Ilkeston Town FC News

Updated 21st October: The latest news for Robins fans...

Ilkeston Town FC 4-2 Chelmsley Town FC – Saturday 14 October
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
Die-hard Robins fans ticked off another new name from their list on Saturday as their side welcomed Chelmsley Town to the New Manor Ground for the latest Midland Division 1 match.

The visitors almost gave the home fans something to celebrate immediately, Peter McGuire almost allowing the ball to go under his feet and into his own net..  Seven minutes later, Ilkeston were close to taking the lead after a Tom Marshall corner hit the bar before being scrambled away.  After his early calamity, McGuire began to find himself quite busy – saving well from Smith after a neat flick on by Gibson

On the quarter hour mark, Marshall hit the bar again, brother Alex seeing a shot saved by the ever busy McGuire in the visiting goal, Gibson thwarted twice by the shot stopper.  With half an hour gone, Ilkeston did finally find the net – captain Jamie Walker scoring from the spot after Smith was tripped in the area.

Four minutes later, it was 2-0 – Alex Marshall sending a looping header over everyone including the Chelmsley keeper and into the net.  It was almost up and over the top once more two short of the break – Smith picking up a long pass, lobbing the keeper but sending the ball narrowly over the bar.

Thanks to the visiting keeper, Chelmsley found themselves only two down at the break.  Unsurprisingly, Chettle made no changes for the second half, but if Ilkeston had become complacent or over confident, they were made to pay for it three short of the hour when Adam Keeley bundled the ball home from a corner.

From the restart though, the response was swift and emphatic – with two quick goals from Smith and two minutes later, from Alex Marshall who was denied his hat-trick six after the hour having missed two good chances.

McGuire was continuing to perform heroics to keep the score down, denying Gibson on 69 but Chelmsley weren’t going to give up without a fight and narrowed the deficit to 4-2 with just under fifteen minutes to go courtesy of a Barrett tap in.

There could have been more goals for Ilkeston with chances a plenty, something, along with the four goals that were scored – being something for the 533 present – well, at least most of them, to cheer about.

Ilkeston Town FC 5-1 Mickleover Royal British Legion – Tuesday 10 October
Derbyshire Senior Cup Round 1:
Ilkeston Town FC began plotting their path through the early stages of the Derbyshire Senior Cup with the visit of West Derby side Mickleover Royal British Legion on Tuesday night.

The Robins were very quickly into the ascendancy in this cup encounter with an excellent run and shot after just five minutes from Smith, and thirty minutes later, it was 2-0 – Walker’s through ball found Smith to score his second which set the half time scoreline.

Two minutes after the break, Alex Marshall made it 3-0 to the Robins – that was just moments after Smith had been denied a hat-trick but three minutes after Marshall added an Ilkeston third, Smith missed another chance to claim the match ball.

Four minutes short of the hour, the visitors were gifted a consolation goal after an error in the Ilkeston back line but the Legionnaires almost scored an own goal twelve minutes from time after Lonsdale cleared the ball but only as far as his own woodwork.

It was 4-1 to Ilkeston four from time after the Mickleover keeper Asley Warner dropped the ball from a corner, Hopkinson pouncing to slot it home and he ensured himself of a brace in added time for 5-1 after a long ball was played in.

The Robins will entertain Dronfield Town at the NMG in Round 2 – to be played during week commencing 6th November.

Attendance: 285.

Studley FC 3-1 Ilkeston Town FC – Saturday 7 October
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
Last Saturday was Non League Day across the UK. With no Premiership or Championship action due to the international break, this was a chance for clubs outside of the Football League to steal some much deserved limelight.

Ilkeston Town were on the road on Non League Day to pay a visit to Studley FC – a lively start ensued for both sides on a pitch in prime conditions and with plenty of travelling Robins fans present.

The Robins were close to taking the lead after just eight minutes – Gibson sending a ball from the edge of the box but denied by the keeper who parried as far as Alex Marshall but another great save denied him too.   Walker tried an overhead kick on the quarter hour mark with the keeper rooted but the ball fizzed just over the bar.

Still the pressure continued – Walker’s through ball, Marshall striding forward, but a defender stopped him before he took a shot, a penalty looking obvious, the referee deciding otherwise as the game reached boiling point and the referee beginning to wave a yellow or two.

The pressure finally paid off for Ilkeston five minutes before the break – Walker’s square ball, Gibson picking up for a tap in from two yards out.  However, it only took Studley eight minutes of the second half to level – Cowley managing to poke the ball past Ian Deakin. 

Two minutes later came a game changer – Lench sent off for Ilkeston after a midfield altercation of some sort.  Eight further minutes later, Studley made the extra man count, a spot kick awarded and converted after Shaw was adjudged to have taken a striker down.

