Duffers’ Diary: Curzon Ashton defeat could be just what Ilkeston FC needed

editorial image

I guess a defeat like the one Ilkeston suffered at Curzon Ashton on Saturday had to happen at some point, although it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience given the style of collapse and the weather!

The game was still in Ilkeston’s grasp until the last minute of the first-half when two awful goals went in to make the points safe for the hosts and leave the Robins licking their wounds.

It could, in a strange way, be one of the best things to happen to the young Ilkeston side as it showed them that if they’re not switched on to the task in hand they can be embarrassed, either in a single game or in their promotion bid overall.

It’s always difficult to criticise such a young side but by the standards they’ve set themselves, Saturday was awful but at the end of the day had to be filed in the ‘one of those days’ category.

The game at home to Ashton was much better and although a bit of good fortune was needed to help Ilkeston to a point it was overall a good response to the events in Manchester, albeit with a few players rested to keep them sharp for the tough run of games ahead.

Ramsbottom on Saturday will be a new ground for me and will see Ilkeston face a side who have fallen away quite dramatically after a promising start, which included a 4-2 win at the New Manor Ground.

Then it’s the long trip to Blyth on Tuesday night. Blyth are showing no signs of fatigue from their cup exploits yet and keep picking up wins so might still fancy challenging for a play-off spot.

I’ll be on the team coach for that one having opted not to drive up there and get a hotel like last year. It means I can get the paper finished on a bus rather than whilst eating cookies in a Travelodge.

FC United remain the form side and won again on Tuesday night to finally knock Skelmersdale off the top of the league.

Skem could now freefall without kicking many balls given the games in hand others have on them, whilst United look in great form and must surely be favourites to take the title.

Having said that, they’ve been favourites before and fallen at the final hurdle, so who might capitalise if it happens again...?