Ilkeston Town FC News

Ilkeston Town FC News

Updated 23rd March: The latest news for Robins fans...

ROBINS LOOKING FOR RECORD CROWD:  This Saturday, Ilkeston Town are hoping that a crowd of over 1000 will see their clash with Racing Club Warwick.

Admission prices have been reduced to £1 for Adults & Concessions, Under 16s go free.  Entry is also free for all Notts County Season Ticket holders.

Nottingham Forest and Derby County have a free weekend due to the International break and Notts County play on Sunday, so with this is mind, Ilkeston Town are hoping that the reduced ticket prices will entice some of these fans, looking for their football fix, to the New Manor Ground.

The Ilkeston Town Juniors are now part of the club, and they will be introduced to the crowd before the game.  They will also take part in small sided games against Racing Club Warwick Juniors, kick off for this game is at 1:30pm.

Officials hope that you can spread the word to family and friends and look forward to seeing you at a packed New Manor Ground where the gates open at 1:00pm.

Brocton FC 1-3 Ilkeston Town FC – Tuesday 20 March
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
With momentum seemingly well behind them at the moment, Ilkeston Town FC took to the field once more on Tuesday night with an away game at struggling Brocton FC.

With the right results, there was a chance to close the gap to leaders Walsall Wood to just a point and move into second.  The first half finished without a goal, although, a Billy Bennett free kick on 15 minutes met by Alex Marshall was saved by the keeper’s finger tips.  Lench was also needed to clear a free kick in a dangerous position two minutes after the half hour, the result cross back in also scrambled away.

Bennett came inches away from finding the far corner seven from the break but neither side had created significant chances and it was left to the occurrences of the second half to determine the result.

Three minutes into that period, Lavelle-Moore, a hat-trick hero at the weekend, scored his fourth in the space of four days, after a great run and cross from White, to set up a tap-in.  Five minutes later, it was 0-2 to the Robins, Wheatley’s neat turn and finish finding the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Brocton quickly narrowed the deficit through a Stuart strike and a minute before the hour, keeper Jamie Hannis made a great save at the near post to avoid the home side levelling the score but the Robins had some pressure to sustain as Brocton ramped it up.   Alex Marshall replaced Ben Morris for the final 20 odd minutes as Chettle sought to shore things up and push on where possible and although Brocton might have hoped to rescue something from the game, hopes were dashed on 73 with a match winning third for Ilkeston when Charlie Jemson headed the Robins further ahead from a Jamie Walker corner.

White was replaced by Mark Green, Lavelle-Moore by Conor Green in the closing fifteen minutes and with Leicester Road beaten away at Cadbury Athletic, Ilkeston did move to second, but four points behind leaders Walsall Wood who were 3-1 away winners in their game, the leaders with a handful of games in hand.

Pershore Town 0-4 Ilkeston Town – Saturday 17 March
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
Just a week after a 2-1 win at The NMG, Ilkeston Town played the reverse fixture against Pershore Town away from home on Saturday, the fixture list once again throwing up a bizarre circumstance for fans, players and management to contemplate.

With a clear pitch and sunny conditions in the build-up, this wasn’t a game to fall foul of the snowy weather affecting much of the country, the Robins travelling without Tim Hopkinson due to a long-standing personal commitment before he signed for the borough club, but there was a place in the starting eleven for a man who made the subs bench in the previous weekend fixture – returnee and fans favourite Malachi Lavelle-Moore.

He was to be a shining light in this game to further endear himself to fans – scoring in only the third minute following up a shot from Alex Marshall which was cleared off the line, Lavelle-Moore quick to pounce from the clearance.

He made to 0-2 with just ten minutes gone when he met a great cross to sweetly direct a header past Pershore keeper Wilcox.   Fairclough almost made it three shortly before the quarter hour mark, whilst moments later, Walker shot over the bar.

There was nearly an own goal for Pershore on 21 minutes, Matthewson almost making matters worse after connecting with a Tom Marshall cross, whilst shortly after the half hour, Lavelle-Moore was denied a hat-trick by an offside flag.

