ILKESTON FC were left frustrated by the British winter this week as two matches were postponed thanks to frozen pitches.
It is the first time the Robins have been left out in the cold in their inaugural season and meant they were unable to build on the momentum gained with the win over Sheffield on January 9.
Instead, the clashes with Sutton Coldfield on Saturday and Buxton in the Derbyshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night fell victim to the chilly weather, something which frustrated boss Kevin Wilson.
He said: “After the Sheffield game we really wanted to build on things so it was a great shame we couldn’t play on Saturday.
“With that in mind I was aiming to play virtually a full-strength team against Buxton but again we had no choice but to call the game off.
“So it’s tough but there’s nothing you can do about it. We’ve got 15 games to go, nine of which are at home, so there’s still plenty of opportunity to turn the New Manor Ground into a real fortress.”
Ilkeston will now head to Goole on Saturday as they continue their pursuit of a promotion place.
This weekend’s hosts were the first ever league opponents for Ilkeston FC back in August on a day when more than 1,300 people witnessed a stunning 4-0 victory thanks to goals from Tyrell Waite, Will McCall, Daryll Thomas and Kristian Cox.
But Wilson is expecting a very different encounter at Goole’s Victoria Pleasure Grounds, with the pitch being surrounded by an athletics track and home gates averaging around 120 - though travelling Ilkeston fans could once again boost the gate.
He said: “The design of the ground means it’s very open but the players have all played parks football and in other similar surroundings so it shouldn’t be a problem.
“It’s another game we’ve just got to go out and make sure we win as our away form has been excellent so far.”
Last weekend’s postponement was doubly frustrating for Wilson as he had spent hours on the phone attempting to find a goalkeeper to replace Dan Lowson, who was recalled from his loan by Alfreton Town.
Conference Premier side Tamworth eventually stepped in to help with young stopper Sam Andrew signing for a month, but he was ultimately denied a quick debut.
Wilson said: “Sam’s champing at the bit to play and will make his debut on Saturday. Ben Gathercole is still a couple of weeks away from returning so we’re grateful to Tamworth for helping out.”
The match with Buxton has been re-arranged for next Tuesday night, before a two more home games against Loughborough Dynamo on January 28 and Leek Town on February 4.