Arrived at a chilly New Manor Ground for my second visit of the season, having previously seen an exciting 2-2 against Burscough back in September. A refreshing Stella, in the friendly social club, set us up nicely for the eagerly awaited contest. Marine currently lie 3rd in the table, whilst Ilkeston have dropped into the bottom half.
It was Marine who were to earn the points today, as more pressure fell on Ilkeston manager Nigel Jemson, he once of Nottingham Forest fame.
Ilkeston began brightly quickly settling into the passing rhythm which impressed me so much on my last visit. Walker and McSweeney were controlling the midfield in the early stages but wingers Adam and Wade were getting little change out of the Marine full backs.
It was Marine who took the lead in controversial circumstances in the 22nd minute. Ilkeston keeper Annerson blocked an initial Marine shot but Cumiskey's follow-up was handballed by centre half Robinson. Referee McIntosh of Lincoln awarded a corner, but following protests by Marine and consultation with his assistant awarded a penalty, which Cumiskey duly dispatched with ease. Mysteriously no red card for Robinson.
The game boiled over shortly before half-time when Ilkeston manager Jemson was dismissed to the stands after entering the field of play and appearing to push Marine full back McDermott.
The second half began similar to the first, with Ilkeston continuing their short passing game, with Marine preferring the more direct approach. On 68 minutes Lathan had the chance to put the game out of sight but blazed wide. Marine were indebted to goalkeeper Andy Ralph whose handling had been immaculate all afternoon, when on 75 mins he made a fine save from Ilkeston striker Muller.
Marine were beginning to look more dangerous since the arrival of livewire Mulvaney, who had replaced the injured Young in the first half. Ilkeston pressed hard for an equalizer but holes were beginning to appear in their defence. Lathan sealed their fate, in the 85th minute, with an excellent strike, following good work from O'Donnell. A mesmerising run from Mulvaney should have made it 3-0 in the dying moments but his shot flew wide.
Final score Ilkeston Town 0 Marine 2
Man of the Match: McDermott (Marine left back)