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> 25.10.2008

  Ilkeston Town (0) 0    Hednesford Town (0) 1    

Ilkeston Town

Barnett 87

> Attendance   541 Current Form  WWWWW
 > MotM Stuart Brock

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The Pitmen completed the ultimate 'smash-and-grab' victory at a drizzly Ilkeston this afternoon, putting them five points clear of their nearest rivals Marine. Manager Dean Edwards was shorn of two of his most influential performers, with Danny Harvey missing due to a dead leg and skipper Ross Draper serving a one-match ban for five yellow cards accrued this term. New signing Curtis Ujah replaced Harvey, with Chad Sheppard promoted from the bench to fill in for Draper. Belgian midfielder Dominic Musafiri was amongst the substitutes, with Mark Briggs given the captaincy

Despite the light rain that was falling around Derbyshire, both sides made light of the conditions and played some neat football in the first half, as befits their positions at the top of the UniBond Premier League. Ilson's Steven Istead was first to register a shot on target in the first five minutes, but Tom Marshall got across to block his goalbound shot

Ilkeston were having the better of the chances, despite the Pitmen enjoying plenty of possession. Tom Cahill should have done better with a shot that only found the side netting after his run in from the left. In any case, Stuart Brock had the near post covered

Tyrone Barnett was putting his usual shift in for the visitors, probing and testing the Ilkeston defence with his aerial ability and neat link-up play with Ross Dyer. He failed to test former West Brom keeper Chris Adamson with a scuffed shot that the Ilson number one handled easily

Brock made the first save of what was to become a busy afternoon for him on twenty minutes, getting a firm hand to a shot from Amari Morgan-Smith

Ilkeston continued to have the better opportunities, with Pringle firing wide after Ujah had misjudged a cross from Morgan-Smith

There were few opportunities falling the way of the Pitmen, with Brock continuing to deny Ilkeston. Sam Duncum was denied by Brock on the half hour, with the former Villa keeper getting well behind his long-range effort

The Pitmen had to wait until close to the end of the first half to get a meaningful shot on target. Sam Hall took the ball down the right, before playing the ball square to Elliott Durrell, whose trademark long-range effort whistled inches past the post

Having weathered the first half pressure from Ilkeston, there was much positivity amongst Hednesford supporters that with the strong wind at their backs in the second half, they could push on for all three points. However, it was soon apparent that Ilkeston were looking to push their home advantage to grab a crucial win for themselves

The second half started well for the Pitmen, with an early flurry of activity in and around the Ilkeston area. Hall picked up a ball just a few yards inside the Ilkeston half, before trying his luck with an outrageous effort  that Adamson had to turn over the bar for a Hednesford corner

Cue the Stuart Brock show. The Hednesford number one, in many people's eyes an under-rated performer who has silently gone about his business this term, produced a one-man show throughout the second half to deny the hosts time and time again

His first action of the second half was to deny Morgan-Smith with a fine save to turn his goal-bound shot around the post for a corner on fifty six minutes

Cahill was next to test Brock just after the hour mark, as he managed to get on the end of a great ball by Pringle, but fired straight at the diving Brock, who turned the ball away with his legs

Brock could do nothing about Ilkeston's next chance just a minute later; a Hednesford corner from Briggs was headed away, allowing Ilkeston to break quickly. Anthony Howell was allowed to run with the ball, before he hit a shot that was only just wide of the far post

Cahill again could have scored with a shot that was only just wide of goal, before Brock again came to the Pitmen's rescue by smothering the ball to deny Howell another chance to shoot

On came new boy Musafiri for the tiring Durrell with eighteen minutes left, with the new boy showing one or two nice touches in the centre of the park in the short time he was on the pitch

Despite the pressure that was on the Pitmen's defence, you always felt that the quality of the hard-working pair up front may just be the difference if the Pitmen could provide some quality balls up to them

With the game becoming stretched in the final ten minutes as Ilkeston looked to grab a winner, it was the away side that got their noses in front with three minutes remaining. Briggs received the ball down the right wing, before glancing up and spotting the incoming Barnett. His cross was inch-perfect, right onto the head of the striker, who hung in the air and planted a firm header down past Adamson and into the far corner of the net. The sizeable travelling support went wild, Ilkeston could only bemoan a host of missed chances

Added time saw a nervy last two minutes for the Pitmen, as Ilkeston launched a number of desperate balls into the area in an attempt to grab an equaliser. However, with Brock in such good form, added to by an excellent performance from Tom Marshall, the home side failed to find the breakthrough, with the Pitmen celebrating a fantastic three points at the final whistle cds

Cammell Laird (H) 

28.10.2008
Team Mins On   On/Off For   Goals Top Scorer Barnett (10)
.1 Stuart Brock 90 .. .. .
.2 Sam Hall 90

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. UniBond Premier League 25.10.2008
.3 Anthony Maguire 90 . . Top Half
.4 Decio Gomes 90 .. .. Pos Team Played Points
.5 Curtis Ujah 90

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. 1st HEDNESFORD 15 33
.6 Tom Marshall 90 .

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2nd Marine 15 28
.7 Mark Briggs 90

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. 3rd Ilkeston Town 13 26
.8 Elliott Durrell 72

Musafiri

. 4th Kendal Town 13 25
.9 Tyrone Barnett 90

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5th Guiseley 11 24
.10 Ross Dyer 90 .

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6th Ashton United 15 24
.11 Chad Sheppard  90

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7th Bradford P A 14 22
Substitutes

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8th North Ferriby 14 20
.12 Reece Styche

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. . 9th Leigh Genesis  13 20
.14 Scott Stamps 0

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. 10th Eastwood Town 11 19

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Dominic Musafiri 18

Durrell

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Adam Burley 0

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.17

Shane O'Reilly 0

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Action from the New Manor Ground:  1. Sam Hall plays the ball past Ilkeston's impressive Ben Pringle  2. Hall finds Ross Dyer with a throw   3. Goalscorer Tyrone Barnett is surrounded  4. New boy Dominic Musafiri gets a late run

 

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