News

Departures of Larell King, Liam Loughlan, and Bailey Waern

Ilkeston Town FC confirms the departures of Larell King, Liam Loughlan, and Bailey Waern.

 

Larell King joined the Robins on November 3rd and made a significant impact with 25 appearances. His memorable performances include the away match against Guiseley, where he made multiple crucial challenges and a vital goal-line clearance.

Liam Loughlan signed after previously being with Salford City. He made 10 appearances for the Robins, debuting in a 2-0 defeat against Hyde United in October. This season, Liam also spent time with Long Eaton United under a dual registration agreement.

Young defender Bailey Waern, who signed in March also departs.

 

Ilkeston Town extends its best wishes to Larell, Liam, and Bailey for the future.

Connor Brown Signs

We are delighted to announce the signing of Connor Brown. Despite competition from clubs higher in the pyramid and other club within the Northern Premier League, Ian Deakin gets his man.

The former Oldham Athletic, Barrow, York City, and Buxton full-back joins Ian Deakin’s squad ahead of the 2024/25 NPL campaign. Welcome, Connor 

Following the announcement of Connors signing, Ian Deakin said

“Connor is a player with vast football league experience. He came through the youth ranks at Sheffield United and has most recently played for Buxton in the National League North.

“He is a very good one v one defender and can play anywhere across the back line, showing great versatility.

“He has a very good level of experience to help our younger players as well, that know how is something will help us massively this season.

“We’re delighted to have Connor on board.”

ROBINSON IS THE FIRST ROBINS SIGNING AHEAD OF THE 2024/25 CAMPAIGN

We are delighted to announce the signing of centre half, Mitchell Robinson. Most recently with Loughborough Dynamo, Mitchell reunites with Ian Deakin, having been his captain at Long Eaton United.

Following the signing of Mitch, Manager, Ian Deakin said:

‘Mitch is a powerful and commanding centre half but is also versatile in the way that he can play higher up the pitch if needed.

“He’s very direct, very strong, scored a lot of goals from centre half and I think he will add steel to our back line and competition to the players in there already.

“Mitch is someone who I have worked with previously, he’s a leader and a very good defender. Sometimes I think that in this league teams are very direct against you and he will add that bit of combativeness in terms of our defending in the box.

“He’ll be a great character to have around and I’m sure he’ll hit the ground running.”

Robins finish 2023/24 campaign with a defeat at Warrington Rylands

Saturday 27th April 2024 | Northern Premier League

Warrington Rylands  2 Ilkeston Town 0

Ilkestons eight game unbeaten run came to an end in their final match against playoff side Warrington Rylands. Keeper Matt Yates who has played in every league game this season was outstanding again and kept the Robins in the game until the final 15 minutes when Momodou Touray broke the deadlock. A Ben Hardcastle penalty deep into added time sealed Ilkestons fate.

Rylands started strongly and Yates denied Ben Hardcastle then had to make a double save to keep out Dan Cockerline. Rylands defender Liam Brockbank made a surging 40 yard run down the left all the way to Ilkestons box before letting fly and bringing another fine save by Yates. Ilkeston then had a chance to go ahead when Tom Cursons was dragged down in the area. The referee initially waved away Ilkestons appeals but after consulting his linesman he changed his mind and gave a penalty. Unfortunately Jamie Walkers spot kick thudded against the foot of the post and came back into play. Ilkeston had another chance when Luke Pilling saved a Cursons header from Walkers cross. LVarn Brandy drew gasps from the crowd with some fine skills but it was Rylands making the better chances and Mark Duffy was next to be denied. Yates and Tom Marshall with some fine defending had done well to keep Ilkeston level at half time.

Rylands started the second half as they ended the first looking for the win that could give them home advantage in the playoffs and Ilkeston were forced to spend most of the time defending. Ilkeston had a lucky escape before Cockerlines deflected effort was saved by Yates as the pressure mounted. It took 75 minutes for the breakthrough to arrive when Touray stabbed the ball home following a corner which wasnt cleared. The goal brought an immediate response from the Robins. Alex Marshall forced his way past two defenders but saw his effort saved by Pilling. Ilkeston fought hard to rescue a point but Rylands victory was sealed when they were awarded a penalty in the 5th minute of added time. Despite the defeat, its a mid table finish for Ilkeston with 60 points from their 40 matches.