The game remained at 2-0 Robins until eight minutes before the hour – Lavelle-Moore was not to be denied a hat-trick and capitalised on a defensive error to take the ball around a few defenders to score.

Fairclough, who went down six from time and needed treatment was eventually subbed in the second half five before the hour, but for the hosts, the third goal had dealt a blow to a promising looking start to the second half for them.  Lavelle-Moore came close again 21 from time but 15 from time, Mark Green scored a debut goal following his recent arrival from Borrowash Victoria, at close range, although both him and Jamie Walker were in with a shout. 

There were more efforts from Morris, Jemson and Walker in the closing minutes, demonstrating the Robins having been drilled to play to the whistle, but the win was more than assured and the march in this debut season goes on.

ROBINS SIGN VICS STRIKER GREEN: Ilkeston Town FC manager Steve Chettle has completed the signing of striker Mark Green.  The 26 year old has joined the Robins from Borrowash Victoria where he made 17 starts, and scored 14 goals in the process.

Announcing the details behind his move, Mark said: “I got a message from Ian Deakin, asking if I’d be interested in joining Ilkeston, I know Billy Bennet, Chris Shaw and Jamie Hannis. I’ve been training with the squad for a couple of weeks now and fitted in quite well.”

Mark joined the Army aged 16 and spent six years in the forces.  During his time in the army, he represented the England Army U23 team. “I scored quite a lot of goals for the army squad and really enjoyed my time with them.”

The signing was completed in time to enable Mark to be available for the weekend game at Pershore Town.

Ilkeston Town 2-1 Pershore Town – Saturday 10 March
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
With many matches having fallen due to a torrent of rain in the run up to the weekend fixtures, there was game for which ground staff were determined would go ahead – and despite everything that Mother Nature could throw at it, the New Manor Ground pitch looked in tip-top shape for the visit of Pershore Town on Saturday.

The Robins XI nor the subs bench would have no place for Montel Gibson although the reasons, at least partial, would become known in the aftermath of this game.

With five minutes on the clock, Bennett sent a delightful ball which was met by the head of Alex Marshall who in turned arced the ball over the keeper and in, only for the linesman to rule the effort out.   Shortly after the quarter-hour mark, Lench sent a great strike towards goal from 30 yards, forcing the Pershore keeper to touch it over for a corner which came to nothing.

Walker was denied on 25, after a great counter attack, with the finishing shot blocked and still the efforts came from the home side – the half hour mark saw Hopkinson flick the ball to Alex Marshall whose effort forced another save, however, Ilkeston weren’t to be denied and with 36 played, a shot from 20 yards this time from Walker found the bottom corner for 1-0 Ilkeston.

The second half was only two minutes old when Pershore scored an equaliser – Ntamark beating Shaw in a race for the ball, the victor controlling before slotting past Ian Deakin in the Robins goal.

Ntamark was playing a key part in this game, going down four before the hour from a Jemson challenge, Jemson carded for his infringement, but the resulting free kick merely struck the wall.

On the hour, returnee Malachi Lavelle-Moore made his debut for the newly formed Ilkeston, his last appearance being for the club’s previous guise in 2016-17.  Four minutes later, Hopkinson again forced a save from Wilcox, but had the ball have found the net, it wouldn’t have counted after the Robins player had strayed offside.

Ilkeston still pushed in search of a match winner, fresh legs brought on during the final 20 minutes and the 470 fans in attendance were sent home happy when the almost endless push was finally rewarded five minutes from time – Hopkinson was not to be denied and smashed the ball home from inside the area.

The players still pushed on for another – Lavelle-Moore’s header deflected wide, Tom Marshall’s corner drifting wide of the back post, but the win was assured and another three points were bagged.

Alfreton Town 2-0 Ilkeston Town FC – Tuesday 27 February
Derbyshire Senior Cup
We’ve seen the worst that Mother Nature’s Winter wrath can throw at us, but nevertheless, Ilkeston Town FC had already faced a postponement to their Derbyshire Senior Cup game away at Alfreton Town, due to bad weather.

