‘Game management’ key to Robins dropping points

Kane Richards (left) in action on Monday night.
Kane Richards (left) in action on Monday night.

Manager Kevin Wilson says his Ilkeston FC side’s game management needs to be better if they are to ensure they hold on to winning positions.

His comments came after the Robins gave away a 3-1 lead against ten men on Monday night as King’s Lynn bounced back with two late goals to earn a point.

That followed a 0-0 draw at Matlock Town on Saturday, meaning the Robins have now dropped to seventh in the early standings although have still only lost one game.

Wilson said: “We shouldn’t have given two points away like that on Monday, it’s as simple as that.

“Instead of shutting up shop we perhaps tried one too many passes in attacking areas of the pitch and that often meant giving the ball back to King’s Lynn and a quality side like that will always punish you.

“You have to keep the ball and not let them get anywhere near to creating the kinds of chances they ended up getting.

“I was pleased that we’d done so well before that to get into such a good position, as some of our football was excellent and again showed how far we’ve come.

“But we then self destructed with errors creeping in and it’s something we have to learn from.

“Of course we’re an inexperienced side and as I’ve said before, these things are perhaps more likely to happen on that basis, but having said that some of our errors are down to more experienced players and we need to cut them out.”

With regard to the point at Matlock on Saturday, Wilson added: “It wasn’t a great game but we got another clean sheet which was a real positive.

“We had a lot of possession but couldn’t break down a very stubborn defence, likewise they were unable to create much against our back line either.”

Ilkeston will return to Matlock this weekend for the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

That will be followed by the long trip to Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night, although that fixture will not take place if either side faces an FA Cup replay.

The Robins received a boost ahead of the weekend with the news that top scorer Rob Duffy has opted to stay at the club rather than take up the offer of a move to Division One North Club Goole AFC.

Goole had put in seven days’ notice for Duffy, 31, who is a non-contract player at Ilkeston, but despite an apparently superior financial package being offered to him the Welshman has decided his future remains at the New Manor Ground.

Wilson said: “We’re delighted Rob has agreed to stay.

“He’s a major cog in the system we are using and and the role he is playing, feeding off the ‘young legs’ around him, suits perfectly.

“He’s an intelligent footballer who will always get goals if he’s given the right service and I doubt if he’s ever had better service at any of the many clubs he’s had, even in the Football League.

“Now that his fitness has also improved compared to when he joined us at the back end of last season, he’s a real handful for defenders.”

Should a replay be required from Saturday’s FA Cup tie, it will take place next Monday night at the New Manor Ground, kick-off 7.45pm.