Progress in the FA Cup left Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson a happy man this week as the Robins continued their good form.
The 2-1 win over Matlock Town on Saturday came courtesy of Rob Duffy’s 89th minute winner, the striker having turned down a move to Goole AFC earlier in the week.
That win set up a second qualifying round clash at home to Vanarama Conference North side Solihull Moors on September 27, with Wilson left delighted by the resolve shown by his young players.
He said: “We scored at the end of each half which shows we weren’t prepared to switch off and wanted to keep going to get what we deserved.
“We may have had a little bit of luck with the equaliser, both with how it went in and because the referee played a bit longer than most expected, but you need that luck sometimes, especially in cup runs.
“Matlock set up to stop us playing and are always a very hard side to beat, but I felt in the second-half we dominated and deserved to get the win in the end, such was our persistence to score the winner.”
On Duffy having opted to stay at the New Manor Ground, Wilson added: “He’s happy here and realised that even though Goole were offering him good money, the practicalities of travelling up there so often were probably not worth leaving a club where he’s doing really well and is so valued.”
Ilkeston now host Ramsbottom United at the New Manor Ground on Saturday, the first of four successive home games in league and cup on the horizon.
Ramsbottom were promoted via the play-offs from Division One North last season but have lost three of their four away games so far this season.
Wilson said: “They’re a side that like to play decent football and have good movement so will be another test.
“But as always we’re keen to concentrate on our own game. It’s not always good to overload young players’ minds with too much information although to their credit, and as shown on Saturday, they are good at absorbing what they’re told at half-time which often shows in the second-half displays.”
Wilson also took time out to praise centre-half and club captain Joe Maguire, who this week was selected on standby for the England ‘C’ squad’s training camp at St George’s Park.
The non-league representative squad will take part in the camp over the weekend and Maguire could step in should any players be injured in Saturday’s games.
Wilson said: “It means Joe is firmly on their radar for future matches, which is great testament not only to Joe’s hard work but also that of the club as a whole as we continue to move forward.
“I don’t think Joe is the only member of our squad to have generated interest from not only the FA coaches who are at our games but also other clubs given how busy things have been for me on the phone this week with people wanting to know more about some of our lads.”
Meanwhile, Tuesday night’s game at Blyth Spartans was postponed due to Spartans having an FA Cup replay, whilst the visit to Grantham Town on September 27 will also need to be rearranged due to both sides now having FA Cup ties to play on that day.