Duffers’ Diaries: Draws could ultimately cost Robins dear

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Let’s start with the Doodson Sport Cup seeing as I’m writing this just after witnessing Ilkeston get knocked out of it.

It’s well known by now I don’t hold this competition in much regard so won’t shed any tears over the Robins’ exit, although it was a shame they couldn’t have put up more of a fight.

Suffice to say two or three regular starters did little to suggest they should be so, not for the first time.

In terms of the league situation, you can’t help but wonder just how crucial all of these failures to turn one point into three at the New Manor Ground could end up being, not just in the title chase but even in earning a play-off spot.

Some draws have been well-earned, of course, but a few last minute concessions (including one or two that have seen one point turned into zero) have probably proved the difference between Ilkeston being above FC United or below them.

Yes, the Robins have earned a few points late on here and there too, not least last week at Marine and Stourbridge, but they may well look back on these home games as an area that they’d have wished had been more fruitful in terms of points.

I suppose in the end, however, it’s no use looking at what might have been. The future will be where Ilkeston can decide their destiny and some tough encounters await.

Skelmersdale and Workington are the next two games and both are competing with the Robins for a play-off place.

There is a scenario where Ilkeston could find themselves out of the play-off zone entirely if they don’t pick up any points and Curzon Ashton win both of their games, Curzon having a game in hand on the Robins as it is.

So it shows that whilst catching FC United would be great, the chances are that won’t happen and now it’s all about making sure a top five place is secured.

I won’t be at the Skelmersdale game on Saturday, the first league game I’ll have missed all season. My best man duties for a close friend of mine dictate I’ll be in London for his stag do.

What’s worse, should Ilkeston make a play-off final, I’ll be 6,000 miles away in Zambia for his wedding (where his bride is originally from) rather than covering the game!

So, no pressure, but a title win would be most welcome, lads...