There can’t have been anyone involved with Ilkeston FC who didn’t feel a huge degree of pride last Wednesday night when Che Adams appeared out of nowhere to score two quick goals against Tottenham.
As Che himself says in the piece I’ve done with him in this week’s paper, even he was a bit surprised by what happened, but once the dust settled it was a case of taking a step back and being aware of just how far he had come as a player in a short space of time, and then looking at it from another point of view - namely the impact an Ilkeston FC ‘graduate’ had just had on a huge fixture.
Anyone who follows my Twitter feed will know it was a strange evening for me given I’m a lifelong Tottenham supporter and for much of the evening was concerned about whether the lead we’d built up would slip away.
Little did I know that it would be a certain teenager we all know so well who would come on and wipe it out in a matter of minutes!
The fact was that when Adams scored his goals, even I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face, purely because of who had scored them!
I made sure that when I spoke to Che on Monday that I ribbed him for nearly knocking my beloved Spurs out, but like so many from the non-league game I also congratulated him on such a great impact.
He was already a ‘picture on the wall’ at the NMG in terms of what can be achieved by Ilkeston’s young players if they knuckle down, but after last week those possibilities were highlighted to an even greater extent.
Another good by-product of those crazy five minutes is the fact the profile of the club has been raised that bit further.
The Robins got lots of mentions across the various media outlets (even if several renowned broadcasters kept referring to ‘Ilkeston Town’) and the interest in the project grew even further.
The Daily Telegraph’s well-known football writer Henry Winter was at the NMG on Monday and I gather he’ll have a piece published at some point this week all about the Robins, so keep an eye out for that one.
All in all, it was a series of events that will be remembered for a long time in this corner of Derbyshire, and one can only hope that Che Adams will go on and give Ilkeston fans even more reasons to be proud as his career progresses.
Closer to home, no football last weekend will have disrupted the momentum of Kevin Wilson’s men to an extent but the nature of the British winter will dictate it may not be the last call-off before the season is out.
It’s often about who deals with these situations and the backlog of fixtures they can generate best that can dictate where the glory goes, so it’s set up to be a fascinating final few months of the season.