Duffers’ Diaries: Fate is still in Robins’ hands

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Even though Ilkeston didn’t have a midweek game I’ve still waited until late on Tuesday night to write this week’s column given how many important games affecting the Robins took place this evening.

The results were mixed for those around Ilkeston in the promotion mix, with even leaders FC United slipping up as they lost at Skelmersdale.

They’re still overwhelming favourites to take the title and four points from their last three games would effectively do it for them given their goal difference is much better than those below them.

That said, if things go to the wire, the final day clash between FC United and currently second-placed Workington could be very interesting!

In terms of the play-off hunt, five teams are battling it out for the remaining three places now Workington are guaranteed a top five finish.

Barwell only have an outside chance so really you could say it’s four battling for three spots.

As far as Ilkeston are concerned, the only team from outside the play-off zone that can catch them are Blyth Spartans and they would have to win all three of their games and hope Ilkeston lose both of theirs.

Even one point from their last two games might be enough for the Robins if their goal difference remains better than Blyth’s.

Blyth could still quite easily get into the play-off zone but it’s unlikely Ilkeston are the team they’d replace.

The Robins face Workington on Saturday at the New Manor Ground in a tough and pretty crucial game.

Kevin Wilson’s men disappointed most Robins fans in attendance at Grantham on Saturday with a very poor display that set the alarm bells ringing a little.

They’ll have to produce much more quality in the last two games if they are to eliminate any risk of Blyth catching them. Workington are one of the best sides in the division and although Nantwich, where Ilkeston head on the final day, secured their safety on Tuesday night, Grantham also had nothing to play for on Saturday and that ultimately meant little.

Should Ilkeston get that top five spot, they’ll then have their work cut out to overcome whoever they face and will once again need to show a vast improvement.

But this season has been remarkable so far and there’s no doubt Ilkeston have as much chance of going up as any of those around them. A fascinating climax awaits!

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