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Ilkeston vs Marine

Ilkeston FC signed off a good season by defeating Marine, despite playing much of the game with only 10 men!

Joe Maguire’s tackle after 13 minutes was deemed by the referee to be a red card offense and Ilkeston’s player of the year was left to watch the rest of the game from the stands!

Despite the numerical advantage it was a fairly even game with both sides creating good openings. The Robins went close with efforts from Derbyshire Cup hero James Reid and Matt Richards while Marine had chances through Nick Rogan.

It was the hosts that took the lead however. Reid cut a corner back to Laurie Wilson who sent in a cross from the corner of the penalty area and it was met by the head of Richards for the only goal of the game.

The second half had fewer chances and the ones that were created were mainly for Marine. Ilkeston keeper Chris Martin was in fine form to deny Michael Ordish from two splendid goals.

There was time to say farewell to Ilkeston’s Russell Cooke who’s retirement was confirmed in the week. Cooke was Ilkeston captain for last years promotion season and was given a fantastic reception from the fans.

Ilkeston will be pleased with their efforts this season and have plenty to build on going into next season but for now there will be a break for a couple of months before Pre-season gets going again at the start of July.

James Reid gets stuck in

Young Callam Chettle beats his man

Ryan Wilson jumps a tackle

Matt Richards is tripped

Richards celebrates his goal with Greg Pearson

Kevin Wilson reflecting on the season

Ilkeston vs Matlock Derbyshire Cup Final

Ilkeston and Matlock met for the second time in 3 days as they played out an exciting and dramatic Cup Final at Chesterfield FC’s Proact Stadium!

Both teams created openings in the first half, but neither could find an opener. Ilkeston had goalkeeper Chris Martin to thank after he pulled off some splendid saves to deny the Matlock strikers. Aaron Hooton had a couple of headers go over the bar and skipper Laurie Wilson saw his header graze the top of the cross bar but both teams had to be content with a 0-0 score line.

The second half was equally as frustrating with both sides knocking on the door but to no avail. Not until the 68th minute. Matlock took the lead with one of the simpler goals you’ll see all year. A corner was swung in by James Ashmore and Lewis McMahon was there ahead of his marker to nod home and send the Matlock fans into celebration!

Ilkeston created more chances and Matlock were left to defend their priceless one goal advantage and were doing so until a dramatic late twist!

The twist was going to come from one of the Ilkeston substitutes, James Reid. His introduction to the game saw him pull the creative strings and with both Richards, Kane and Matt, causing problems Matlock were really on the back foot. It was Reid who leveled it for Ilkeston with a minute left of the 90 he struck a sweet shot from 30 yards, which hit the post and spun into the net. It was a stunning strike in any circumstance but on this occasion it really was a stunner! It seemed a penalty shoot out was destined until deep into stoppage time. Matlock’s Adam Yates was judged to have handled the ball inside the area from an Ilkeston corner. It seemed an odd decision and sparked a mini brawl between both sets of players. After it all calmed down Reid had the chance to win it from the penalty spot. After a word from Joe Maguire, who looked like he wanted to take the important spot kick, Reidy stepped up and powered his shot into the net and send the Ilkeston fans into raptures!

Soon after, the final whistle sounded and Ilkeston were champions of Derbyshire!!! Laurie Wilson picked up the second trophy in two years and started the party!!

Matlock vs Ilkeston

Ilkeston and Matlock set up their Derbyshire Cup Final by playing out a 1-1 draw at Causeway Lane.

Both teams made huge changes and it was the visitors dominated the possession for much of the game. However they failed to make it count. Shots from Dereece Gardner, Keiran O’Connell came to nothing and the chances were few and far between.

Matlock opened the scoring on 11 minutes when Lewis McMahon controlled and hooked a shot from a James Ashmore cross to beat keeper Chris Martin.

The second half was as labored as the first but did have some good chances for both sides. Massiah McDonald should have made 2-0 but fired over when one on one with Martin. Ilkeston’s best chance came from a corner where first Russell Cooke and then Greg Pearson missed a glourious opening. Ilkeston’s equaliser didn’t come until the 89th minute. Young Akil Wright, who was on the pitch for a matter of minutes, managed to control the ball in a crowed penalty area, took a touch and fired home a splendid finish! This sent the away supporters, all 200-plus, into absolute delight! Wright had only taken 4 minutes into his League debut to make an impact, and he was beaming ear to ear as the final whistle sounded!

