Wilson laments late goal but unbeaten run goes on

Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson was keen to accentuate the positives this week despite seeing his Ilkeston FC side give away a late equaliser at home to Blyth Spartans on Monday night.

The Robins have now drawn three games in a row but remain second in the table and 17 games unbeaten in all competitions, 11 of those being in the league.

And as he prepares his young side for what could turn out to be a crucial game at fellow promotion-hopefuls FC United of Manchester on Saturday, Wilson says he doesn’t want to be too critical of his players despite not having won in three matches.

He said: “Monday night was one of those draws that felt like a defeat at the end given how late the goal came.

“I felt we didn’t really move the ball around quickly enough in the first-half but were much better in the second and deserved to win as Blyth didn’t really have too many shots on goal.

“But in the end we got caught cold and it’s cost us.

“It’s frustrating as that was another one of our games in hand on the leaders but when you look at the last six matches we’ve had three wins and three draws, so it doesn’t matter what order they come in, that’s still excellent form. We just need to keep the run going and turn these draws into wins.

“We now prepare for FC United and playing in front of a big crowd up at Curzon Ashton’s ground and it should be a good game.”

Wilson also praised the contributions of his young strikeforce, two of whom are new to the club having arrived in the last fortnight.

Monday night’s goalscorer Eddy Samba was released by Leicester City in the summer whilst Northern Ireland U19 international Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson comes from Grays Athletic having also played in Scotland with St Johnstone.

“The new lads have done really well against Blyth and we’re also starting to see the best of Rai Simons now too, although at times in the first-half on Monday he perhaps tried to do a bit too much,” said Wilson.

“We lost a lot of goals when the likes of Che Adams and Kane Richards left so we have to try and replace that and also give Rob Duffy the support to add to his tally. These new lads should help us do that once they’ve had time to settle.”

Duffy is doubtful for Saturday’s trip to Manchester having been taken off with a dead leg against Blyth, whilst Fortnam-Tomlinson had a slight thigh strain but should be fit to play.

Of Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Halesowen Town, Wilson added: “It was tough as the pitch wasn’t ideal which didn’t help us but I think when you look of what we had to face, including their dangerous long throw, we coped really well and they didn’t really have too many clear chances at all.

“That’s another reason why Monday was so disappointing as it could have been two clean sheets on the spin, but in the end we just have to learn from it and move on.”

Meanwhile, Ilkeston have been drawn at home to Division One South side Spalding United in the Doodson Sport League Cup quarter-final on Tuesday, February 17, meaning the return game with Blyth Spartans will now be on Tuesday, March 3.