White went inches wide as the Robins pushed for an equaliser twenty-three minutes from time, the game opening up and with Ilkeston beginning to put themselves at risk as they continued to level, Jemson’s goal line clearing keeping them in the game, action remaining in front of the Studley goal in the main though.

In injury time, Studley scored a third from a breakaway move but by that point, the game was practically lost and Robins frailties exposed with the loss of Lench earlier.

Ilkeston Town FC 4-1 Brocton FC – Tuesday 3 October
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
Good times appear to be back at the New Manor Ground and not before time too.  The Robins, now under the hold of Alan Hardy and led by former Forest legend Steve Chettle, were reformed earlier in the season from the ashes of the now defunct Ilkeston FC – a name fans in particular would prefer never to hear again.

They didn’t need to hear it on Tuesday night nor have cause to as the Robins continue to ply their trade at Midland Football League Division 1 South level with the visit of Brocton FC.

The hosts set their stall out and took the lead on the quarter hour mark.  A defensive error in the Robins backline allowed a 0-1 scoreline against them, although Montel Gibson almost equalised within a minute or so, heading close in reply.

With 35 minutes gone, Ilkeston Town came about as close to scoring as they had done all game, Walker hitting the post but the half rounded out with the same scoreline and with a need for a half time team talk from Chettle to rally the proverbial troops.

When they came back out, they were early, but were unchanged.  However, with just over ten minutes played in the second half, Chettle rang the changes, Fairclough and Bennett coming on for Hodgets-Young and Smith.

Three minutes later, the Robins were level – Walker’s corner headed home by Jemson on the hour, and the second goal wasn’t long behind – another corner, Jemson again involved, White on the line to touch the ball in.

Brocton rallied and almost drew level 22 minutes from time – McMahon with an easy chance but it was a chance wasted.  Ilkeston weren’t done though, White hitting the crossbar with fifteen to go and with the game continuing to warm up, much to the delight of the 361 fans watching.   Three minutes from time, there was a third Robins goal – Hopkinson shooting, watching as the shot was saved but acting quickly enough to put the follow up away and in added time, Ilkeston scored a fourth – Wheatley this time, shooting, the ball ricocheting off a post, hitting the keeper and going in.

Perhaps this was a difficult game for fans to watch, but the scoreline more than made up for it, and the fact that the result carried Steve Chettle’s men to fourth place in the Midland Division 1 South table was an added bonus.

Ilkeston Town 1-3 Leicester Road – Saturday 30 September
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
Ilkeston Town FC continue to edge their way into competitive life in the Midland Football League Division 1 South, and for fans, management and players alike, the new names continue to come before them. 

Last weekend, Leicester Road paid their first visit to the NMG – a side that many conclude should be at the sharp end of the table and challenging for the title come the end of the season.

Despite this, Ilkeston Town took the lead with just three minutes on the clock and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Montel Gibson who scored, a well taken chance from the edge of the box, a quick move past a defender, before drilling the ball across the keeper and into the bottom left hand corner for 1-0 Robins.

Nevertheless, the visitors had a bright start to the game and could have gone ahead themselves through Munton after just a minute, but he could only shoot narrowly wide.

By the midway point of the first half, Ilkeston keeper Ian Deakin had been challenged four or five times but was in command, but moments later, Leicester drew level – the visitors with a well worked move forwards, and a sweet finish from Gomes from 18 yards, the ball hitting the crossbar and bouncing in behind Deakin for 1-1.

Walker had a back-post header tipped over on 32, the ball out for a corner, the corner followed by a scramble but the ball stayed out of the Leicester goal.

Two minutes into the second half, Leicester were ahead – Gomes again, but Ilkeston were almost straight back on level terms – Gibson with a turn on the edge of the box, the ball curling to the top right corner, but it was a fine save to deny him.

Shortly after the hour, another Ilkeston chance, Walker on the left, in space, crossing precisely to find Gibson four yards out, but Kingsley-Smith challenged successfully.

565 were watching as the visitors consolidated their lead and secured the win with just over 15 to go – a header from a corner nestling home beyond Deakin, a scoreline played out to the final whistle despite best efforts.

Ilkeston Town FC 4-1 Hinckley AFC – Saturday 23 September
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
It would seem that the good times are back at the New Manor Ground and after such a long period of disappointment for players, management and fans alike, this is welcome news indeed.

Newly formed at the beginning of this season, thanks to the intervention of Notts County owner Alan Hardy, this new side, led by Steve Chettle is settling nicely into life at Midland Football League Division 1 South level.

Saturday saw the Robins welcome Hinckley Afc - a side who have also faced their fair share of anguish over recent years, almost slipping into obscurity themselves before reforming.