Manager Kevin Wilson was pleased and encouraged by the performance. He told the Ilkeston website “Supporters have seen for themselves exactly why we are doing what we are at the New Manor Ground. A lot of time and effort is being put into developing our own players and the experience they’ve gained over the last few games will be invaluable.

"People will say it’s the end of the season and these last few matches don’t really matter - but I completely disagree. I was determined that we would use them constructively and in terms of wondering whether certain individuals might be capable of taking the step up, we’ve answered a lot of questions.

"Playing the way we did today takes tremendous discipline and belief in your own ability and although the surface didn’t really lend itself to the passing game, we did it very impressively."

Ilkeston now only have two games left before the season finishes, the Derbyshire Cup Final, again with Matlock, and Marine at home in the season finale.

Ilkeston vs Hednesford Town

Controversy marred the game at The New Manor Ground as Hednesford Town came away with three points to keep their promotion hopes very much alive!

Ilkeston started the brighter of the two sides as Laurie Wilson went close with a volley and James Reid stinging the hands of Town goalkeeper, Dan Crane. Crane was again brought into action as Bermudan Antwan Russell was put in by Reid and the strikers effort was brilliantly saved by the visiting goalkeeper.

However it was the visitors who took the lead, and it was a goal that was that even Stuart Atwell (Football League Referee) would have been proud of! Kris Taylor swung in a corner for Town which was met strongly by Ben Bailey’s head. It appeared to have been cleared off the line by Ryan Wilson but to the amazement of everyone in the ground the linesman flagged to say the ball had crossed the line! It’s not the first time this season Ilkeston have been on the wrong end of a dodgy line call and the frustration was there for all to see.

The goal gave The Pitmen the impetus to kick on and look for a second and had it not been for the alertness of Joe Maguire it may have come as the Robins defender got himself infront of a Neil Harvey effort to divert it out for a corner.

The second half didnt bring much joy for the hosts as they were not able to take advantage of some good positions with the final pass, cross or shot just not good enough. Hednesford offered the best chances as Neil Lennon hit the base of the post with a shot from the edge of the area and then Dave McPherson had two bites at the cherry but had his efforts cleared away!

The game was short of any real quality until the 84th minute. Maguire challenged Jamey Osborne and referee gave a free kick. The outcome deserved to win most games but was probably out of character of the match as Taylor stepped up and sent a beautiful curling shot over the wall and into the top corner of Chris Martin’s goal, from 25 yards.

And that was that. It was the sense of injustice that was the main talking point at the end of the game. Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson was left very frustrated “We’ve been here before, the same thing happened at Hednesford early in the season except we had a goal disallowed when the ball had clearly crossed the line and it undoubtedly changed that game.

"I have to be careful what I say but I don’t think the decision was even debatable this time… the referee was just guessing. Our lads were adamant it had not crossed the line and even their players were saying it shouldn’t have been a goal.

"In the context of the game, it was a massive decision and although people say that these things even themselves out during the course of the season, we haven’t had the rub of the green for some time now."

Ilkeston next play on Wednesday as they make the long trek to Whitby before heading to Matlock Town next Saturday for a dress rehearsal of the Derbyshire cup final at Chesterfield’s Proact stadium on the 30th.

Laurie Wilson wins a header

Kevin Wilson was left a frustrated figure at the end.

Kane Richards takes on Hednesford

Russell Cooke puts pressure on the ball

Rob Kozluk argues the first goal being given

Youngster Danny Gordon defending against The Pitmen

Kane Richards tries to compete

Hednesford celebrate the second goal and keeping their promotion hopes alive!

Kendal Town vs Ilkeston FC

Ilkeston’s 6 game unbeaten run came to an end at struggling Kendal despite two debut goals from youngster Danny Gordon.

