Kevin Wilson has praised his young squad of players after they continued their winning streak and booked a cup final place in the process.
Tuesday’s win over Heanor Town means a second successive Derbyshire Senior Cup final awaits Ilkeston FC, the result coming off the back of two straight league victories.
After seeing his charges overcome NCEL Premier side Heanor, Wilson said: “It’s great to get the win, although to be honest I felt that while we were always in control we didn’t really kill the game off despite having so many good chances.
“Heanor worked hard and deserve great credit, but in the end I think our keeper has only really had to make one or two saves as they largely shot from distance. I always felt comfortable and that we were unlikely to lose the game or even concede a goal.
“These games are never easy because it’s a semi-final and Heanor were always going to be up for it, coming to a higher-ranked side.
“But we did well and it’s another Derbyshire Senior Cup final for us and something to look forward to towards the end of the season.”
Three wins in a row have given Ilkeston some much-needed momentum as they look to finish a stop-start season on a positive note, something Wilson is keen to see continue.
He said: “It’s three wins in a row and nine goals scored in the process, so we’ve got to keep working hard to maintain this run now.
“Off the field it’s been quite a difficult year for us, with situations like Darren Caskey leaving and the transitional stage that followed, where I was having to look after the whole set-up and Steve Chettle coming in to do a bit of training on Tuesday and Thursday nights, which was frustrating for him because he wasn’t able to be involved on a full-time basis initially.
“But now he’s here things have settled down a little bit and the methods brought in have helped us move in the right direction again.
“We always knew it wouldn’t be easy but it’s gone very well. Steve’s enjoying what he’s doing and, like me, he sees the whole picture with the academy and the first team and the progress the young players are making in the first team squad.”
On the personnel side of things at the New Manor Ground, Cheye Alexander has returned to Port Vale with his manager Micky Adams keen to consider him for first team action at the League Two side. Winger Wilson Carvalho has also returned to Vale Park.
Tyrell Waite’s loan from Notts County is due to expire after Saturday’s trip to FC United of Manchester but Wilson says he is keen to extend the deal, while midfielder Danny Gordon has gone on loan to Carlton Town for a month.
More ins and outs could follow in the coming days.
Wilson said: “Cheye did really well and I’m sure he has a great future but Micky wants to keep him there now which we understand.
“Danny’s gone to Carlton as he needs some games under his belt, and while Tyrell’s loan is nearly up I’d like to keep him on as although he obviously still has a lot to learn like getting into the box more to supplement his good work outside it, he’s come on strong in the last few games.
“We may look at doing some more loan deals but there is also some good young talent at our disposal.”