Ilkeston Town aim to extend home run in double-header

Mark Clifford with home fans after the win against Market Drayton. (Photo by Danny Draper)
Mark Clifford with home fans after the win against Market Drayton. (Photo by Danny Draper)

Ilkeston Town go into a home double-header this week aiming to build on their positive form at the New Manor Ground this season.

The Robins haven’t yet lost at home during this campaign, with two wins and three goalless draws from their five games and just one goal conceded.

And while boss Mark Clifford admits his team hasn’t been at its best in all of those games, he knows that the NMG being a fortress will go a long way to helping them achieve their targets, with Newcastle Town arriving on Saturday and then Wisbech Town on Tuesday night.

He said: “We’ve not been great at times this season in front of our own fans but we haven’t lost, which is a huge positive.

“We now want to take the momentum from the Market Drayton game into these two games with Newcastle and Wisbech, both of whom we’ve had watched and we know what to expect from them.”

That momentum was disrupted somewhat by a break in fixtures over the last week, enforced by original opponents Sutton Coldfield Town playing in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Clifford said: “The break came at a bad time for us as we wanted to kick on and keep on playing.

“But that’s how it goes sometimes and we just had to make sure we had a hard training session last week, and then gave the lads the weekend off as I think it’s important to have a break from each other every now and then.”

Three Robins players opted to get minutes under their belts for other teams, with Tom Marshall and Kevin Bastos playing for Eastwood CFC in their win at Barrow Town, and Rod Orlando-Young scoring a hat-trick as he turned out for Renishaw Rangers in a Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup tie.

The Robins also arranged a friendly match against a Chesterfield XI on Wednesday night (25th) at the New Manor Ground, but that was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Clifford added: “We sent a few out to get minutes and that was a positive for all of them as I had some great reports back.

"It’s important all players stay fit and are ready to step in if needed.”