When Rob Duffy turned down the move to Goole last week the script was probably written that he’d net the winner for Ilkeston in the FA Cup on Saturday.
So it proved, and it was good to see loyalty rewarded given how easy it would have been for Duffy to take the option of more cash elsewhere, albeit a division lower and at a club with nowhere near the quality of fanbase or set-up that there is at the New Manor Ground.
The victory also ended a mini hoodoo of cup exits at the first hurdle following the pretty comprehensive failure in the knockout competitions last year - the Derbyshire Senior Cup aside - and sets up an interesting clash with Conference North side Solihull Moors who are in the lower mid-table region at the moment.
I was also rather relieved to see Blyth Spartans draw at Darlington on Sunday as otherwise, rather than writing this column early on Tuesday afternoon as I am now, I’d be on my way up the M1 for a very long night in the north-east!
No doubt that game will be re-arranged for an equally inconvenient Tuesday later in the season.
There have been some really promising displays throughout the young Ilkeston side this year and I don’t usually like to single out individuals too much, but one young man who is consistently standing out is Che Adams.
His contributions to matches so far have usually been immense, creating and scoring goals and generally showing spells of power and energy that opposing teams struggle to cope with.
Should Adams keep his feet on the ground and continue to improve at the rate he is now, he will have a very promising career at a very decent level, no question, and is one of many young players at the NMG who could be a huge asset when bigger clubs come calling.
Adams isn’t the only one to impress as there have been several eye-opening displays from Ilkeston players, but he’s certainly one for the future and it wouldn’t surprise me to see scouts hovering before long.