Rampant Robins all set for local derby clash

Kane Richards, second left, is congratulated on scoring the fourth goal. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Kane Richards, second left, is congratulated on scoring the fourth goal. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Ilkeston FC will go into this weekend’s local derby at home to Matlock Town on the crest of a wave after recording their third straight win at leaders Skelmersdale on Saturday.

The Robins returned to the top six thanks to an impressive 4-1 victory, achieved despite falling behind after just 47 seconds in Lancashire.

That followed up a 3-1 win at Whitby in the league and a 1-0 Doodson Cup success over this weekend’s opponents Matlock, leaving boss Kevin Wilson satisfied with how things are progressing.

He said: “We’re at the time now where everything seems to be falling into place and to be where we are in the table and (after Saturday’s games) top scorers too is very satisfying.

“The lads are working really hard in training at the moment and the rewards are there to see. We now have a couple of home league games in a row where we can hopefully consolidate that position.”

Regarding Saturday’s win at Skelmersdale, Wilson said he was proud of how the Robins recovered after losing defender Akil Wright injured in the warm-up and then falling behind so early.

He said: “It was a big setback losing Akil and maybe it unsettled us a bit initially and we got caught cold, but what a great response.

“It’s up there with the displays we produced at Stamford and Whitby, perhaps more impressive given Skelmersdale are top of the league and had only lost once at home all season.

“Everybody from one to 11 was excellent. Jordan Smith in goal made several key stops, the defending was magnificent and then we were clinical when it came to taking our chances.

“Ashley Hunter got another goal with a great little finish and continued to show he’ll be a very useful addition to the side.

“The third goal was key - we caught them cold on that occasion - and came at the end of a lovely passing move which was pleasing as I’d told the lads to go out and get on the front foot quickly.”

Saturday’s clash with Matlock will be the fourth time the two teams have met already this campaign, with two Ilkeston cup wins and a draw in the league being the tally so far.

And Wilson wants to see some of the performances on the road replicated at the New Manor Ground.

He said: “I don’t think our displays at home have been that bad, it’s just that some of the results haven’t gone our way at times.

“Often we’ve perhaps been a bit too expansive at home and left ourselves wide open, whereas away from home we’ve been more solid, as was the case at Skelmersdale.

“Full-backs tucked in and we did well on the break, and while Rob Duffy isn’t scoring as many goals at the moment he’s creating plenty so hopefully we’ll see more of that in the home games too.

“Matlock are still adjusting after changing their management team but as always we’ve just got to concentrate on what we’re doing.”

Following the Matlock clash, Ilkeston will travel to Belper Town next Tuesday night in the next round of the Doodson Sport Cup.

Wilson added: “The Doodson will again be used to give a few players minutes who perhaps haven’t had as many in recent weeks as it’s important we have a squad full of fit players.”