Duffers’ Diaries: Unpredictable Robins keep us guessing

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It seems you never quite know what you’re going to get with Ilkeston FC this season, emphasised by the last week or so.

A disappointing home defeat to Frickley was followed with what by all accounts was an impressive point at Nantwich that were it not for some blustery conditions and a bit more luck in front of goal could have been three.

It’ll certainly give Ilkeston something to build on at home to Whitby Town this weekend, a match that given the Seasiders’ league position you’d think would dictate a home win is most likely.

But we all know it’s not that simple and Whitby could arguably be in a bit of a false position given they changed their manager fairly recently and overcame Halesowen Town 2-1 at home last Saturday.

In fact, they’re in a decent run of form that has seen them win at Nantwich and draw at Darlington in recent weeks, so Saturday will be a tough one for the Robins.

Then it’s the trip to Blyth to face a side who are still looking favourites to win the title.

I’ve a lot of time for the people at Blyth Spartans who have always been welcoming and who all work hard to keep the club ticking over. Last season’s FA Cup exploits and promotion chase didn’t have a negative effect coming into this campaign and they’re pulling out results when they need to.

I’m writing this before Tuesday night’s games but if they beat Workington then it’ll only strengthen the belief that they’ll be going up in April.

For Ilkeston, it continues to be a case of plugging away and hoping that a good run of results can put them back in contention for a play-off spot.

They’re not in that category at the moment as there are plenty of points to make up, but if they can find some consistency then there’s hope that the campaign won’t drift into ‘dead rubber’ territory too soon.

I still think one or two quality new faces would help, but results like the one at Nantwich are a reminder the current batch can hold their own against good sides and a few more points from these next two games could work wonders.