Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson declared himself pleased with his side’s opening pre-season friendly performance after the Robins beat Burton Albion 1-0 on Tuesday night.
Kane Richards’ excellent first-half header was enough to win the match for Ilkeston, and despite Burton missing several good chances in the second-half, the Robins’ squad of 22 players who each played for 45 minutes did enough to win the game.
And Wilson was enthused by having seen his side come through their first challenge unscathed.
He said: “Pre-season obviously isn’t about results, the important thing was we got 45 minutes out of most of the squad and had a look at a few trialists too so it was mission accomplished really.
“It was a good goal to win the game too which was pleasing, but the first match is never easy, particularly in the warm conditions we faced tonight, so it was important to get it out of the way.
“Everything is being geared towards August 17 so it’s important we don’t pick up any injuries and also that we bring in the right trialists that can improve the squad.”
Despite the heat and it being the first game of pre-season, Ilkeston more than held their own against a strong Albion side that included much of their first team squad and also an appearance from trialist and former Derby County star Rory Delap in the second-half .
Wilson said: “Burton did really well last year and are a club we can look at modelling ourselves on given where they’ve come from. We wish them well for this season.”
“It was good to see us cope well with their threats and particularly that so many of the young academy players also looked comfortable against professionals, which reinforces my belief they can be of great use to us this season.”
A match report from Tuesday’s game can be found online at www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s visit of Nottingham Forest, Wilson says he could again give a large number of players run-outs.
He added: “It may be quite similar to tonight and will be another good test as I think they’ll have some first teamers coming, but it’s all about improving our passing, movement and fitness at this stage and also giving the fans a chance to see us up against good quality players.”
Cup draws made - see page 44