King's Lynn's-performance and effort levels at the New Manor Ground were a pleasure to see after the fare of the last few games. But at the moment Lynn need points more than pretty football and, last night, they could not make the latter equal the former.
The only change from the 11 that began Saturday's game against Bath was the inclusion of Jamie Clarke in place of Tommy Wright. In the absence of Darren Bloodworth on the bench Wright sat out the game, which meant a place in the squad for Kevin White.
Clarke, an old employee of the Robins, was eager to impress against his old team. With three minutes gone he ran at Ilkeston keeper Joel Armstrong, but he charged out of his area to meet him and cleared the threat constantly. On seven minutes, after Jamie March had punted a wayward clearance back up field, Clarke was again in sight of goal. This time he swung his shot wide of the left post.
In between Ilkeston produced their own chances. Nick Kennerdale got the better of Glen Fuff to charge at Stevie Wilson's goal but the Lynn keeper managed to get over the ball. On ll minutes, however, Wilson was well and truly beaten when David Holmes crossed a high and fine ball into the box. Glen Kirkwood rose above all others to give it the touch needed to divert it into the top of the net.
Lynn continued to play their part in what was a very active game. On 19 minutes Paul Watts forced Armstrong to dive to his right to prevent his headed shot levelling the game.
But, unfortunately for Lynn, the next goal in an end to end game came at their end. Kennerdale collected the ball in his own half, ran it all the way into the box, outstripping March with his pace and dummying Wilson to slot it home.
Despite being two goals down, Lynn were still pressing with Clarke and Wayne Anderson at the heart of many attacking moves. Two crosses in quick succession from Watts came painfully close to providing a goal but the first curled out of play and the second was just too far in front of Clarke.
In contrast to recent performances Lynn got even better after the break. They had a zip and enthusiasm about them that has rarely been seen this season and looked confident on the ball. But Ilkeston gave them few chances and, when they did, Lynn failed to take them. Watts was guilty of the most blatant waste when, stood unmarked in the six-yard box, he failed to turn a March cross into the net.
On the few breaks they had Ilkeston still looked dangerous as proved to be the case in the 74th minute when they made a rare foray into the Lynn half. Substitute Carl Wright supplied Ian Robinson, who netted the Robins' third.
Lynn got a deserved goal back with 10 minutes to go when Dave Robinson scrambled a header in from a corner and the probing cross from Clements almost brought a second soon after. But there was no way back and a rather flattering victory was Ilkeston's.
Ilkeston: Armstrong, Royal, Curtis , Timons, Middleton, Knapper, Nwadike (Whitehead 85), Ian Robinson, Kirkwood, Kennerdale (Carl Wright 70), Holmes, Whitehead. Bookings: Timons
King's Lynn: Wilson, Dakin, March, Robinson Fuff, Anderson (White 82), Minett, Hayes, Clements (McNeil 89), Watts, Clarke (Hudson 78). Booking: Anderson
Referee: Mr C Sarginson (Rugeley).
Attendance: 465. MoM: Wayne Anderson.