Ilkeston manager Paul Holland has admitted his frustration over the floodlight failure that caused the abandonment of Tuesday night’s game with Hednesford Town - despite it bringing a premature end to a disappointing Robins display.
Ilkeston were 2-1 down with around seven minutes to play when the New Manor Ground was plunged into darkness, the problem caused by the failure of a generator being used to power the lights for what was understood to be a one-off occasion.
The Robins had just scored and were hopeful of getting a leveller but the match soon ground to a halt.
Holland said: “It’s obviously frustrating because all three outcomes were still possible given the time remaining, particularly us getting an equaliser or Hednesford making it 3-1, given how the game was going.
“You never know what’s around the corner here at the moment but this is another disappointing night for us on a number of levels.
“The performance itself wasn’t good from our point of view and again highlighted the need for some more quality in the attacking departments, but I can assure fans that it’s something I’m working very hard to rectify.”
Tuesday’s game came just three days after a fine 1-0 FA Cup win at Barwell that saw Ilkeston through to the third qualifying round and a match at home to Stourbridge.
Holland was delighted with the Robins’ display.
He said: “It was a great day. I thought the performance was very good throughout the 90 minutes.
“Obviously they put us under a bit of pressure in the last few minutes but I thought we were comfortable winners and it could really have been by more than one goal.
“We defended very well and looked good going forward. Anton Brown made a big difference to us on his return from injury - we’d missed his presence before and I hope he can now have a good run of games.
“The league remains the most important thing for us and we need to start performing in that but the cup is a bonus and we intend to go far in it, starting with Stourbridge in the next round.”
Midfielder Brown still needs to gain more match fitness having only played two games all season, and missed the Hednesford match due to work commitments, but Holland is confident he will quickly be a key asset.
He added: “He’s still three or four weeks from being fully fit but his physical presence and experience is key to us.
One negative from the win at Barwell was the red card for Bermudan Jaylon Bather, who will now miss three games beginning with the visit of Buxton on Saturday, then the trip to Halesowen on Tuesday and the FA Cup tie with Stourbridge.
Holland added: “Jaylon has done really well since he came in but showed a bit of inexperience in getting sent off. I had a word with him afterwards and he’ll learn from it.
“He’s done well in a different country to where he grew up and I think he’ll continue to go from strength to strength.”