DESPITE an encouraging start which yielded two early goals, Airbus went down to defeat against Ilkeston Town in their opening friendly.

 Andy Owens headed home a right wing cross and then, on the quarter hour, Alex Darlington's neat ball over the top found James Hooper, who volleyed home.

The lead should have been extended just before half-time when, after a foul in the box, Ilkeston keeper Liam Mitchell was sent-off for verbal abuse to the referee, but a trialist saw his spot kick saved by stand-in keeper Richard Stainsby.

Restored to 11 men after the break, the visitors took control and sub Jermain Palmer headed home from a corner on 57 minutes. Twenty minutes later, Palmer forced the ball home from close range and, deep into stoppage time, completed his hat-trick with another header from a corner.