Written by John Attewell

Photo by MPsportsphotography

Robins win final home game of the season

Saturday 20th April 2024 | Northern Premier League

 Ilkeston Town  3  Morpeth Town  2

Goals from Tom Marshall, Jonathan Wafula and Tom Cursons gave Ilkeston a fifth win on the bounce in their final home game of the season but a late Morpeth goal by Jack Foalle made it a nervy finish.

 

The match started slowly and it took 20 minutes before the game came to life with former Ilkeston keeper Dan Lowson making the first of several outstanding saves. His reflex save from Callum Minkley’s header was quickly followed by skipper Jeff Henderson’s clearance off the goal line. But a goal was soon to come when Tom Marshall headed in from Declan Eratt-Thompson’s corner on 23 minutes. The lead didn’t last long and Morpeth equalised from a Dan Barlow free kick which took a massive defection which left Matt Yates stranded. There were appeals for an Ilkeston penalty when Cursons appeared to be tripped inside the Morpeth penalty area but a free kick on the edge of the area was the outcome. Just before half time Morpeth had their best spell and were close to taking the lead when Andrew Johnson’s close range shot was deflected just wide.

 

Ilkeston were out of the blocks quickly for the second half. Connor Dixon’s shot was saved then Wafula’s follow up was deflected wide. Cursons was then through with Lowson to beat but the keeper blocked his effort. Cursons had another chance when found by James Perch but again Lowson denied him. A goal had to come and it was Wafula who blasted past Lowson to restore Ilkeston’s lead following a corner. Morpeth were denied an equaliser shortly afterwards when a Foalle header was adjudged to be offside. The best goal of the game came on 62 minutes when Connor Dixon’s brilliant surging run and cross was hammered home by Cursons to make it 3-1. Ilkeston were then comfortably in control and Lowson kept Morpeth in the game with outstanding saves first from L’Varn Brandy and then from Cursons. The mood changed though on 78 minutes when the visitors reduced the arrears through Foalie’s strike that went in off the post. The same player had another chance for Morpeth but blazed his effort over the bar before Eratt-Thompson almost made the game safe for Ilkeston.



Robins extend unbeaten run to six as they beat Playoff contenders Ashton United

Saturday 13th April 2024 – Pitching In Northern Premier League

Ashton United  1  Ilkeston  Town 2

Ilkestons remarkable away form continued with a fine win against playoff contenders Ashton United. Goals from Jonathan Wafula and Tom Cursons sealed a third consecutive away victory. Cursons goal was his 10th in 15 games. No wonder he is being watched by other clubs.

Despite heavy rain the pitch was declared playable and it was ilkeston who adapted better to the conditions. Jamie Walker created an early opportunity for Ilkeston with a brilliant burst forward and cross but the first real chance fell to Ashtons Jason Gilchrist who sliced his shot wide from inside the area. At the other end Alex Marshall lifted the ball over Cooper and into the net with a spectacular lob but the offside flag had been raised. Ilkeston went ahead on the half hour mark following a brilliant double save by Ashton keeper Paul Cooper. Cursons created the opportunity when he intercepted the ball and drove forward down left before cutting inside. Cooper blocked his angled effort but ball fell to Wafula, Cooper then saved brilliantly from Wafula but the same player followed up again and Cooper was finally beaten. On 40 minutes Ilkeston nearly added a second when Cooper couldnt hold Declan Eratt-Thompsons cross which led to a frenzied scramble in the goalmouth. Just before half time Matt Yates was fortunate when his clearance hit an Ashton player and came back to him but Ilkeston were well worth their half time lead.

