Ilkeston Town ready for one last title push

Lee Fowler watches on at Dunkirk
Lee Fowler watches on at Dunkirk

Manager Lee Fowler says every goal will matter as Ilkeston Town aim to seal the MFL Premier Division title on Saturday.

The Robins travel to face Loughborough University level on points with second-placed Walsall Wood but with a goal difference of plus four, aided by a 7-0 win at Dunkirk on Easter Monday.

That had been preceded two days earlier by a poor display against their fellow title challengers, Wood winning 4-0 at the New Manor Ground and returning to the top of the table for 48 hours.

But having gone somewhat gung ho at Dunkirk in order to try and turn things back in his team’s favour, Fowler says having achieved feat, it’s now time to ensure Ilkeston’s advantage is maintained.

He said: “I had to take a few risks at Dunkirk and had natural wingers playing at full-back as well as four goalscorers playing in attacking roles.

“We told the players to throw everything at Dunkirk and I don’t think they knew what had hit them as we should really have scored 12 or 13 at least.

“All our players sprinted for the ball every time it went out of play and were quick to get started again every time we scored, such was the need to score as many goals as we could.

“I couldn’t fault them for their response to Saturday which was a display I was really angry with. If we’d played a bit more like we did on Monday two days earlier then we wouldn’t have lost 4-0.”

Walsall Wood will come up against Wolverhampton Sporting Club on Saturday, a side who are bottom of the table and that have conceded 107 goals this season.

Fowler is therefore expecting Walsall Wood to score several goals against them, meaning that his team will have to follow suit.

He said: “The difference is four now but we can’t rely on that remaining the case. I expect Walsall Wood to get five or six at the very least which means we’ll need to score two or three to stay ahead.

“I may have to go with a similar sort of side to the one at Dunkirk as goals will be important. I would hate to lose out on a league title and promotion just on goal difference.

“Walsall Wood aren’t usually prolific scorers whereas we’ve had a few fives and sixes this season which is why the ‘goals scored’ column is also on our side this weekend.

“It was a bit of a freak result against us on Saturday both from our point of view given we’ve not conceded four since I’ve been here, and theirs given they don’t score four all that often.

“The fact remains that if we lose out on the title it will be our own fault so we have to make sure it doesn’t happen.

“We’ll have an eye on Walsall’s result - I don’t know how reliable their social media is but I may try and have someone at their game updating us.”