Holland: ‘Positives to take from Ashton United defeat for Ilkeston’

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Paul Holland says there were positives to take from Ilkeston FC’s belated opening fixture of the campaign but believes the better side won on the day.

Ilkeston lost 2-0 to Ashton United having not played a match of any kind for three weeks due to their suspension from the Northern Premier League, goals in each half from Mark Peers and Jason Gorton doing the damage.

You can read a report on the game HERE

And Holland believes his team will be much more of a threat once their sharpness and momentum returns.

He said: “It was a difficult game. This was an occasion we’d looked forward to but we looked quite rusty after so long without playing, although I don’t want to use that as an excuse for the result.

“We set up with a formation that I thought would cause them problems and had some good chances at 0-0, but the timing of the first goal didn’t help us and the manner of the second goal was disappointing too.

“Anton Brown felt he was fouled whilst shooting in the first-half and the knock to his ankle he took in the process meant he was hampered for the rest of the game, so we’ll have to assess him before Monday. He’ll have a big part to play all season but hasn’t played since the Notts County game so we need to be careful with him.

“Overall it was good to be out there and there are positives we can take from the game. Ashton have started well and are a marker for us in terms of where we want to be, but it won’t happen straight away.”

Holland added that he hopes to have made at least one more signing before next weekend’s trip to Ashby Ivanhoe in the FA Cup, although before that they head to Matlock Town on Bank Holiday Monday.