Steve Chettle believes Ilkeston Town FC’s start sums up club progress

Belper Town v Ilkeston'English League Football - Evo-Stik League'26th December 2014''Ilkeston Academy Manager Steve Chettle.''Picture by Dan Westwell
Belper Town v Ilkeston'English League Football - Evo-Stik League'26th December 2014''Ilkeston Academy Manager Steve Chettle.''Picture by Dan Westwell

Steve Chettle believes Ilkeston Town’s somewhat symmetrical start to their debut season is a fair representation of how the club is progressing.

The Robins have won two, drawn two and lost two of their opening six games, the most recent being a 3-0 win over Coventry Alvis on Bank Holiday Monday.

And whilst being delighted with a second home win on the bounce without conceding a goal, Chettle summed up how he felt the opening few weeks of the season had gone.

He said: “Our record so far about sums us up, to be fair. We’ve been a little bit inconsistent and unpredictable.

“Monday’s win was a comfortable one although we could perhaps have scored more than the three we did – I’d like to have won by four, five or six to make a statement of intent and show how much we can create.

“Two wins at home, scoring five without reply, is very pleasing, as was seeing Ian Deakin come in for his first game as he commanded his box well and made a couple of good saves too.

“Overall it was a good Bank Holiday weekend for us. We’d have liked six points of course but a draw away from home and a win at home is something I’m content with.”

Having had a very small amount of pre-season available to firstly build a squad and then prepare them for the campaign, eight points from the first six games could be seen as an impressive haul in the circumstances, and Chettle echoed that belief.

He said: “We’ve been in every game so far perhaps with the exception of the Heath Hayes game, which was a big occasion for everyone given it was the first home game and it got to us a bit such was the pressure on us.

“We arguably should have won every game if I’m honest, aside from that one. We lost at Stafford last week which I felt was a travesty given how we played, but that’s realism for you. Games aren’t judged on possession or chances, it’s about how many goals each team scores.”

Having won 3-0 on Monday without having had to produce their most intense form, Chettle believes it bodes well for games where tougher challenges will be posed.

He said: “We should have scored more and can still show a lot more quality through the middle of the pitch, as well as concentrating more at the back, so there’s lots and lots of individual bits and pieces to put together yet that should make us very strong in the future.”

Another crowd of over 600 filled the NMG on Monday, with the Ilkeston public continuing to get behind the new venture. Bolehill Swifts visit this weekend (2nd) to try and stifle the Robins’ good home form.

Chettle added: “I think visiting teams tend to thrive on that more than we do as it means they raise their game for the big occasion at a great venue with a superb pitch and we have to counter that, but the fans have been fantastic and I hope they’ll stick with us.

“Lots will change over time – we were still down to the bare bones on Monday and new faces will be inevitable over time. We want to bring quality in and although that means we may have to move a couple on, that’s the nature of the beast.

“We’re looking to bring in players that have played at higher levels, and to that end we’re aiming to bring in a striker on loan from a Championship club this week, but it won’t be easy as the best players won’t just be let go from their clubs so we have to be patient.”