Despite the imminent onslaught of the so-called ‘Beast From The East’ and everything that was coming before hand, the two sides finally got together in a rearranged fixture to play for the chance to meet Chesterfield in the final of the Derbyshire Senior Cup in April, with the game being played in the Amber Valley – after ground staff had gone out with brushes to uncover pitch markings, otherwise, the pitch was more than able of taking a studded boot.

The Robins started brightly, and although Alfreton had the first chance, Walker cut inside and curled just over the bar with 12 gone.  Ilkeston were pushing well and competing with the hosts from a higher league. 

In goal for llkeston was Jamie Hannis, back at the club for a second term and he saved well shortly before the half hour when the hosts broke into space, Sharpe in the box, looking likely to score, but Hannis thwarted the effort.

Two minutes later, Walker was clear but was unable to convert the promising position and could only shoot wide and Lavell White saw a yellow for a dangerous looking tackle six before the break.

In the second half, Hannis saved well again minutes after the restart, from Westcarr’s strong drive but there was agony and an end to the game for Martin Lench, injured, getting up, but limping and ultimately subbed by Fairclough.

Johansson was equal to a Walker cross and Alex Marshall shot two minutes after the hour but six after it, Hannis was beaten, courtesy of a Daniels free-kick.  Ilkeston responded well and a great strike from Tom Marshall just two minutes later went just over the bar.  A minute later though with 72 on the clock, two goals in five minutes were capped off as Daniels calmly slotted home a second for Alfreton.

Ilkeston didn’t give up, Gibson sent out for Hopkinson, Alex Marshall in space but shot wide on 83, and a minute from time, Walker set off on a good run but his shot was meat and drink to Johannson, game up, Ilkeston denied a final in this hugely successful season but they returned to the borough with their heads held high.

Hinckley AFC 4-2 Ilkeston Town FC – Saturday 24 February
Midland Football League Division 1 South:
Saturday saw Steve Chettle’s Ilkeston Town FC make the trip into Leicestershire to take on Hinckley AFC, like the Robins, recently reformed from the ashes of its predecessor club.

The battle of the comparative newbies saw the Robins in commanding form in the first half, although it was honours even for the opening few minutes. Hinckley grew into the game and had a few shots saved over the opening half of the first half but shortly afterwards, the visitors went ahead – a Tom Marshall cross was headed in at close range by Tim Hopkinson on 25.  He almost made it 0-2 just a few minutes later, but his header looped over the bar on that occasion.

There were around eight minutes to play before then half time break when Hopkinson did score his second – pouncing on Marshall’s blocked free kick to place the ball past the Hinckley keeper/

0-2 in the Robins’ favour at the break, the second half saw one man ultimately bring about the disintegration of the game for Ilkeston.  Within two minutes, Hart scored one of four goals, the first from close range, then six minutes into the second 45, he chased down a long ball, before cutting inside and slotting the ball past Ian Deakin to level up at 2-2.

Bookings then affected both sides as the Robins looked to try and settle and regroup, but the regrouping wasn’t enough to stop Hinckley taking the lead – Hart reaching his hat-trick twenty from time, quick to follow up a parry from Ian Deakin for 3-2. 

Although a good save was made by O’Neill from a Shaw free kick two minutes later, Deakin had to make a good save shortly afterwards as Hart chased a fourth for him and his side.  Both sides made substitutions, Hinckley merely because they could and Ilkeston because they were doing nothing more than chasing the game.

A minute from time, Hart did get his fourth goal – a defensive mix up allowing him in and that was enough of that.  The Robins will have been disappointed at the Jekyll & Hyde performance but will need to regroup swiftly with a rearranged Derbyshire Senior Cup tie at Alfreton on Tuesday night.   As for Tim Hopkinson, he could draw some consolation having polled over half of the votes for the Man of the Match title.

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.”