Kevin Wilson paid tribute to his Ilkeston FC side’s battling qualities on Tuesday night after witnessing them pull off a dramatic Derbyshire Senior Cup final victory.
The Robins beat Matlock Town 2-1 thanks to a late James Reid double at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium, securing the trophy in front of a large band of Ilkeston supporters.
And Wilson was quick to praise Reid’s impact after the game as well as express his delight at gaining more silverware.
He said: “Reidy had been sat on the bench looking a bit forlorn for much of the game but I said to him that he was part of the team and that he could go out and win it for us.
“That’s precisely what he then went and did.
“We changed back to 4-4-2, which were planning to do just before Matlock scored, and we seemed to perform much better.
“It’s two trophies in two seasons for us now and I’m thrilled for the fans and for the chairman.”
Wilson also had some sympathy with the Gladiators given the nature of the victory.
“It was harsh on them because they’ve had lots of injuries lately and gave us a really good game so to lose like that must have hurt a lot,” he said.
“But when all is said and done I’m just happy it’s our name on the trophy.”
Match-winner Reid, meanwhile, told the Robins’ official website after the game about his dramatic impact.
He said: “We left it late, but it was worth the wait from our point of view.
“To come off the bench and score two was brilliant. I’m not sure how the first one went in – I sliced it a little bit and it just kept swerving away from the keeper.
“The second one was definitely handball and a penalty and Joe Maguire was wanting to take it, but I made sure I got hold of the ball.
“I was confident I would score if I hit the ball well and thankfully it went in, which was enough for us to win it.”
For a report on the final, turn to page 47.