Ilkeston manager Kevin Wilson was left praising his side’s attacking prowess after their opening two games of the season — but also in despair after several defensive errors proved costly.
An impressive 4-1 win at Witton Albion began the season in style on Saturday before a 4-3 loss at home to Stourbridge on Monday saw the Robins brought back down to earth.
And despite Wilson being keen to stress he wants to build on the positives from both encounters, he says the defensive errors that plagued Monday’s defeat cannot be ignored.
He said: “We shot ourselves in the foot on Monday as having got back to 3-3 and seemingly earned a point, we switched off and let them win the game.
“I guess in some ways these kind of things are to be expected given the inexperience in the side and some fans might want to use that as a stick to beat us with, but on the other hand it doesn’t have to be that way if we can cut out the basic errors.
“We gifted Stourbridge the first goal with a poor header back and in the whole game I think they had about five shots on target and scored four of them.
“So I’m disappointed with that side of it but I was pleased with the way we fought back in the second-half after a sluggish first period.
“The players are learning every day and this can only make them stronger.”
Saturday’s win also saw a better second-half display and four goals were scored to overturn a half-time deficit.
Wilson said: “I think it was probably one of the best displays I’ve seen since I’ve been here, both with Ilkeston Town and Ilkeston FC.
“It showed that despite going with a young side we can give decent teams a good run for their money and the result and performance will have surprised a few people.
“We bounced back well from not getting what looked a blatant penalty in the first-half when Kane Richards was brought down, nor a free-kick for another foul on Kane that could also have seen a red card.
“Those decisions could have been crucial, especially as we then fell behind, but our second-half response was excellent.”
“I said afterwards, however, that one swallow doesn’t make a summer and that was then proved on Monday.”
Wilson says he remains troubled by the problems his side have at the New Manor Ground, something he’s keen to see rectified when Trafford visit this weekend ahead of a Bank Holiday Monday trip to Buxton.
He added: “Last year we won so many games on the road but lost too many here, which is frustrating because if we could have replicated that away form on our own patch we would have finished much higher.
“Monday night was another ultimately disappointing home result but we have to keep trying to make the New Manor Ground a fortress.
“Trafford and Buxton will both provide good tests for us but we’ve already shown we can compete and were a whisker away from enjoying an unbeaten first two games, so we’ve nothing to fear despite the youthful squad we have.”