ANOTHER win was top of manager Kevin Wilson’s birthday present wish list this week as Ilkeston FC celebrates a year in existence.
The visit of Newcastle Town on Saturday will see the Robins aiming to maintain their lead at the top of the Evo-Stik Division One South table.
And with a party mood set to engulf the New Manor Ground on the club’s first anniversary, Wilson hopes his team’s performance will add extra fizz to the occasion.
He said: “We’ve been showing great attitude and application away from home and I expect us to replicate that on Saturday.
“Teams that come here are changing their games and perhaps playing more counter-attacking football which at times has caught us out, whereas we go on our travels and are able to exploit their natural game.
“So while Saturday will be a good occasion we have to concentrate on improving our killer instinct and getting the three points which would take us past the 40-point marker a game ahead of schedule.”
Will McCall and Russell Peel are definitely out of the Newcastle game, while Gary Ricketts will be assessed after picking up a knock .
Ilkeston negotiated a potentially tricky clash at Rainworth with a minimum of fuss as they recorded a 4-1 win last weekend.
Three first-half goals were the catalyst for the success and Wilson was delighted with his players’ display.
“The last two matches have been perfect away performances, the only blot being a sloppy goal we conceded at Rainworth where wrong decisions cost us,” he said.
“We got away with it in terms of the match as a whole, but if we do things like that and give bad goals away against some of the better sides in this division then it could cost us dearly.
“But we showed a attitude from the start and that was pleasing.”
Fourth-placed Carlton Town will be the opponents next Wednesday night, just seven weeks after the Robins overcame them 2-0 at the New Manor Ground.
The Nottingham side have only lost once since that night and have won seven of their nine home games so far.
l Ilkeston hosted Notts County in a friendly match on Monday night, running out 2-1 winners.
The match gave Wilson a chance to run the rule over some trialists and fringe players, and he was impressed by what he saw.
He said: “It was a good opportunity for several players who needed some match time and for them to stake a claim for a spot in the first team squad.”