Blues too good for Ilkeston

Goals from Matty Tymon, left, and Dale Hopson earned Whitby Town victory over Ilkeston. Picture: Brian Murfield
Goals from Matty Tymon, left, and Dale Hopson earned Whitby Town victory over Ilkeston. Picture: Brian Murfield
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Whitby Town moved up to fourth place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division standings courtesy of a 2-1 win over Ilkeston on Tuesday evening.

Chris Hardy’s side hit their stride from the very first minute and went on to dominate the opening period, barely allowing their visitors a kick.

Barely 60 seconds were on the clock when Danny McWilliams got into the away box and forced Ross Durrant to block at his near post.

Dale Hopson beat three defenders following a mazy run and saw a strike deflected wide for a corner, before the same player was denied a clear run on Durrant’s goal by a last-ditch Jaylou Bather tackle.

Mikey Roberts had already spurned a good one-on-one opportunity when he again got in behind the Ilkeston back four on the half-hour mark.

His attempt to force the ball across goal from the right edge of the area saw possession eventually find its way to Hopson on the edge of the box and the midfielder calmy slotted a low effort past the despairing dive of Durrant for 1-0.

Whitby were good value for their lead having been in complete control of the game, however they were pegged back out of nowhere, just three minutes after going ahead.

The Robins were awarded a free-kick slightly right of centre, 25 yards from goal and left-back Rory Coleman curled a stunning strike into the top corner of the net.

It was the visitors’ first effort on goal, but despite them gaining a foothold in the game, Whitby continued to boss proceedings for the remainder of the first period.

Shane Bland was however forced to tip a Danny Gordon shot around his post, but on the stroke of half-time the Seasiders went back in front courtesy of a beautifully-worked goal.

The infuential Hopson picked the ball up in the centre of the field and sprayed it out wide for left wing-back McWilliams.

The latter’s whipped cross bounced once in the area before it was met first time by Matty Tymon at the back stick, the striker ramming the ball home to register his fifth goal in his last four appearances.

That was the last action before the interval, and Ilkeston came out for the second half showing somewhat more intent than they had in the first.

Another dangerous curling free-kick from the left foot of Coleman forced Bland to palm over the bar, before Whitby’s failure to clear their lines allowed Anthony Dywer a sight of goal just outside the penalty area.

His strike looked destined for the top corner of the net, but the fingertips of Bland diverted the ball onto the woodwork and it then bounced to safety.

That was as close as the away side got to a leveller as the Blues, although not playing as fluently as they had done during the opening 45 minutes, reclaimed the ascendancy.

Callum Martin crossed from the right and Hopson rose at the back post to head across goal for Tymon, but he dragged a tame shot harmlessly wide from 10 yards out.

Town’s best chance to kill Ilkeston off arrived in the 77th minute when Roberts showed great pace down the left and managed to work himself a shooting opportunity.

His initial strike was parried back into his path by Durrant, and with the gloveman still on the ground, Town’s number nine should have dispatched the rebound, but was again thwarted by the Robins’ stopper.

The final 10 minutes of normal time and five additional minutes oddly tagged on by referee Mr Darren Whatling played out without much incident as Whitby claimed another three points and extended their unbeaten run to nine matches.