Holland remains upbeat as winning run ends at Blyth

Anthony Dwyer celebrates scoring against Skelmersdale on Saturday. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Anthony Dwyer celebrates scoring against Skelmersdale on Saturday. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Paul Holland remained in philosophical mood despite seeing Ilkeston’s run of victories end on Tuesday night.

The Robins made it three wins in a row with a 3-0 victory at home to Skelmersdale United last Saturday, adding to results against Barwell and Corby Town.

But that sequence of successes ended at Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night in a 3-1 defeat, leaving Holland keen to focus on the positives as he planned for the trip to Coalville Town on Saturday.

He said: “The way we set up caused Blyth problems at times tonight as they found it hard to break us down for long periods.

“At 1-0 and 2-1 we were very much in the game and the third goal came purely due to us pushing for an equaliser, so we’ve nothing to be ashamed of in terms of the display as it was far better than in other defeats we’ve had and shows how far we’ve come.”

Holland praised Malachi Lavelle-Moore after the striker came off the bench against both Skelmersdale and Blyth to score goals, but admitted his new acquisition isn’t quite able to push for a starting berth yet.

He added: “I’ve made it known before that I want to play two up front but Malachi hadn’t played for a few months before coming here and his fitness simply isn’t there yet.

“If he starts a game he won’t finish it so at this stage we’ll keep using him from the bench. Anthony Dwyer has done really well but is playing a lot of games for such a young player so we have to be mindful of that.”

On midfielder Anton Brown’s omission from the squad to face Blyth, Holland explained: “Anton is desperate to play every game and really wants a run of matches but he came to the ground at lunchtime before we left and having played half of Saturday’s game with a pulled calf I didn’t feel comfortable risking him at Blyth.”

Saturday’s opponents Coalville were promoted from Division One South last season and sit just one point above Ilkeston in 19th position after a mixed start.

On Tuesday night, they drew 1-1 at home to Stourbridge.

Holland said: “We need to dust ourselves down tonight and aim to get back to winning ways. These players have shown what they can do and that they can win games so we’ll go there intending to do so again.”

Following the Coalville game, the Robins will have a rare free midweek before the FA Trophy game at home to Barwell on October 29.

Meanwhile, the home game with Hednesford Town, abandoned after 83 minutes due to floodlight failure last month, has been rearranged to take place on Tuesday, December 6 at 7.45pm.

Reduced ticket prices will apply for the game. Adults will pay £6, concessions £3, 13-16-year-olds £1 when accompanied by a paying adult, and U13s free when accompanied by a paying adult.