PRAISE was plentiful this week from Ilkeston FC manager Kevin Wilson after his side racked up two wins on the bounce.
A 2-0 victory at home to Quorn on Saturday was swiftly followed by a 5-2 success at Lincoln United on Tuesday, a match which saw the Robins produce a devastating first-half display of attacking football.
And with Wilson having called for more ruthlessness in front of goal following some frustrating profligacy in recent weeks, the Lincoln game was just what the doctor ordered.
He said: “Overall we played really well. The tempo was good, we were strong and powerful and set our stall out early on, and the commitment from every one of the players was brilliant.
“We were disappointed with the goals conceded as we felt there was a handball from the lad who scored the first and the second came from a corner that shouldn’t really have been given, but we were professional throughout and did the job well.
“There’s an element of freedom to our game away from home which was evident on Tuesday.
“We’d been a bit wasteful against Quorn but the quality of our forward line is such that if you give them the ball they’ll so often produce the goods.”
Wilson also praised his assistant Darren Caskey, who scored a first-half hat-trick at Lincoln - two of them from the penalty spot - and whose experience has been a key factor in the Robins’ season so far.
“I’ve always felt Darren came out of league football too early such is his quality, but that’s obviously been to our benefit,” said Wilson.
“He has a huge part to play at the club given his work with the academy, and we have a really good working relationship and work hard together.
“But his influence on the pitch is there for all to see and a massive asset to us.”
This weekend sees Ilkeston face Market Drayton Town for the second time in a month - a fixture re-arranged due to neither side being involved in FA Cup action.
A hard-earned 1-0 win at the New Manor Ground on August 22 means Ilkeston have the psychological edge going into the return fixture, and Wilson is keen for his players to go out and replicate their recent form.
He said: “We go there in a positive frame of mind but despite that we can’t simply turn up and expect to win, as we’ve seen already this season what can happen if we do that.
“Having played Market Drayton recently we know what to expect from them and they know what to expect from us, but I want to carry the momentum through from Tuesday and keep up the standards set.”
On the squad front, goalkeeper Ben Gathercole made his debut at Lincoln on Tuesday having signed on loan from Nottingham Forest, while young winger Kristian Cox has left Ilkeston after expressing a desire for full-time football closer to his Birmingham home.
Wilson said: “Kristian wants to train full-time to help him get back into league football but we couldn’t find suitable accommodation for him in this area to enable him to work with us every day.
“I’m disappointed because he’s a good lad who wants to learn. I wish him all the best in his future career.”