Duffers’ Diaries: Getting towards crunch time

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The first thing to say about Ilkeston’s last two games is that I wasn’t at either of them!

As mentioned last week, a stag do in London kept me away from the Skelmersdale match, then on Tuesday, I looked at the weather forecast and decided to get a refund from the hotel I’d booked before noon on the basis that I thought the Workington game would be called off and I could lose out financially given I pay for any hotels out of my own pocket.

Turned out I was wrong on the postponement, but that was the risk I took!

Perhaps anyone who travelled to Cumbria wished it had been called off after all given the result which by all accounts sounded like a fair one, Jordan Smith’s heroics in goal only able to go so far and a missed penalty in the first-half proving costly.

That was a shame because the win over Skelmersdale on Saturday was a welcome one given the recent home form that had seen several draws frustrate the Robins, and also with Skem being in the play-off hunt too.

The same can be said of Workington who look almost certain to be in the top five come the end of the campaign and who will play Ilkeston again at the NMG on April 18.

The next two games see Ilkeston face one relegated side in Belper Town and another team staring the drop in the face, Frickley, although both have picked up wins this week.

Belper’s victory over Halesowen came too late to save them but they might have the shackles off a bit now their fate is sealed which could have an affect on things on Easter Monday.

Frickley had striker Gavin Allott score a hat-trick of penalties last week so it would seem the first rule for Ilkeston Saturday will be to stay on their feet in the penalty area...

Six points from these two games should really be the expectation and would all but secure a play-off spot depending on other results, meaning it’ll be a jostle for position in the following matches.

Then it’s a case of deciding whether the Robins would be better off at home or away in the play-offs given how things have gone this season!