Ilkeston FC News

Ilkeston FC News

Updated 18th March: The latest news for Robins fans and reports from the past month.

Ilkeston FC 1-2 Stafford Rangers – Tuesday 14 March
Northern Premier League
The slide towards relegation continues for Ilkeston FC who are some 16 points away from safety in the Northern Premier League after another defeat, this time, in midweek as Stafford Rangers visited the NMG.

This was a game delayed by over 30 minutes after the floodlights failed around 40 minutes before kick off.  An electrician was called, probably at great expense for a club which appears, at least from reports, to be struggling to pay its players  but with a fault traced to the clubhouse, the lights did come on in time for a kick off shortly after 8:15pm on Tuesday night.

Shaun Goater’s men started the game well but when Reid found Perry a yard out, the visitors took a lead midway through the delayed opening 45 minutes and inside the same period, Stafford took a two goal lead under arguably controversial circumstances.

A quick free kick found the Robins back line napping, and Izak Reid turned from provider to scorer albeit needing a second bite at the proverbial cherry to do so.  The gathered media ensemble huddled around video replays which showed that Reid was offside but the goal stood

In the second half, Shaun Goater must have sent his troubled young side out with a few words of experience and wisdom and it was a case of ‘game on’ once more four after the hour when a 30 yard stunner from Luis Rose narrowed the deficit to 2-1 in favour of the visitors.

As the second half wore on, the Robins boss made two changes with Atkinson and Morris replacing Tyrell and Dwyer but the fresh legs couldn’t turn the game into a point or anything more and the borough side must now further contemplate a slide towards relegation that nobody wants but look very likely to get unless there is a turnaround of epic proportions – including from games in hand.

Grantham Town 1-1 Ilkeston FC – Saturday 11 March
Northern Premier League
The Northern Premier League status of Ilkeston FC is slipping away with the number of points needed to reach safety now into the teens, so a point secured at Grantham Town at the weekend may ultimately account for little unless a sudden run of opposite extremes becomes apparent.

The Gingerbreads were the hosts for the Robins who were the subject of much controversy in the week leading up to the tie with rumours of yet more confrontation between owner Nigel Harrop and the players over lack of pay, with some suggestions that players couldn’t even afford to get to training, much to Harrop’s reported wrath.

However, some way, somehow, players did manage to get to Grantham, there was no reported players strike and a team was put out to face their hosts.  Ironically, it was a former Ilkeston player – Luke Shaw – who scored against his former side to put his current side in the lead on 21 minutes, turning in from six yards out from a Danny Meadows cross.

But a dogged determination from the young Robins, now coached by former Manchester City player Shaun Goater, saw them equalise with 12 minutes of regular time to go.  A corner was won but neither well delivered by Ilkeston or cleared by Grantham and this gave Danny Gordon the chance to smash the ball home for a small piece of a morale boost for this continuingly struggling and problem plagued side.

Ilkeston FC 0-2 Warrington Town  - Saturday 4 March
Northern Premier League
There was long awaited win for Ilkeston FC when Shaun Goater took over from Paul Holland as Robins manager, but subsequent fixtures, where Mother Nature hasn’t intervened for a postponement, have not seen any further progress, more so, a resumption of disappointing results.

The latest came last Saturday when Ilkeston welcomed Warrington Town to the NMG.  The chances of escaping the drop look increasingly remote and with rumours that players haven’t been paid since November and a reported failure of players to turn up for training this week citing financial reasons, there is more than trouble at the doors of club chairman Nigel Harrop, fans also becoming increasingly restless.

For the game against Warrington, Shaun Goater’s men held out until the 68th minute when Ruben Jerome scored, and with a second conceded two minutes from the end of regular time, the news of a 2-0 defeat was enough of a difficult pill to take, but another would have come as players and management checked post match results elsewhere in the Northern Premier League.

Those results showed that both teams immediately above them in the table won – Sutton Coldfield winning 3-2 to surprise leaders Blyth Spartans, Corby Town victorious 3-0 over the basement side Skelmersdale United.

Figures and stats show Ilkeston to be 15 points from safety, albeit with games in hand on the four clubs closest to them in the Northern Premier League table.  A chance to win the first of them was through a scheduled Monday night game at Hednesford Town - a side who beat them 2-0 on home soil just a few short weeks ago - but that reverse fixture was postponed due to more rainfall and a waterlogged pitch.

Ilkeston FC 0-2 Hednesford Town – Tuesday 21 February
Northern Premier League
Saturday was nice – a first Robins win since October 22nd came at the weekend after a fifth minute Dexter Atkinson strike gave new manager Shaun Goater his first win in only his first game.

However, whether this was a mere honeymoon period for Goater remains to be seen, and evidence of the extent of work to be done to turn the proverbial ship around came on Tuesday night when Ilkeston welcomed Hednesford Town to the NMG.

The first half was a very evenly contested affair with the Robins displaying some positive game play, working the ball forward positively and with speed and when the game rounded up at 0-0 for the half time break, signs had already been positive with the visitors held well on home soil.

The second half got underway with work to do for Ilkeston who fell behind after a Jaylon Bather back pass fell short and allowed Thorley in to win a battle with Robins keeper Dale Eve and slide the ball home.

The scoreline remained the same with just over 20 minutes to go – Anthony Dwyer coming on for Morris at that point, but stoppage time saw Thorley score again, this time, powering through before finishing well.

It’s back to the drawing board for Shaun Goater and the Robins, that’s if they had already left it.