The game looked like it was to be a routine afternoon for the Robins as they took control of the early stages of the game. However for all the possession they failed to find the killer pass or shot with a lot of the crossing missing the desired target! Despite not seeing much ball Kendal managed to create the first real chance after 20 minutes, Danny Mitchley curling a shot from the edge of the penalty area wide of Chris Martin’s goal. Gary Ricketts blazed a shot over the bar for Ilkeston, who were still looking short of quality in the final third.

This soon changed on the half hour mark as youngster Gordon showed Robins fans a touch a class. Ricketts held up the ball in area before laying the ball off to the 19 year old, who bent a beautiful shot in off the post.

Kane Richards shot wide for Ilkeston after that but there were no other real opportunities to speak of as Ilson continued to be very wasteful in key areas of the pitch.

Kendal, who are fighting against relegation from the NPL, started the second half with some purpose and seemed to want it more and although they didnt create to many chances they did find an equaliser. Zach Clark sent long through ball which Maison McGeechan got on the end of before going on to show great composure to slide the ball beyond Martin to make it 1-1.

But it was the boy Gordon who put Kevin Wilson’s men back in front. James Reid sent his corner to right to the debutant who was left unmarked on the edge of the area and he sent a drive through a ruck of players into the back of the Kendal net.

That’s as good as it got for the visitors though as Kendal grew more into the game.

The home side were denied a penalty which seem to spur them on more than anything and another long ball found Mitchley who took the ball round keeper Martin and thumped the ball home from close range to level it all up. Now it looked like the Cumbrians who were more likely to find the winner. Even the introduction of Bermudan international Antwan Russell for Ilkeston couldnt get them going and they paid the price for the earlier wastefulness in the dying embers of the game.

Kendal, still feeling aggrieved for the earlier denial of a penalty, were awarded one in controversial circumstances. Mitchley carried the ball into the box, twisting and turned against Joe Maguire before pushing the ball past the big centre back and going to ground. The referee adjudged Maguire to have brought down the striker, however it looked a very harsh decision but gave Kendal a great chance to win it at the death! The winner of the penalty, Mitchley, picked himself up and slotted home to give Kendal their first win in 15 matches.

Ilson manager Wilson, was not impressed with his sides performance.

"Supporters travelled for three and a half hours to watch us and we rewarded them with a performance like that. It was embarrassing and I can only apologise.

"It might be near the end of the season but we still have things to pay for. If the regular players think it’s acceptable to perform like that then they could be in for a surprise when the Cup Final comes around because I will play all the kids if necessary." However Wilson was full of praise of young Danny Gordon. "Danny was a different class. He showed the others how to play - just keeping things simple - and on the day he was a brilliant advert for our Academy system. The headlines today should all have been about him. He certainly didn’t deserve to be on the losing side."

Ilkeston now have a week break before a home tie with Hednesford on Saturday.

Laurie Wilson in action against Kendal

Gary Ricketts controls the ball

Danny Gordon fires home the first goal of the day

Gordon celebrates his second of the day

Kendal win it at the death!

Ilkeston vs Blyth


Thought I’d try something a little different with my pics from sporting events by doing a bit of a report on the game so here goes!

A cold but sunny afternoon at the New Manor Ground brought a win for Ilkeston against there visitors from the North East, Blyth Spartans.

Both teams started brightly. Ilkeston created the first opening as Aaron Hooton’s shot went over the bar but Blyth created the best chances with Ilkeston’s Joe Maguire clearing off his own line to deny Dan Maguire’s effort and Ryan McGorrigan smashed a 20 yard shot against the bar. As the half wore on Ilkeston started to become more dominant as the half wore on and after 30 minutes the Robins dominance was rewarded. Some lax play by the Spartans’ defence was capitalised by Hooton who won the ball on the edge of the area and as he bared down on goal was brought down by Joe Kendrick and the ref pointed to the spot! Hooton dusted himself off and converted the penalty. The goal gave Ilkeston the extra boost and they started playing some good football creating some good openings but couldnt extend their lead. The score remained 1-0 with Ilkeston looking good value for the lead.

