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Kyle Wilson scores in stoppage time to rescue a point for Witton Albion at Ilkeston
KYLE Wilson’s late leveller, delivered deep into injury time, is worth more than a point to Witton Albion.
At the end of a week in which the club first backed and then sacked its star striker either side of suffering a fourth defeat of the season, his goal stands out.
That the visitors’ performance did not merit a draw is moot, at least to them.
They did not relent, even when second best against a team with 10 men, which will provide succour to manager Brian Pritchard when he reflects.
Before Wilson, back to goal, pivoted on his left foot before spinning to strike a perfectly-placed shot into the top corner with his right, the most ardent Albion fan could have been forgiven for feeling their side’s chance had gone.
Witton, likely fuelled by desperation to recover a deficit, were too often in a hurry.
Their passing was poor, lacking care and attention.
It made Ilkeston more comfortable protecting a lead given to them by Matt Richards before the break.
His goal, swept stylishly past goalkeeper Matt Cooper after James Reid had teased a pass into space behind down the left of Witton’s defence, was a stand-out moment in an tepid, yet even, first half.
It was a period in which Albion ought to have had parity, only for Wilson to send skywards a spot kick less than five minutes after Richards’ goal.
Gary Ricketts, the Robins’ last man, had wrestled Michael Powell to the floor when the midfielder attempted to reach first Danny Andrews’ arced free kick. The Ilkeston front man was lucky not to be sent off.
His strike partner, Aaron Hooton, was though after striking Steve Connors in an incident off the ball. He did not argue at all when referee Martin Parker showed a red card.
Witton, with Neville Thompson supporting Wilson in attack, had posed a greater threat.
The latter had a clear sight of goal in the eighth minute, but dragged his shot wide of the far post.
When Jon Dawson sent a cross in his direction shortly afterwards, the ball skimmed the striker’s head as he stretched to meet it.
At the other end, Cooper dived low to his left to parry Matt Richards’ well-struck shot from distance.
Ricketts, enduring an afternoon to forget, later fluffed a header from inside the six-yard box.
When he repeated the trick at the start of the second period, Ilkeston had become profligate.
They dominated without doubling their lead, Reid flashing an attempt inches past a post after Kane Richards pulled back.
Witton substitute Dereece Gardner, against his former club, scorched a shot across the face of goal shortly after replacing injured front man Thompson after he dislocated a shoulder when falling.
Albion, scrambling at a late stage, at least forced Ilkeston goalkeeper Rob Peet to get his hands dirty when replacement Anthony Sheehan twice assisted Andrews.
Ilkeston have pilfered points in stoppage time against Buxton and Stafford Rangers this season.
Thanks to Kyle Wilson’s goal, they now know how that feels.
Witton Star Man: Steve Connors. Played in two positions – left back and later central midfield – and made an impact in both. His quality in possession counted, and he appeared Albion’s most incisive player. When fitter, will prove a real asset.
Ilkeston (4-4-2) Peet (GK), Kozluk, Maguire, Webster, Palmer, Kane Richards (Stokes 78), Laurie Wilson, Matt Richards, Reid (Chettle 89), Hooton, Ricketts (Russell 75) Subs not used Baker, Gordon Goal Matt Richards 34 Booked Ricketts (foul) Red card Hooton (violent conduct)
Witton (4-4-2) Cooper (GK), Moyo, Harrison, Joseph (Platt 81), Connors, Andrews, James (Sheehan 58), Powell, Dawson, Kyle Wilson, Thompson (Dereece Gardner 56) Subs not used Purcell, Glover Goal Wilson 90 (+2) Booked Andrews, James, Harrison (all fouls), Connors (provocation)
Referee Martin Parker (Wakefield)
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