Ilkeston Town 2, York City 1

YORK City signed off for pre-season with a 2-1 defeat at Ilkeston Town.

David McDermott struck just past the hour for the Minstermen but two goals in as many first-half minutes from Ilkeston pair Matt Richards and Gary Ricketts proved insurmountable.

City manager Martin Foyle left ten players at home with Michael Ingham, Alex Lawless, Daniel Parslow, David McGurk, James Meredith, Levi Mackin, Jonathan Smith, Chris Carruthers, Michael Gash and Richard Brodie all absent.

But the Minstermen still fielded ten senior players in their starting line up with second-year apprentice Tom Richardson handed a central midfield role.

Ilkeston started the brightest with intelligent striker David Graham forcing a near-post save from City goalkeeper David Knight on four minutes.

Seconds later, Graham struck the same upright after Andy McWilliams had failed to intercept an Amari Morgan Smith through ball.

Centre-back Jake Picton also headed into the sidenetting before the visitors’ first goal attempt, but Duane Courtney’s scuffed left-footed effort failed to trouble home ’keeper Dan Lowson in the 15th minute.

Shortly afterwards, a sidefooted 15-yard volley from Neil Barrett floated tamely into Lowson’s hands and George Purcell then fired wide of the home ’keeper’s near post twice in quick succession before Ilkeston assumed control of the game going into the interval.

On 34 minutes, Richards collected fellow winger Morgan Smith’s cross from the right before waltzing past an unconvincing challenge from Courtney and beating an exposed Knight.

Ricketts then doubled the Blue Square North part-timers’ advantage, stretching to meet Graham’s cross from the left to volley across Knight into the bottom corner.

City might have fallen further behind before the break with a dipping Paul Dempsey strike narrowly clearing the bar and Graham dragging a 40th-minute shot wide.

The visitors, meanwhile, ended the half directing too many hopeful long balls at Michael Rankine.

Purcell missed an excellent chance to reduce the deficit early in the second period, snatching his shot wide when a more composed finish was needed.

At the other end, Lawrie Wilson’s ambitious 35-yard lob sailed well wide but Ricketts went closer on 53 minutes with a deft chip that bounced back off the bar with Knight beaten.

Moments later, Rankine directed a header off target from three yards after rising to meet Peter Till’s corner.

Ricketts was then equally as profligate when he failed to hit the target from the same distance after Graham’s inch-perfect cross.

Winger McDermott got City on the scoresheet on 61 minutes with his second pre-season goal. He made a darting run into the penalty box to collect Purcell’s pass before his shot squirmed under the body of Lowson.

Purcell continued to try his luck, firing wide on 67 minutes before forcing Lowson into a fine tip over from the edge of the box.

Ilkeston, though, continued to press forward with Morgan Smith flicking a header wide from Wilson’s free-kick.

Ricketts also failed to hit the target with another header from inside City’s six-yard box and substitute Seamus Kelleher went close with a deflected strike.

City forward Rankine, meanwhile, finished the game limping having pulled up after driving wide from 25 yards.

Late visiting pressure might still have nicked a draw for the Minstermen at the death but Barrett’s header was cleared off the line by Alex Purhouse.

City now look forward to Saturday’s Blue Square Bet Premier curtain-raiser where a much different line-up is expected to tackle Kidderminster at Bootham Crescent.

Ilkeston: Dan Lowson, Ryan Clarke, Jake Picton, Stuart Giddins, Liam Green, Matt Richards, Paul Dempsey, Lawrie Wilson, Amari Morgan Smith, David Graham, Gary Ricketts.

City: David Knight, Duane Courtney, Djoumin Sangare (Dean Lisles, 63), Greg Young (Jonny Andrew, 71), Andy McWilliams, Peter Till, Tom Richardson, Neil Barrett, David McDermott, Michael Rankine, George Purcell.

Attendance: 143.

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