Match Report -
Ayorinde impresses
By Debbie Taylor

Three penalties, one for Ilkeston and two for Celtic improved the score line in this friendly match that seemed more to allow Ayorinde to mesh than fill the fixture hole.

Apart from a couple of efforts, Ilkeston never really threatened, with Hemmings providing several crosses that could be met by nobody. Celtic meanwhile struggled to hit the back of the net in the first half. Courtney volleyed an Ayorinde cross over the bar, and after a three corner affair, Parr headed powerfully, but Love was in the right place to catch easily. Ayorinde also set up Murphy (playing as an out and out winger in the first half) and he produced a great save low to the keepers left.

Ayorinde finally got his chance when a Parr crossed ball was headed just past the upright, but his work rate leading up to the cross was phenomenal, winning 5 corners. However, he headed wide again, moments later after a Peacock free kick was floated into the box, and he rose the tallest, but could get no direction.

Parr nearly scored a wonder goal when Peacock whipped a great ball in, and Parr volleyed from the edge of the box, producing a great save from Love. Love again came to the rescue when Peacock was allowed the space to run at goal. As the defenders closed in, Peacock unleashed his shot, and Love produced a top class save to tip the ball round the post. Parr found his way to goal blocked by a different player as Celtic rained balls into the box during the first half, taking advantage of Ilkeston's settling in time.

Even Scott got in on the action, interchanging with Courtney several times to get to the edge of the box, but Love was up to the powerful shot, holding it as Ayorinde waited to pounce on any spills.

Ayorinde was thwarted by the excellent Love just before the half time, when he beat his man, and tried to take the ball around the keeper, but Love smothered the ball at Ayorinde's feet. And it looked as though Love would keep the visitors on a clean sheet when he saved Ayorinde's drive from a Parr flick on after a corner.

Four Celtic substitutions heralded the second half, with Turley, McNeil, Crookes and Wharton coming on for Peacock, Wood, Courtney and Beesley.

Btu it would be the visitors who broke the deadlock, slightly against the run of play, a long Hemmings cross found Holmes unmarked at the edge of the box, and his first time drive beat Fish.

Celtic wasted no time trying to get back into their first half rhythm, and Love tipped a McNeil edge of the box blaster over the bar, and Crookes nodded the corner ball just wide. Second later though, Ayorinde again left his markers standing, and tried to take the ball around Love. However, this time, Ayorinde lifted the ball over Love, and Love could only bring the Nigerian crashing down before he leapt him and scored. McNeil stepped up and slotted the ball into the net. Despite McNeil actually staring for ages at the spot where the ball would eventually end up, Love dived the other way.

Celtic tried to build on that, and Wharton worked his socks off to get to the by line and cut the ball back to Ayorinde. Ayorinde beat Love, but Milton was on hand to block the ball around for a corner. Lyons blocked Scott's shot when the corner looked set to bring about a goal.

At the other end, Ilkeston were starting to get their act together and Kirkwood cursed his inability to get onto any of the several crosses that Robinson and Hemmings were putting into the box. Fish was made to work a little as Ilkeston won a couple of corners, but he and Woods coped well. When Holmes broke into the box on a Robinson through ball, Turley checked across him, and Holmes flew through the air as though he had developed super powers. A dubious decision, right on the edge of the box, but the linesman indicated immediately for a penalty. Holmes took it himself, and put the visitors back into the lead.

Ayorinde almost got the immediate reply, when a McNeil lay off was caught on his chest, he turned and volleyed, but Love blocked well, recovering before Parr could pounce.

As the game entered its last five minutes, Bishop decided to control the ball with his hand in the box. The referee saw this one, after missing Robinson's handball that had given Bishop the ball in the first place.

Ayorinde was allowed to take it, and despite barracking from several Ilkeston players, he coolly slotted it into the same corner as McNeil.

Wharton almost grabbed the winner just before full time when he received McNeil's squared ball, but Milton was on hand to turn it around the post.

However, it was to be Ayorinde's day. Barker (on for Murphy) laid off to Turley, who raced into the box, and pulled it back for Ayorinde racing in. It looked as though he'd gone too far, but he pulled the trigger, and despite getting a hand to it, Love could not prevent the goal.