Stamford AFC beat Ilkeston 2-1 last night (Monday) thanks to a penalty from Ryan Robbins and strike from Nabil Shariff to move up the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League to 10th position.
Travelling with a weakened squad because of injury Stamford could have been forgiven for fearing the worst at Ilkeston considering they had played Stamford off the park in a dazzling display at the Vic Couzens stadium back in early September.
But David Staff’s side had learnt from that footballing lesson and this time came home with three points from the hard-earned and great deserved victory.
The Robins started well, Tyrell Waite and Kane Richards had early efforts which were just off target and David Morgan’s low free-kick was well pushed wide by Daniels goalkeeper Andy Stevens.
Stamford got into the game on 11 minutes and promptly took the lead. Ryan Robbins was released by striker Jordan Smith and having marauded into the penalty area was clumsily brought to ground by Akil Wright, who was perhaps lucky to not even receive a yellow card with Robbins seemingly about to have a crack at goal.
Instead, the Stamford man picked himself up and found the net from 12 yards out to put his side in front.
However it took just 90 seconds for Ilkeston to level things up again. Joe Maguire’s long ball out wide was well controlled by Kieran Wallace who ran on before squaring to Che Adams who had plenty of time to pick his spot before finishing well past Stevens.
Adams and Waite went close to putting the Robins in front, the latter screwing wide in a good position, but they then got a bit sloppy in possession and it culminated in Stamford going back in front.
Good football down the right ended with Michael Built’s low cross into the penalty area and it reached Nabil Shariff who finished high into the net.
Just before the break Waite headed onto the roof of the net from a corner and James Reid pushed a shot wide to keep the Stamford defence on its toes.
After the break Stamford’s top goal-scorer Robbins went close again, finding space to bare down on goal but his shot was too close to Ilkeston keeper Jordan Smith
At the other end a close ranger header required a good block by a Stamford defender as it was all hands to the pump to keep the Daniels’ lead.
Built was having an excellent game in midfield and having created the second goal saw his own effort stopped by a good diving save by Smith.
After riding out the pressure from the home side Stamford got on top of the tie. Robbins nearly netted his second of the night after weaving into the penalty area but he fired into the side netting.
The Stamford’s Jordan Smith then flashed a shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Built had another effort blocked by the Robins goalkeeper as Stamford continued to carve out the best chances on the break,
Ilkeston banged on the door but simply couldn’t create a clear opening late on and Stamford celebrated their first win since October 4.
Ilkeston: 1 Jordan Smith, 2 James Reid, 3 Kieran Wallace, 4 Akil Wright, 5 Joe Maguire (c), 6 Jack Lane (Nialle Rodney 82), 7 David Morgan, 8 Callum Chettle (Mike Williams 90), 9 Tyrell Waite, 10 Kane Richards, 11 Che Adams
Subs not used: Matt Baker, Danny Gordon, Ashley Hunter
Stamford: 1 Andrew Stevens, 2 Ryan Clarke, 3 Gareth Jelleyman, 4 Joe Curtis, 5 Lewis Carr, 6 Dalton Bettles, 7 Dan Lawlor, 8 Michael Built (Nathan Fox 90), 9 Jordan Smith, 10 Nabil Shariff, 11 Ryan Robbins (Jon Challinor 90)
Subs not used: Emeka Nwadike, David Staff, John Feetham