bather then scuffed wide after a scramble in the Dabbers box.
However, after riding out the storm, the Dabbers took control and doubled their lead on 51 minutes. Abadaki showed great persistence to wrestle the ball back twice in the box under pressure from Ilkeston’s defence. He was adjudged to have been fouled and the ref pointed to the spot, which ruled out a Brooke effort, who scored shortly after the whistle had gone.
Brooke wasn’t to be denied though, as he fired the penalty past Tonge for his 12th of the season and 10th in the league. The Dabbers were full of confidence and came close to a 3rd when a Brooke shot was spilled by Tonge. Bell followed up, but he couldn’t beat Tonge, who collected the ball at the 2nd attempt.
Bather curled on straight at Gyollai at the other end as Ilkeston looked to reduce the deficit, but the Dabbers put the game to bed shortly before the hour mark. Abadaki cut inside and fired low at the near post. Tonge couldn’t keep the ball out and it found the back of the net to give the Dabbers a 3 goal lead. It was Abadaki’s 8th of the season and his first since December when he scored a hat-trick against Whitby.
Parky made an instant change, bringing off Sam Hall and replacing him with Josh Hancock. The tempo dropped following the 3rd goal as the Dabbers looked to preserve their 3 goal lead. Touray dragged a shot wide and Hancock skewed a shot out for a throw in as the chances dried up. Vinny Mukendi came on for Steve Jones, who got a great reception on his departure.
Dwyer once again went for goal from a long range free kick, but his effort was straight at Gyollai. The Dabbers could have had a 4th when Mukendi got down the left and found Bell with a cross. Bell fired on goal, but Tonge made a great one handed stop to deny him. Parky made his final sub, bringing on Joel Stair for Ben Harrison.
The Dabbers were able to run down the final 10 minutes with relative ease, with Dan Gyollai collecting his 6th clean sheet since joining in January. The win puts the Dabbers just 3 points away from securing a top 5 spot.
Nantwich Town: Dan Gyollai, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Curtis Jones, Ben Harrison(Joel Stair, 76), Sam Hall(c)(Josh Hancock, 58), Steve Jones(Vinny Mukendi, 67), Wayne Riley, Ryan Brooke, Matt Bell, Osebi Abadaki
Unused subs: Krystian Burzynski, Tom Peers
Goalscorers: S.Jones(41), Brooke(51, pen), Abadaki(58)
Ilkeston: Kieran Tonge, Max Thornberry(Tevahn Tyrell, 69), Charlie Scanlon, Dante Laverock, Matt Baker, Jaylon Bather, Reece Horne, Danny Gordon, Anthony Dwyer, Tom Gamblen, Ryan Head(Ben Morris, 66)
Unused sub: Connor Paine
Attendance: 402« Back to all news