Lions Bounce Back In Style

Smarting from a chastening defeat at Macclesfield on Saturday, the Lions bounced back with a commanding 4-1 win at Ilkeston Town, writes Ivor Timmis.

From the outset it was clear that the Lions were determined to make amends for a rather limp defeat at Macclesfield, and they had the better of the early exchanges with some crisp passing movements and the pace of Jordi Nsaka and Kofi Moore causing problems on both flanks.

On 17 minutes, Liam Tongue replaced the injured Leigh Whelan. It was Ilkeston who took the lead on 24 minutes against the run of play, when a far post corner was unfortunately deflected in by Reece Kendall, who had an eventful evening, picking up a yellow card not long after.

The Lions, showing great resolve, were undeterred, and drew level in the second phase of a set piece when a Kendall cross found Aiden Walker unmarked at the far post. His header was very deliberate and found the net despite the attempts of the Robins’ keeper Matt Yates to claw the ball out.

Even better was to come on the 30th minute when the Lions fizzed the ball about finding Kofi Moore in space on the right. His low cross was met by a late run by Liam Tongue in a manner reminiscent of Frank Lampard or, for older readers, John Wark. It was the kind of goal coaches dream about and fans love to watch.

The rampant Lions were not finished and on 40 minutes, a simple side foot finish by Tom Denton finished off another fine move which had culminated in a dangerous low cross by Kendall. The build up play to the goal was silky and smooth with 19 or 20 passes involving every single Lions player before the tall striker finished the chance on his first start since recovering from injury.

The second half was considerably less eventful. Ilkeston pressed hard but the Lions kept them at arm’s length, apart from a shot which looked goal bound until Jameel Ible, showing his customary anticipation, deflected it wide.

It was also reassuring to see the Lions successfully defend a series of corners, having conceded from one or two recently.

On 67 minutes, Tom Pratt replaced the impressive Moore, with Kallan Murphy coming on Tom Denton in the final minutes.

In injury time, Tom Pratt scored a rare headed goal from a left wing cross which, for reasons unknown, sparked a small fracas.

A couple of minutes later, an off the ball foul on Aiden Walker sparked a larger scale fracas. The final whistle soon sounded to bring the curtain down on a 4-1 win, which was at times thrilling.

Ilkeston Town 1-4 Guiseley AFC | Tuesday 28th November 2023 | Microlise New Manor Ground

Attendance: 362

Team: 1. Ollie Battersby, 2. Ollie Brown, 3. Reece Kendall, 4. Leigh Whelan (17′ Tongue), 5. Aiden Walker, 6. Jameel Ible (C), 7. Kofi Moore (67′ Pratt), 8. Prince Ekpolo, 9. Tom Denton (80′ Murphy), 10. Gabriel Johnson and 11. Jordi Nsaka.

Subs: 12. Kallan Murphy, 14. Tom Pratt, 15. Josh Ashman, 16. Callum Chippendale and 17. Liam Tongue.

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Guiseley vs Huddersfield Town