Ellistown FC play their home games at Terrace Road, just to the South of Ellistown village which, in turn, is just South of Coalville, in what was once the Leicestershire and South Derbyshire Coalfield. The area is now known more for the brickworks at nearby Ibstock.
The ground is well signposted on Terrace Road and has a large car park that sits in front of the clubhouse and adjacent to the Bowls Club. Access is through an entrance alongside the main clubhouse and changing room building. The gentleman on the gate asked me if I had visited before and, when I said no, he explained about the fact that the ground is 3-sided and where the snack bar and toilets were situated. He also helped to get me photos of both team sheets. A credit to the club, making visitors feel welcome. First impressions count for a lot.
Ellitown is well worth a visit. Decent ground and friendly locals.
The last couple of seasons have seen AFC North Kilworth gain successive promotions. In 2021-22 they won the Leicestershire Senior League Division 2 title with a 100% record. Last season they finished third in Division 1, despite a three point reduction, gaining promotion alongside Aylestone Park reserves and Ashby Ivanhoe Knights. Ellistown, in various guises such as United Collieries and Ellistown 7 Ibstock United, have largely played in the Leicestershire Senior League but also had some time in the East Midlands structure and were, in fact, one of the founder members in 2008. Despite both clubs spending many years in the Leicestershire League, as far as I can see, this is the first league meeting (although I'm happy to correct this if wrong). Although Killy started the season pretty well, taking 11 points from their opening 7 games and sitting fifth in the table, it was Ellistown who came into this game in the better form. Third at the start of play and unbeaten (100% record at home), they had the opportunity to go top of the table with a win. Averaging almost three goals per game, they also posed a threat going forward.
Killy, kicking down the slight slope in the first half, started the game very quickly and, judging by the way they rushed to take throw-ins, were keen to keep a high temp going. Initially this approach appeared to unsettle the hosts but, after five minutes or so, they started to get a foothold on the game. Whether it was Ellistown's increased vigour or not, North Kilworth started to lose their way somewhat, constantly conceding possession and seemingly lacking in ideas to break down the home defence. This, in turn, encouraged the home ide to step up their game. Ellistown striker Shea Bates, who was to go on to have a great influence on the game, was the first to try his luck after being released on the right flank. He drove towards the penalty area before cutting in onto his left foot and unleashing an effort on target, drawing a good save from Killy's Will Ellison.
Two minutes later, however, the visitor's keeper was helpless as the home side took the lead. A slick passing move took Ellistown into the opposition penalty area where Hashim Bakar exchanged a neat one-two with Bates before slotting home past Ellison. A lovely, well-crafted goal. 1-0
Killy almost responded just past the quarter-hour mark when Grantas Gricius, around the penalty spot, met a cross from the right with a powerful header. However, Tyler Weeks in the home goal, was quick across his box and made the save look relatively comfortable. Straight back down the other end, Ellistown captain Ethan Bibby tested Ellison from range, with the stopper coming out on top again. It was certainly not one-way traffic at this point but, whereas Ellistown were stringing passes together and making progress, North Kilworth could not hold on to possession, either playing long balls that were picked off or misplacing passes in midfield.
The partnership of Bates and Bakar came up trumps again on 26 minutes. Once again Bates was the provider, slipping the ball to Bakar who then used some good footwork to make just enough space to slide the ball past Ellison. 2-0
The home side continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides with visiting goalkeeper Ellison certainly the busier. He was once again called on with 5 minutes remaining until half-time. Pulling off a double stop to smuggle the ball out for a corner. Nothing came of that but, just before the break, the hosts almost made it three and it was Bakar again with the opportunity. This time, after a little bit of pinball, the ball dropped to him six yards out. However, he was already off balance and had to snatch at the chance, sending it wide of the mark.
HT Ellistown 2 AFC North Kilworth 0. Killy started at a blinding pace but then seemed to lose their way, losing possession too readily. Ellistown, who looked rattled in the opening minutes, recovered well and began to exert pressure. The strike partnership of Weeks and Bakar proving to be a constant threat to the Killy defence.
There was no way back for Killy at this point, not that they were going to throw in the towel but it was hard to see them getting anything from the game.
Just past the hour Bibby drove in a stinging free-kick that Ellison could only beat away. A minute later, Bates was put clean through and it looked as if he may finally get the goal his performance deserved. However, that was not accounting for the determination of Killy captain Michael Marsden, who made up a lot of ground to get a last ditch tackle in on the Ellistown man. Excellent defending, especially given that the game was as good as lost already.
The introduction of substitutes on both sides changed the game a little. On 65 minutes Kilworth brought on two ne players whilst awaiting the taking of a free-kick just outside the home penalty area. Number 18 (no numbers on the team sheet), with his first touch, flashed his shot just wide of the post. Close to being an immediate impact. The same player also forced a full length diving save from Weeks with fifteen minutes to go. He looked lively after his introduction but it was never going to be enough for the visitors.
FT Ellistown 3 AFC North Kilworth 0. A solid performance from Ellistown, well worthy of the three points, which sees them jump to the top of the table. Kilworth drop a place to sixth, behind Sileby on goal difference. Hashim Bakar's hat-trick moves him to within a goal of current league top-scorer, Zakari Adams of Allexton & New Parks.
Kilworth are back at home on Saturday when 8th placed Thurnby Rangers come to town. Ellistown, meanwhile, have a Saturday off before welcoming fifth placed Sileby Town to Terrace Road next Wednesday.
Ellistown: Weeks, Beaumont, Cotter, Brooker, Higgins, Green, Bibby(c), Rood, Ngueusseu, Bakar, Bates. Subs: Lewis, Collins, Blake, Yadav, Stylianou
AFC North Kilworth: Ellison, Garrard, Storer, Marsden(c), Lanni, Lane, Gaze, Wells, Dyke, Hookway, Gricius. Subs: Sutherland, Clauss, Cox, Roe, Smith
Ground Number: 379