Ilkeston 1:1 Sheffield United - Maguires on target
Report of match Reporter BMEditor @ New Manor Ground
The Maguire brothers both struck in a rain-swept game at the New Manor Ground between Ilkeston and Sheffield United...
In a game which was tarnished by the lashing rain and horrendous thunderstorms before the match, Ilkeston and Sheffield United each played out a steady 1:1 draw.
With the sole purpose of the game being fitness for the players, the game was pretty unspectacular, but players got minutes under their belts nontheless.
United started the game with Mark Howard in goal, and also gave run outs to notable first-team players Neill Collins, Harry Maguire, Nick Montgomery and Richard Cresswell.
Jordan Chappell first came close for the Blades early in the first-half when he cut inside but fired his shot just wide of the far post.
Chances were at a premium in the opening half, but Harry Maguire somehow found himself of a surging run into the opposition's half but blazed his shot wide.
Philliskirk's deflected effort was whiskers wide, and Montgomery didn't trouble the goalkeeper with a shot from outside the box.
The introduction of John Cofie at the break injected some life into the Blades, whilst Darryl Westlake also played the second 45 minutes. McAllister, Harriott and Porter were also given run-outs for the whole duration of the second-half.
It was Harry Maguire who put the Blades into the lead on 57 minutes. His towering header seemed to have already crossed the line before two Ilkeston defenders inadvertedly bundled the ball over the line themselves, but no one was taking this goal off Maguire.
Whitehouse had a great opportunity at the back post to double United's lead but he somehow blazed it over the crossbar, in a situation where it was probably easier to score than miss!
The home side had a late flurry of chances, with one shot just a lick of paint past Howard's post, whilst Westlake had to bravely intervene to get his body in the way of another Ilkeston chance.
They were rewarded, though, on 88 minutes when Joe Maguire, the brother of United's Harry, beautifully curled in to the top corner with a flick off the post.
Most notably, John Cofie was United's stand-out player. His trickery and skill was evident, and looked to be quite an handful. Hopefully he can be an integral part of United's push for promotion in the forthcoming campaign.
Blades team: Howard, Dean (Westlake 45), Williams, Montgomery (Harriott 45), H. Maguire, Collins (Foster 62), Chappell (McAllister 45), Whitehouse (Ironside 82), Cresswell (Porter 45), Philliskirk (Cofie 45), Tonne.