Friday, 17 March 2017

Ilkeston 1 v Football CV Reds 1 - National League U19 Aliance

Friday 17th March 2017
National League U19 Alliance, Division H
Ilkeston FC (1) 1
Dan Faulkner 44
Football CV Reds (1) 1
Brandon Taverner 10
Ilkeston first team manager Shaun Goater and choccy biscuits.
If anything, today's visitors to the New Manor Ground, had the better of the game, but they were kept at arms length by the Ilkeston keeper Jack Hardy, who made a string of decent saves, to atone for an error judgment he made in the tenth minute that cost his side the opening goal.
It's like that for goalkeepers though, outfield players can more often than not live with their mistakes, but the slightest momentary lapse in front of the goal itself and you're going to get punished.
Things started well enough for Hardy, when he clawed IIja Fjodorvs' inswinging left wing corner out from beneath his crossbar, but in the tenth minute an angled shot in a crowded goalmouth, by Brandon Taverner, bobbled unkindly in front of the Robins shot stopper and evaded his outstretched hand and crawled apologetically over the line to open  the scoring.
The bobble was so acute that I thought another player had actually got the final touch, but I stand corrected.
I know that Basford is very slightly closer to the the equatorial line than Ilkeston, but it must have been ten degrees colder in Derbyshire this lunch time than it was just two days ago in Nottingham.
My face was flushed by a warm glow from the unseasonably decent weather at Greenwich Avenue, but today I wish that I'd remembered to bring my gloves and put on two pairs of socks and under crackers.
The Reds, playing in blue (of course) should have been two goals to the good on the half hour mark, but having got himself into a good position and striking the ball well, Harry Whittington was denied by a great reflex save from Hardy, who seemed determined not to be beaten again today, bobbles or no bobbles.
Sven Hart collected the ball on the edge of the Robins area with his back to goal, turned on the spot and unleashed a fierce drive with the outside of his left boot, but Hardy twisted in mid air and turned the ball over the bar.
Ilkeston were on level terms just before the break, when Dan Faulkner powered into the visitors area, just to the left of the D and drilled the ball just inside the right hand post.
It set things up nicely for the second half and my druid companion and myself nipped into the 'Ilson' boardroom, that was doubling up as the tea bar today, for a warm.
The home side were pinned back in their own half for most of the opening twenty minutes or so after the restart, but had the second half's first real opening of any note, when Whittington sprinted forward and Charley Giffen was forced into making a double save to keep the lively Robins number seven out.
Having conceded a corner in the process, Giffen was beaten at the near post by Whittington's flag kick, but fortunately for the visitors keeper, Taverner was on hand to nick the ball away off the goal line. 
It was a competitive game, but played in the right spirit and officiated well by Mr Jim Thornhill and his assistants. I see James in action so often these days, he must think that I'm stalking him... I am! ;-)
Despite having enjoyed far more possession of the ball over the course of the ninety minutes, the away side were indebted to Giffen right at the death, when he turned a twenty five yard shot by Jack Goodson round the post at full stretch.
As always, it was a pleasure to catch up with Malc Storer again, who I hadn't seen since Wednesday and won't be meeting upwith again until tomorrow's noon kick off between Mansfield Town U18 and Hartlepool United U18 at Clipstone FC.
You're all more than welcome to join us.
FT: Ilkeston Academy 1 v Football CV Reds 1
The picturesque Ilkeston clock.
It needs winding up.