Robins keen to address League away form
Monday 15 October
Ilkeston FC go in search of a club record fifth consecutive victory at Stafford Rangers tonight – which would, in contrast, also be our first away win in the Evo-Stik Premier Division this season.
We have won our last two away games, beating Stourbridge 1-0 in the FA Trophy and winning an FA Cup replay 5-1 at Belper, having previously won 1-0 at Evo-Stik Division One South pacesetters Coalville in an earlier round.
But that form has yet to translate into League action on our travels where all four games have ended in defeat by the odd goal, at Nantwich, Chorley, Rushall and Frickley.
With confidence now high following the recent upturn in form - which has also included New Manor Ground triumphs over Gresley in the FA Cup and Stocksbridge - manager Kevin Wilson is optimistic things can be different at the Marston Road Stadium.
“We are unbeaten in five now with four wins and a draw and that is the kind of consistency we are looking for in the League as well as the cups,” said Wilson.
“When you look at the table, the one thing that stands out is that we have not scored enough goals, even though we have created plenty of chances, which is something we have to improve.
“But we have shown we can win away at three good sides in Stourbridge, Belper and Coalville in the cups, so there is no reason why we can’t in the League too.”
Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Stocksbridge, secured by substitute Dereece Gardner, was notable for our first clean sheet in League competition this season.
Wilson believes that is a clear sign that we’re functioning more effectively than in the early weeks of the season.
He said: “For me, it’s always nice to get a clean-sheet and one of the things I’m always looking for from my teams.
“It shows me that we are working hard from the front to back to stop people scoring against us. It is a recipe for doing well and will give people confidence going into the Stafford game.”
As has often been the case this season, we will travel to Staffordshire without experienced performers and long-term absentees Gary Ricketts, Russell Cooke and Laurie Wilson.
Aaron Hooton went off with a dead leg against Stocksbridge while Chris Jones (pictured) missed out with a hamstring injury – and both will have to prove their fitness to be in with a shout of selection.
“Chris will be touch and go, but we are hoping Aaron will be okay with some rest,” said Wilson. “Up front is one area now where we do have a bit of versatility and can change it.
“People will look at Daryll Thomas and think he was left out on Saturday, but from my point of view he was rested. We have to remember Jordan Smith cannot play in the FA Cup.”
* Fans are urged to come down and back our Academy squad who are in FA Youth Cup third qualifying round action against Lincoln City at the New Manor Ground tomorrow night, with the winners to play Notts County. Admission is £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for under-16s.