Away form could be key to Robins survival

Ilkeston striker Rob Duffy (right) in action against Chorley on Saturday.
Ilkeston striker Rob Duffy (right) in action against Chorley on Saturday.

Ilkeston FC will head to promotion-chasing Ashton United this weekend hoping their away form will bring relief following a torrid run of home matches.

The Robins lost four consecutive matches at the New Manor Ground during March, a run which has seen them slip to 17th in the league table with just five games remaining.

Following the trip to Ashton on Saturday, Ilkeston will then host another side pursuing promotion, AFC Fylde.

Robins boss Kevin Wilson is, however, remaining positive about his side’s prospects.

He said: “Our fate is still in our own hands and we have to keep fighting.

“We’ve lost four on the spin and that’s naturally generated a lot of negativity amongst the fans, but the mood in the playing camp remains positive as we know we’re good enough to get out of this situation.

“As a manager I’ve had five promotions and no relegations and I’m not about to allow that first one to happen now.

“We’ve been brave enough to put young players in the team and it’s important people stay positive because while these youngsters are getting better all the time, they’re also more vulnerable to criticism.

“This whole experience will make them better players and have the effect of ensuring they won’t want to go through it again.”

Wilson believes some of Ilkeston’s better displays this season have come away from home, and with three of the remaining five games being on the road, he is keen to see that trend continue.

“In terms of wins and defeats our home and away records are identical but we’ve had some good displays away from home and I’m expecting us to perform well in the upcoming trips to Ashton, Marine and Trafford,” he added.

“We went to Ashton last season in the middle of a bad run and won 3-0, so I’d take that again, although Ashton are flying high at the moment.”

Regarding the visit of Fylde next Tuesday, Wilson said: “We always give Fylde a good game and have an excellent record against them, so we’ll approach the game as we do any others.

“Season tickets for next year are already selling well and we’re expecting to have an exciting set of pre-season friendlies lined up too, so it’s really important we’re in this division next season and have to fight to the end.”

Meanwhile, the Derbyshire Senior Cup final with Glossop North End will take place on Tuesday, April 29 at Alfreton Town FC’s Impact Arena, kicking off at 7.45pm.