Ilkeston FC News

Ilkeston FC News

Updated 11th February: The latest news for Robins fans and reports from the past month.

Ilkeston FC 0-5 Blyth Spartans – Saturday 3 February
Northern Premier League
Even before the weekend game at the NMG, the fixture itself was one of David versus Goliath – Blyth Spartans were the visitors on Saturday, and were certainly leading the way come the final whistle, without even having hit top gear against an Ilkeston side which quite simply had no muscle for the fight.

The Robins side was devoid of Luis Rose and Jaylon Bather who were both nursing injuries but Anthony Dwyer was in and there was a debut for Dante Leverock, his fellow Bermudan, Dale Eve between the sticks.

The sunshine of the day reflected sunnier climbs for the Bermudans, but the temperature was not so hot, despite the sand on the pitch to soak up moisture.  The game – the first of six out of the next seven to be held at home - was barely ten minutes old when Blyth took the lead – Robbie Dale’s run and cross finding Jarrett Rivers who headed home.  Ilkeston had constructed a few attacks over the opening half hour but these petered out to nothing.

On the stroke of half time, the Spartans took a two goal lead – a throw finding Dale who turned and shot to find the net from 25 yards.  At the break, Paul Holland sent out Tevahn Tyrell for Dexter Atkinson and this made for a slightly brighter start to the second half.

However, any hopes that Ilkeston players and management had were quickly snuffed out as Rivers scored his second after the hour mark – Rivers in space and able to finish well but with ease.  The final half hour commenced with a Spartans fourth – sub Adam Wrightson scoring with his first touch of the game and with around 20 to go, it became 0-5, Maguire unmarked and able to head home from a corner for a victory which was more than emphatic, the Robins continuing to disappoint, the manager still working to add some fresh legs to turn the tide which will have to turn soon to avoid the club being cast adrift.

Only Skelmersdale United kept them off the Northern Premier League bottom come the final whistle, but there’s little between the two league strugglers.

Barwell FC 2-1 Ilkeston FC – Saturday 28 January
Northern Premier Division
Whether Ilkeston FC will be able to stop the run of games without a win running unto the 20s remains to be seen but it is already a figure in the increasingly higher teens.

Paul Holland’s struggling Robins side made the trip to face Barwell on Saturday with the manager having recently said that a couple of new names could well help the club turn the corner.  Signs of some sort of progress have come with only narrow defeats to the odd goal in recent games, but the progress is still not transferring into wins and points on the board of any kind.

However, hosts Barwell were not exactly on the best of form going into the game, having gone within a win in five games themselves, but it was the home side that took the lead after 21 minutes.  Former Derby County striker Callum Ball slotted into the top corner from the edge of the box, his third goal in three games.

But Ilkeston were soon back on level terms, just four minutes later in fact after Dexter Atkinson surged through and finished well.  Ball was almost a thorn in Ilkeston’s side on two other occasions, but newly arrived Bermudan keeper Dale Eve pulled off two brilliant saves to deny Barwell taking the lead.

Anthony Dwyer is back at Ilkeston – the former Mansfield Town man only arrived at the NMG comparatively recently but was soon on his way to join the Gladiators – Matlock Town – in North Derbyshire, but his brief spell there was even more brief than his previous time at Ilkeston, and with Luis Rose having succumbed to injury, he came on in his place.

Barwell upped the ante in the second half though, keen to stop their poor run without a win, Dale Eve required but stood up to the test of collecting and feeding the ball back out.  Ilkeston did maintain a challenge and were odds on for a point until the very latter stages of the game.  There were eighty one minutes on the clock when Brady Hickey made it 2-1 Barwell, the Robins having hung their hopes on what would have been a small but welcome morale booster – but again, it wasn’t to be.

Ilkeston FC 0-1 Corby Town – Saturday 21 January
Northern Premier League
In the days leading up the weekend, Ilkeston FC manager Paul Holland said that he felt that a couple of extra players would help the ailing club turn a corner in the wake of a number of narrow defeats by the odd goal.  Holland also mentioned that the 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Mickleover Sports over the festive season had been something the club had moved away from.

Almost propping up the Northern Premier League, the Robins are in danger of dropping down a level – the NPL has been a league in which the club have existed since being reformed from the ashes of Ilkeston Town FC – and a league from which clear ambitions were set on being reformed to get back to where the predecessor club had been.

So there was more to contemplate for officials and fans who watched their club fall to another 1-0 defeat, this time to Northamptonshire visitors Corby Town on Saturday.

This was, in truth, a battle with relegation rivals, and the game was ultimately decided with something far short from a clear cut goal.   There was evidence of effort in abundance from Ilkeston, much like there had been in other recent games, but this was something that couldn’t make up for the early goal to which the Robins ultimately fell.

With just 11 minutes on the clock, Corby were forced into making a change, Ryan Bell on for the injured Steve Kinniburgh and within two minutes of making his appearance, Bell, was on hand to respond after Jamie Hannis parried a shot from Jordan Crawford, Bell turning the ball in from a few yards out.

A second goal was almost carved out 11 minutes later, Crawford having gone wide moments before, poor defending putting Ryan Green in but he could only hit the bar,  Connor Kennedy shooting over from six yards after that.

On the half hour, Dexter Atkinson set off down the right, and found Luis Rose whose shot was saved well down low by keeper Aidan Grant.  Jaylon Bather then missed a chance from a corner eight minutes later, a ball nodded down was turned wide.

Sutton Coldfield Town 1-0 Ilkeston FC – Saturday 14 January
Northern Premier League
When Ilkeston Town FC folded and SR Education grabbed what was left and turned the club around, the organisation set out an aim to take the club back to the level from which they had been demoted.  The folding of Ilkeston Town FC over around £50,000 of tax debt saw the club knocked down two pegs by footballing officials, but turn the clock on a couple of years, and there’s a very real risk now that Ilkeston FC will be dropping another level down the football pyramid after the Robins reached 15 games without a win on Saturday.

The home of the TV transmitter, Sutton Coldfield is also the home to Sutton Coldfield Town and they were the hosts at the weekend.  The game was an arguable six pointer as Sutton are also at the wrong end of the table, the Robins being one of only a few teams sitting below them in the Northern Premier League table.

The home side controlled game play for the opening half an hour and whilst they had opportunities to open the scoring early on, lacked a cutting edge in the final third.  The Ilkeston keeper ventured off his life – something spotted by Sean Geddes who tried an audacious lob only to watch the ball go wide, much to the Robins’ relief.

Sutton almost took the lead when Josh Cooke was brought down by a sliding tackle in the box but assistant referee Phil Hardisty contemplated before awarding a corner.

With this game being a six pointer, it was perhaps of no surprise that just one goal decided it.  The goal came on the stroke of half time from Grimsby Town loanee Max Wright curled a shot, which may well have a pass instead, which found its way into the far corner of the net.

The second half had little action of note to report, Ilkeston with the best chance when a free kick was not cleared by Sutton – the header clearly looking like heading to the bottom right hand corner, only for a great save to be pulled off by their keeper to tip it around the post.

Delays ensued when Danny Callaghan succumbed to a serious injury for Sutton, the player hospitalised as a result but there was to be no way back for a luck-less Robins who plunged even deeper into a crisis from which there appears to be little or no way back at this stage of the season.