Premier Division... here we come
Saturday 28 April
Ilkeston FC can begin to make plans for life in the Premier Division of the Evo-Stik League after two goals in the space of three second half minutes by Matt Richards and Daryll Thomas clinched a 2-0 Play-off success against Leek Town.
It was a magnificent climax to the club's first season and as delighted manager Kevin Wilson said: "We've made history today and I couldn't be more delighted for everyone concerned."
He added: "Leek set up intent on making life difficult and hoping to hit us on the break and we needed to be patient and keep plugging away.
"But I have great faith in our players. I was confident that we would get there in the end. It's the culmination to a lot of hard work - on and off the field - and hopefully it's just the start of the journey for this club.
"As a group, the players have got better and better and I really hope that we can keep the squad together because I don't anticipate too many changes for next season."
Cheered on by a crowd of 1,670 - including actor Robert Lindsay, our must famous fan - it was another afternoon to savour and right from the off, it seemed only a question of if and when the Robins would force their way to the front.
Leek, with a five-man defensive formation, frustrated us in the first period and the closest we came to edging in front was shots from Richards (pictured) and Ryan Wilson that flashed narrowly wide.
But slowly but surely we got the upper hand and after Dan Partridge had forced a fine save from the goalkeeper straight after half time and Jack Watts headed wide, the breakthrough finally arrived after 67 minutes.
Gary Ricketts did well to control Laurie Wilson's cross from the right and set up the chance for Richards, and the former Derby and Wycombe midfielder fired in via the inside of a post.
Two minutes later, Ricketts was again the architect as we stretched our lead - Thomas gleefully scoring his third goal of the week in splendid fashion.
It would have been utterly fitting five minutes later had a fine header from Ricketts landed in the net following good work by Thomas instead of thudding against the bar. But that was just about the only thing that didn't go according to the script while for Leek, there was no way back from the two-goal blast.
The players went to the Clocktower Stand after the final whistle to be presented with a trophy to mark their promotion and chairman Dave Mantle said: "I'm absolutely delighted to see how much pleasure it has given the people of Ilkeston - let's hope there will be many more trophies to come."