Following a season full of unpredictability and its fair share of ups and downs, Ilkeston FC at least ended with a flourish as they retained the Derbyshire Senior Cup.
The final at Alfreton Town’s Impact Arena wasn’t a classic by any means but the Robins did what they had to do against a side who have had a good league season but with two divisions the difference between the clubs, Ilkeston’s quality eventually prevailed.
It ultimately came down to two second-half penalties - one missed by Robins skipper Laurie Wilson but which had Kane Richards pouncing to net the rebound, the other smashed home by James Reid in a style identical to that which clinched this trophy in dramatic fashion 12 months earlier.
Glossop tried to get the ball down and play and they deserve credit for their part in proceedings, their task made harder by the dismissal of Kieran Lugsden for a reckless challenge on Reid between the two goals.
Ilkeston’s Joe Maguire had the first effort on goal when his looping header from Reid’s free-kick was gathered by keeper Greg Hall, before moments later Glossop’s David Young hit a low effort which Robins custodian Ross Etheridge had to get down well to save by tipping the ball around the post.
Chances then dried up for a while as both sides battled to get the upper hand.
On the half-hour mark, another Reid free-kick was this time deflected just wide of the post and from the resulting corner, Gary Ricketts’ shot was again diverted wide by Glossop’s defence.
The game would suddenly come to life just after half-time and Ricketts was at the heart of it.
He took control on the edge of the penalty area before toppling over under a challenge from North End skipper Lincoln Adams.
A spot-kick was awarded and after skipper Wilson saw his effort pushed away by Hall, Richards arrived to find the net from a fairly narrow angle and put the Robins in front.
They’d soon have a numerical advantage in terms of personnel too as Lugsden flew in hard on Reid after 57 minutes. The challenge wasn’t particularly high but it was certainly late, heavy and dangerous and a red card was the right decision from referee Alix Pashley.
Chey Adams forced Hall into a save not long afterwards but it would be Adams who would win the second penalty of the evening on 66 minutes, as his charge into the area was halted by the other Lugsden on show, Kelvin, and this time it was Reid who stepped up to find the top corner of the net from the spot.
Reid hit the net again but this time was the wrong side of the post minutes later after cutting inside, while Richards should really have made it three when Hall misjudged a long Etheridge clearance, the Robins man unable to shoot into an empty net although he had defenders for company and was falling sideways as he shaped to shoot.
Glossop fashioned a few late openings as they tried to force a tense finish, Young heading at Etheridge, Adam Kay volleying just wide and then Young again trying his luck from distance but to no avail, Ilkeston ultimately holding on for what was a comfortable yet unspectacular victory to return the Derbyshire Senior Cup to the New Manor Ground trophy cabinet and end the season on a positive note.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014:
Ilkeston: 1 Ross Etheridge 2 Danny Gordon (Luke Shaw 90) 3 James Reid 4 Akil Wright 5 Joe Maguire 6 Ryan Wilson 7 Laurie Wilson (c) 8 Chey Adams 9 Gary Ricketts 10 Kane Richards (Goran Seymour 85) 11 Mike Williams (Callum Chettle 85). Subs not used: Matt Baker, Curtis Burrows
Glossop: 1 Greg Hall 2 Alex Byrne 3 Matt Russell 4 Kelvin Lugsden 5 Lincoln Adams (c) 6 David Young 7 Kieran Lugsden 8 Andy Kilheeney (Adam Kay 69) 9 Sam Madeley (Kyle Riley 69) 10 Sam Hare 11 Lee Blackshaw (Ben Richardson 69). Subs not used: Lee Malkin, Luke Podmore
Att: 694 Ref: Alix Pashley
Star Robin: James Reid
Report by Mark Duffy (Twitter - @DuffersSport)
Photos by Rob Stephenson (@sportsphotorob)