But it took only fifteen minutes for Ilkeston to find an opening goal – a long ball from Walker was headed bravely past an advancing keeper by Alex Marshall to tap in from close range and five minutes later, it was almost 2-0 when a well directed header from Montel Gibson went just over from a Clarke cross.   Hinckley pushed for a quick reply and got on seven minutes before the break – another well-directed free kick, this time from Butler for the visitors left Robins keeper Ian Deakin rooted to the spot.

Ilkeston took the lead seven minutes after the restart and never looked back, only forwards – Gibson calmly collecting a through ball to slot it past the Hinckley keeper Whitcombe who saved well two after the hour from a Marshall effort.

In front of 551, the Robins continued to push for more goals and got them.  With 66 on the clock, Ale Marshall set up Montel Gibson who scored sweetly.  Deakin was required to save well a minute later though which set up a counter which almost put Gibson in for a hat-trick.

Time ticked down to the final three minutes at 3-1 Robins, Whitcombe again saving well, but two minutes later Alex Marshall made it 4-1 after breaking away and scoring to the right hand side of the keeper, the keeper’s left.  Job done and some!

ROBINS RETURN: MAGPIES OWNER COMPLETES DEAL FOR ILKESTON FC:  The Chairman of Notts County FC Alan Hardy has completed a deal to take control of Ilkeston FC.

The Magpies owner acquired what was left of the club - wound up over around £14,500 of debt - to establish Ilkeston Town FC - the name of the club which collapsed seven years ago but different due to the exact name registered at Companies House.

The new club will play at Step 6 of the league pyramid and in the Midland Football League Division 1.

Mr. Hardy is a prominent local businessman and entrepreneur and took control of League 2 side Notts County earlier this year.  He spoke out a few weeks ago to express how keen he was to ensure that Ilkeston still had a football club in the way it had been most recently established and with his name being added to the Companies House listing at the end of June, it is perhaps no surprise that he emerged as front-runner in taking over the troubled Robins.

As reported by Erewash Sound SPORT on Facebook previously - former Ilkeston FC assIstant manager to Kevin WIlson and Forest legend Steve Chettle has been appointed as manager of the new club on a three year deal assisted by Ian Deakin.  Both Wilson and Chettle left Ilkeston for Nuneaton at the end of the 2014/2015 season.

Mr. Hardy recently released a statement which said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have completed my purchase of Ilkeston FC and can confirm that the club’s name will revert to Ilkeston Town Football Club with immediate effect.

“It is with great excitement that I also announce Steve Chettle as the club’s new manager following his departure from National League North side Nuneaton Town, where he was assistant manager.

“Steve is an Ilkeston and Nottingham Forest legend who I’m sure will prove to be an exciting appointment for supporters.

“He will be assisted by Ian Deakin, who brings plenty of experience and local knowledge after managing Kimberley last season.

“Having grown up in neighbouring Eastwood, I simply couldn’t allow one of the East Midlands’ finest non-league clubs’ existence to cease when I knew there was a viable method for me to take it forward.

“I am grateful to the FA for giving us the opportunity to compete in the Midland Football League Division One this season and it’s now time to move on with making Ilkeston Town a success on and off the field following a very challenging period for the club.

“Ilkeston Town will have its own corporate governance, with separate directors, financial structure and accountability.

“Naturally, as would be the case between any professional and semi-professional football clubs, there will be an opportunity for transactions when it comes to such things as the loaning of players, sharing of expertise and so on.

“I am absolutely committed to making Ilkeston Town not only self-sustainable, but also competitive and ambitious in aiming to claim a place in the second tier of non-league football in the medium term.

“I vividly remember my seven-year-old self-standing behind the goal, bang in the centre, lapping up every minute of derbies between Ilkeston Town and Eastwood, as well as other local matches involving the likes of Long Eaton, Heanor Town, Belper, Kimberley and Arnold. They were all blood- stirring encounters and all those memories have enabled me to carry great enthusiasm into my career in football.

“I am now looking forward to working with the people of Ilkeston to develop a club they, and their town, deserve.”

It is understood that Erewash Borough Council has collectively backed Mr. Hardy's plans. Dean Nelson, for joint liquidators Smith-Cooper said: “Ilkeston FC is a pillar in the local community, so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to achieve a sale of the business and its assets, with Erewash Borough Council’s support, ultimately securing football to be played this season. Credit is also due to the fans who have remained passionate and patient throughout this difficult time whilst a sale has been concluded.

“The club has a fantastic track record of developing players through its academy and remains at the heart of its local community.  I am confident that Alan Hardy and his backroom team will transform this club and provide a solid platform for it to achieve long-term success.”