Points up for grabs as Robins face bottom sides

Ilkeston midfielder Danny Gordon (left) is pictured in action at Belper Town on Tuesday as the Robins won 1-0 in the Doodson Sport League Cup. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Ilkeston midfielder Danny Gordon (left) is pictured in action at Belper Town on Tuesday as the Robins won 1-0 in the Doodson Sport League Cup. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Manager Kevin Wilson says the momentum gained from five wins in a row will be crucial as Ilkeston FC prepare to come up against sides low down in the league table.

The Robins’ next four league games are all against sides currently sat in the bottom five of the Evo-Stik League Premier Division table, beginning with 20th-placed Nantwich Town on Saturday

And having seen his side rack up three league victories accompanied by two in the Doodson Sport League Cup, Wilson is keen not to see standards drop.

He said: “We had two great wins at Whitby and Skelmersdale, as well as three narrow victories against Matlock (twice) and Belper but ones which also saw us get clean sheets, which is really important.

“When you look at our upcoming fixtures then of course we have to be regarded as favourites but we won’t win them if we don’t maintain the level of consistency we’ve waited so long to achieve.

“This is the challenge now amongst this group. We’ve got to play much better than we did on Saturday though, when I felt we weren’t at our best and when the only moment of real quality was our goal.

“It’s five wins on the spin, although to me it’s really three wins given it’s the league games that really matter, and that can only breed confidence in these young players.

“We’ve got Nantwich, Trafford, Witton and Belper coming up and they’re all fighting for their lives so we have to be ready for that.”

Of the League Cup win over Belper on Tuesday night, Wilson added: “We were a bit lethargic in the first-half but moved the ball much quicker in the second and were that bit sharper which proved crucial.

“There were a lot of changes in there from Saturday and in the last half-hour I thought there was only one team going to win it as apart from them trying to catch us on the break occasionally I felt they didn’t have the quality to damage us.”

Following Saturday’s game, the Robins will travel to Heanor Town next Tuesday night as they begin their defence of the Derbyshire Senior Cup, a competition they have won in the last two seasons.

Heanor are going well in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division and include several familiar faces to Robins fans including striker Gary Ricketts and midfielder Matt Richards.

Wilson added: “It’s a competition we’ve always done well in and want to do so again.

“The Heanor game will be good for the fans and I’ll probably pick a stronger side than in the League Cup as it’s likely to be a really tough test given Heanor will be up for it against a side from just down the road and two levels above them.”

Meanwhile, it was confirmed last Friday that wing-back Kieran Wallace has followed midfielder Che Adams to Sheffield United.

Wallace was on non-contract terms so no fee was involved, although it is understood a pre-season friendly with the Blades has been agreed as part of the deal.

Wilson said: “Kieran worked his way into the first team squad and was keen to return to senior football having left Forest in the summer, hence not wanting to sign a contract.

“We respected that and we wish him well at Sheffield United.”