Harry Clayton, scored in pre-season against Leek Town

Nantwich Town gave a battling performance away at high-flying Ilkeston FC, writes Richard Scott.

But goals from James Reid and Kane Richards either side of a Harry Clayton (pictured) strike saw the hosts take all three points.

Steve Jones started in place of Mark Jones on the bench while Peter Green was among the substitutes.

Ilkeston could have taken the lead in the first minute when Rob Duffy had a shot, but Terry Smith was able to block.

Robins captain Joe Maguire then played in Duffy who went one-on-one with Smith, but the Dabbers goalie was able to deflect it out for a corner.

Nantwich did have a couple of good runs down the wings, mainly through Clayton, who had a great first half for Nantwich.

The Dabbers’ first chance was on 11 minutes when Clayton fed Andy White, who put in a teasing cross which Ilkeston goalkeeper Jordan Smith punched clear near the goal line.

On 19 minutes Steve Jones beat a couple of players before his shot was blocked by an Ilkeston player.

Reid thought he had given Ilkeston the lead from a free kick just outside the area but Smith made a great save.

Maguire was the first man in the book as he brought Mark Winslade down.

The first chance on target for the Dabbers came from the free kick by Matty Kosylo, which saw Andy Pearson head goal wards, but Jordan Smith was able to catch it.

Clayton had a shot from distance which flew just wide before Ilkeston rattled the bar, when Duffy headed past Smith.

The hosts took the lead on 41 minutes when Reid’s free kick beat the wall and landed in the bottom corner.

Nantwich started strongly after the break and were level when Clayton capped off a fine game on 48 minutes when he turned home a Kosylo cross.

But Ilkeston retook the lead just two minutes later when Richards forced his way through the Nantwich defence and beat the on rushing Smith.

Smith made a number of fine saves stopping Ilkeston extending the lead.

Nantwich could have got themselves level when Kosylo went through but the angle was acute and the former Ashton man was off balance.

Aaron Burns was brought on for Steve Jones, and Iain Howard could have made it 2-2 as he hit a shot from 18 yards but the ball bounced off the turf and went wide.

With time ticking away, Disney put an excellent ball into the box but it was just in front of Howard who couldn’t get a touch.

Burns shot just over the Ilkeston bar, and then Howard could have been a Dabbers hero in the last minute when his volley at goal went inches wide of the goal.

Nantwich are next in action on Tuesday night (December 9) as they welcome Barwell to the Weaver Stadium, kick off 7.45pm.

Nantwich Town: Smith, Disney, White, Blake, Bailey (C), Kosylo, Howard, Winslade, Clayton and S.Jones. Subs: A.Jones (on for Bailey, 86 minutes), Burns (on for S.Jones, 67 minutes), Green, M.Jones and Pepper.

Meanwhile, Nantwich Town have a vacancy for an accounts and administration manager.

The part-time role involves two days a week. Applicants should have expertise in Sage, Payroll, VAT and PAYE.

Closing date is December 15, 2014. Visit www.nantwichtownfc.co.uk for details.

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