The second half got off to the best of starts for Ilkeston as they made it 2-0 in the early stages of the second half as James Reid was allowed to ghost through and get on the end of Laurie Wilson’s (being watched by his Father and Sheffield United Manager, Danny) through ball to convert past ex Hartlepool United goalkeeper Mark Cook in the Spartans goal. It was fairly comfortable for the Robins until a lapse of concentration at the back as a corner was swept in by Stephen Turnball, another ex-Hartlepool player, and was met by Craig Hubbard who’s near post flick was nodded in by Joe Kendrick.

Blyth did threaten to get the equaliser but Ilkeston remained organised and strong and rounded off the game with a late goal to close the game out. Substitute Kane Richards got on the end of a through ball carried it into the box and unselfishly squared it to Gary Ricketts who applied the finish to make it 3-1 and seal a deserved win!

Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson was pleased to get the win, ”It was the perfect start to our exacting run of four games in the space of eight days” he told the IFC website “but now we have to push on from here. We still have 27 more points to play for and it ‘s going to be fascinating to see how many of those we can claim.

"There’s no pressure on the lads. They can just go out and give it a go and if we can somehow find a way to take more of the scoring opportunities that we keep creating, we could still have an exciting end to the season. "It was similar to the game at Blyth, with lots of space to play, but I thought we thoroughly deserved the points.

"Now we need to prepare properly for Monday and although Worksop have had a day off today and will probably feel that gives them an advantage, we’ll be ready for the challenge."

Ilkeston now have a tricky run of fixtures, starting with Worksop, away, on Monday, before entertaining Buxton and North Ferriby on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.  

Aaron Hooton running with ball

Hooton is brought down for the penalty

James Reid fires home Ilkeston’s second

Fans celebrate Reid’s goal

Laurie Wilson takes on the Blyth defence

Garry Ricketts celebrates IFC’s third

Kane Richards celebrates with the fans after setting up the third.

Coming Together

Hi folks

Been a while since I did a write up so thought I’d get a quick one done while I had a minute!

Its been a mixed couple of months, one week I can find myself being very busy, the next its quiet! For those that follow this feed, you’ll know I have been doing lots of Football pictures with Ilkeston and Futsal with Derby. I have found myself trying to be a little bit more creative and instead of always focusing on the action look to find other little sub stories around the main event, or experimenting with different angles and positions. Simply sitting at one end of a pitch and holding the shutter down is now not good enough for me and I want to show people something a little bit different from sports events! It doesn’t always have to be about the action on the pitch to make a good sports photograph!!

I’m also dipping into the world of videography! The moving image can sometimes be an easier way of telling a story and that story telling is something that interests me. I like my pictures to tell as much of a story as they can but there is only so much a still image can do! I much prefer the challenge of getting that split second still moment in sport when someone has a shot, gets bowled, gets tackled or celebrates etc. but video posses its own challenges and its definitely something you can expect to see from me in the coming months as I put together some ideas and projects together. You can follow these on Vimeo where there are a couple of videos already up to get started with.

The title of this blog is ‘Coming Together’ and so far you might be wondering why?! If you are then I will explain why!

The work with Ilkeston FC has been great for me in terms of getting experience in photographing football which is my main ambition in life. However, focusing solely on football is not going to earn me huge amounts and would probably bankrupt me! So I need to have a bit of variety in what I am photographing! Well working with Ilkeston has helped me gain some very good contacts for a company based in Nottingham who do a lot of editorial work for different magazines! This is something that interests me as they do a lot of work for sports related publications. Recently I did a shoot in Liverpool with Tranmere Rovers manager Ronnie Moore. It was a fun shoot but bitterly cold. We were on the banks of the River Mersey and the wind was intense to say the least! I used one flash head (Profoto Acute B2) with a 2x3 Soft box attached. This achieved the lighting that was expected which was pleasing. I tried a few shots, going low, looking down and a few head on. Although pleased with the outcome of how the pictures looked I was disappointed that I did not do enough variation in how I posed Moore and this probably took the edge off what would have been a top job. However the company were pleased with what I had done and the client, the pictures were needed for, were happy so in the next couple of weeks I have my first piece of published work in a national magazine! I will post anything up here as soon as I possibly can it may be a link to the online copy it maybe the tear sheet!
This job seems to be leading onto more work for the company so hopefully I can make a bit of a name for myself and my photography career can begin to ‘come together!’

Anyway I think I have rambled enough now!

Keep smiling


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