Watson pleased with point at Nantwich

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Ilkeston FC head coach Andy Watson felt Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Nantwich was very much a game of two halves - mostly due to the wind.

A blustery Weaver Stadium hosted an entertaining encounter that saw Ilkeston striker Lee Ndlovu’s opener cancelled out by Nantwich sub Steve Jones in the second-half.

And in the end, Watson was happy with a point.

He said: “It was a tough game as there was a really strong wind battering the ground and it didn’t help either side.

“That said, credit must go to Nantwich who like to get the ball down and play as we do which meant neither team was relying too much on aerial balls which were being blown off course.

“We benefited from the wind in the first-half and I felt we were the dominant side, deserving the goal we got and perhaps regretting not scoring more if I’m being picky.

“They came at us in the second-half and hit the bar a couple of times before they scored, but in the end either side could have won it and a draw was perhaps a fair result.”

Watson is now preparing his troops for matches against sides at either end of the table.

Struggling Whitby Town visit the New Manor Ground on Saturday before Ilkeston make the long trip to face league leaders Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night.

Watson said: “Whitby have had a change of manager recently and also have a few different players to when they beat us 4-2 earlier in the season, so I expect a very different game to that day.

“We’ll then go to Blyth to face a side in great form and although they’ll be expected to win, we know that in this division anything is possible and fully believe we can get a result up there if we do things the right way.

“We’ll go up there and show what we’re about and hopefully the weather conditions will allow for a good game, as it’s often pretty windy up there too!”

Watson also commented on how pleased he has been with the performances of teenage goalkeeper Jamie Hannis.

The Robins’ academy keeper stepped into the breach when Evandro Rachoni departed last month, but has impressed Watson and the Robins fans with his displays.

Watson said: “Jamie deserved his chance and he has responded well to the challenge.

“I didn’t want to put too much pressure on him too soon but if he’s playing well then I see no reason why he can’t keep his place in the team, so we’re looking for him to continue the excellent progress he’s been making.”