Justin Iwobi was selected up top, in place of injured striker, Dayle Southwell. Ash Jackson again partnered Dylan Cogill at centre back, meaning Hamish Douglas again had to settle for a place on the bench, alongside Nat Wallace. A cold, wet and windy day at the Kal Group Stadium was overshadowed by a dull performance on the pitch. Slow starts for both sides led to frustration, Bailey Conway was booked for a retaliatory challenge on Dixon, then just two minutes later, Daniel Devine was caught on his achilles, so he avenged this through a harsh challenge on his abuser.
Then after the dull opening period was lit up when Jamie Walker spotted Ben Bottomley off his line, and lifted over the on loan 'keeper, from halfway, to put Ilkeston in front, helped massively by the wind.
Half Time: Gainsborough Trinity 0 Ilkeston Town 1
Trinity came back out of the traps looking to get back into the game, but found their former custodian in top form. Justin Iwobi, making his first start, split the defence. Sending Dec Howe through on goal, Yates stood up well and blocked Howe's dinked finish, getting to the rebound first, and diverting the ball away from danger.
At the other end, Ren Starkie then brought the best out of Bottomley as he was denied the visitors' second. Bottomley back-pedalling to gather Declan Erratt-Thompson's return effort. Howe, also facing his former side, was less fortunate. Ash Jackson's long throw causing problems, Howe spun to shoot, but Yates was quickly at his feed. Substitute Wallace slipped in Howe, but again, Yates was an imperious barrier.
When Yates was beaten, nine minutes into stoppage time, Bailey Conway could only shake his head in disbelief. With the goal at his mercy, Ilkeston right back, Llarell King got back onto the line to make an unbelievable, last-ditch clearance. As Trinity recycled the ball one more time, Lewis Butroid teed up Javelle Clarke who appeared to be taken out with a last ditch sliding block. Penalty appeals were waved away by the Referee Joseph Goodwin and that was virtually the last of the action as the Robins cleared their lines.
Unmoved, the Gainsborough attacker was helped from the field on a stretcher, with a suspected broken ankle, long after the full time whistle. A flurry of cards were brandished after the full time whistle as concern for their injured team mate manifested as frustration. A three hour wait for an ambulance, further dampening the home side spirits as the Robins completed the double over the Blues.
The next scheduled game is on Tuesday evening, when the Holy Blues head to Whitby, looking to turn fortunes around once again, having hit a mini bump in the road. Injuries continue to mount up, but with backs to the wall, Trinity are ready to come out fighting!
Gainsborough Trinity: Ben Bottomley, George Hornshaw (Nat Wallace 58), Ashley Jackson, Bailey Conway, Daniel Devine (Hamish Douglas 79), Dylan Cogill, Lewis Butroid, Bobby Johnson, Justin Iwobi (Fraser Preston 58), Declan Howe, Javelle Clarke. Subs not used: Jack Moore-Billam and Joel Holvey.
Ilkeston Town: Matt Yates, Llarell King, Sam Parker (Kobe Erratt-Thompson), Tom Marshall, James Perch, Luke Cox, Ben Starkie, Connor Dixon (Callum Minkley), Alex Marshall (Tyrell Waite 90), Declan Erratt-Thomas, Jamie Walker. Subs not used: Zak Goodson and Liam Laughlan.
Ilkeston goal: Jamie Walker (24)
Sponsors Man of the Match: Bailey Conway
Images courtesy of Russell Dickens (@bozola900)