Steve Jones, of Nantwich Town, hailed by Chris Parkes - pic by Simon J Newbury Photography

A well taken goal by Steve Jones earned Nantwich Town a 1-1 draw against Ilkeston on the final day of the Evo-Stik season, writes Richard Scott.

Ilkeston needed to match Blyth Spartans’ result to secure a play-off spot.

But the Dabbers were looking to be party-poopers and earn all three points to finish the season strongly.

The visitors got off to a bright start when on 50 seconds they broke towards the area through James Reid and won a free kick.

He stepped up and whipped it past the wall into Terry Smith’s goal, to go 1-0 up on two minutes.

The Robins could have been in for a second time on five minutes when some nice interplay in front of the visiting fans, but the cross was over hit.

The Dabbers first sight of goal came on eight minutes as Andy White broke down the wing, but his cross was straight at Jordan Smith.

Nicky Platt had Nantwich’s first attempt on goal which was cleared off the line.

However the Dabbers were level on 15 minutes when a ball found ex Northern Ireland star Jones who steered past Smith for 1-1.

Moments later Jones was denied a second by a fine stop.

Eli Bako almost broke through on 24 minutes, but Ben Harrison cut out the attack just inside the Nantwich area.

PJ Hudson, White and Harrison all had chances before the break but could not score.

Harry Clayton could have had a penalty five minutes before half time, when he hit the deck, but the referee waved it away.

The second half started at the same pace with both teams attacking.

Reid whipped another free kick just wide as the Robins looked threatening.

From a corner the Dabbers had a goalmouth scramble and Jones’ shot was at the keeper.

The Dabbers looked most likely to score in the final 20 minutes, with Jones and Hudson causing problems for the Ilkeston defence.

Sean Cooke, on his final match on loan from Telford, hit a vicious free kick from around 30 yards, which forced Smith to punch clear.

Brandon Mighten came on for his second game for the Dabbers with 14 minutes to go.

Nantwich could have been ahead when the a cross found Shotton, his shot hit Jones and looped up for the Robins keeper to catch the ball.

Jones then flashed wide before Mighten forced Smith into a fine save and the ball cannoned off the defender goalwards.

At the other end Terry Smith had to make a fine save to keep it level as Reid looked to end the match how he had started it.

As the season draws to a close, Nantwich Town played 46 leagues games,  with 16 wins and scoring 61 goals.

Nantwich Town: Smith, M.Jones (C), White, Bailey, Harrison, Osborne, Hudson, Platt, Clayton, Cooke and S.Jones. Subs: Shotton (on for Clayton,73 minutes), Winslade, Dowling, Moran and Mighten (on for Hudson, 76 minutes).

(pic by Simon J Newbury Photography)

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