Chettle: ‘We’d have preferred to play on’

Steve Chettle
Steve Chettle

Ilkeston Town were left with an unexpected break this week as their two midweek away trips were postponed for differing reasons.

Faced with a second four-game week in succession, the Robins began it with a 1-0 win over Studley last Saturday.

Following the decision to extend the Midland Football League season by a week, the visit to Heath Hayes was then moved from Thursday (12th) to May 7, before being rescheduled again for Thursday, April 19 following miscommunication from the league as to the season’s end date, which is May 5.

The trip to face Cadbury Athletic on Tuesday night was postponed after heavy rain left the pitch waterlogged and a new date will now have to be found for that fixture.

But having seen his side record what was their eighth straight win against Studley, and their fourth in a week, manager Steve Chettle was a little disappointed to not be able to carry on the momentum.

He said: “It would have been a lot of games to play but we are in great form and in these situations you just want to carry on playing.

“We rearranged the Heath Hayes game ourselves, albeit it had to be done twice, but the Cadbury game was beyond our control and so we ended up giving the players the night off rather than making them train.

“It’s been a really good month for us but we’ll try and use the break from matches to our benefit and carry the run on this weekend.”

The Robins welcome Littleton to the New Manor Ground on Saturday in what will be Ilkeston’s final home game of the season before they hit the road five times to end the campaign.

And Chettle wants to sign off from the NMG in style.

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He said: “We want to say thank you to everyone for their support this season with another good performance and another three points.

“The fans have been great for us and we’re really chuffed with the support we’ve had all year.

“We will then finish the season with five straight away games, which is bizarre, but that’s the way things have had to go given all the postponements.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s win over Studley, which came barely 48 hours after a 3-1 success at Coventry Copsewood, Chettle was pleased to have ground out the three points.

He said: “It was quite a frustrating afternoon as we had a lot of possession but didn’t do enough with it, and were too keen to get shots in when shots weren’t really on.

“In the end we’ve scored from a set piece but as a manager you would take 1-0 wins all day long so I was really pleased with the win.”

Following the Littleton game, Ilkeston are due to go to Racing Club Warwick on Tuesday (17th), Heath Hayes two days later before then having a blank Saturday ahead of the game at league leaders Walsall Wood on Tuesday, April 24.

Chettle said: “The squad’s in good shape and the break has helped Malachi Lavelle-Moore a fair bit as he recovers from a thigh problem. We brough Conor Green back from Kimberley as Mark Green has some work commitments but other than that, everyone should be available for the weekend against Littleton.”