Ilkeston doubled their lead eight minutes into the second half when Lindon Meikles precision pass into the box was finished in style by Cursons. Ashton responded and Tom Marshall showed his defensive prowess stopping a dangerous attack with a superb tackle. Gilchrist headed into the side netting then Cooper did well to keep out a Cursons effort from the edge the area. Yates didnt look like being beaten but Ashton pulled a goal back on 76 minutes. It was a fine effort drilled in by Benny Couto from just outside the area to set up a tense finish. But with 10 minutes normal time remaining Ashton were reduced to ten players when Gilchrist received a straight red for an elbowing offence when challenging for a high ball. With nothing to lose Ashton threw caution to the wind and chances came at  both ends. A fine save by Yates in stoppage time ensured Ilkeston registered their 9th away win of the season.

 

Written by John Attewell

Hutchinson scored his first goal as Robins beat Atherton Collieries 3-0 at home

Sat 6th April 2024

Northern Premier League

Ilkeston Town  3  Atherton Collieries  0

The Robins made it five games unbeaten against almost certain to be relegated Atherton Collieries. The strong wind didnt help Athertons cause but Ilkeston were always in charge and the Colliers created very few chances. After a goalless first half Ilkeston clicked Into gear with second half goals from Tom Cursons, Callum Minkley and Ben Hutchinson.

Ilkeston started the match kicking into the wind and it was soon apparent that any high balls forward would be blown off course. Ilkeston had an early opportunity when Collieries keeper Tom Donaghy did well to block a close range shot from Jaiden White. Connor Dixon fired wide before Atherton won a corner which the wind blew behind. On 8 minutes The Colliers had a chance to strike first from a free kick just outside the area. It was a decent effort from Ethan Beckford but his shot just cleared the crossbar. Declan Eratt-Thompson had a shot blocked then Tom Marshalls attempt drifted wide. Atherton seemed content to keep numbers in defence rather than take advantage of the wind and the first half ended goalless.

Cursons fired straight at Donaghy then Yates saved from Beckford as the second half started brightly. Cursons gave Ilkeston the lead on 50 minutes with a finish from Whites cross. Cursons was then close to scoring again but his header from a Larell King cross was well held by Donaghy. Eratt-Thompson sent over a superb in-swinging corner similar to the one he scored from in the last home game. This time it was headed off the line at the far post. A second Ilkeston goal arrived on 70 minutes and It was a great finish by Callum Minkley making it two in two games when he connected powerfully with a free kick into the box. Atherton briefly threatened a reply following a corner which Ilkeston had trouble clearing but the hosts were always more likely to score. Alex Marshall forced his way past a defender before his close range attempt was blocked. Donaghy had to race 40 yards out of his goal to clear from Cursons but in added time Ilkeston scored a third goal much to the annoyance of the Atherton keeper who thumped the ground in frustration. It came from a low free kick into the box after Jamie Walker had been fouled. Donaghy seemed to have it covered but Hutchinsons contact took the ball past him and into the net.

 

Written by John Attewell
Photo by Jim Bolton

Late comeback gives Robins three points at Matlock

Bank Holiday Monday 1st April 2024

Northern Premier League

Matlock Town 1 Ilkeston Town 2

Late goals by Jaiden White and Callum Minkley turned this Bank Holiday fixture Ilkestons way after It looked like a 74th minute rocket by John Johnston had won it for Matlock. A very wet pitch made it difficult to do anything but play the ball long and up until the first goal it looked like a stalemate.

Ilkeston were first to create an opportunity which Connor Dixon fired wide then a Matlock shot hit one of their own players at the other end. Tom Cursons dribbled past Myles Wright and put the ball in the net but the offside flag was raised. Yates saved well from Tavonga Kuleya and Dixons effort was too high. Kuleya had another crack from the edge of the box following a corner but it flew just wide of the angle of post and bar. Matlock had an optimistic penalty shout but it would have been soft if given. White was causing Matlock problems down the left and he set up chance for Jonathan Wafula which was saved. The Gladiators had another opportunity just before half time after Yates had made a brave save at the feet of Liam Hardy but couldnt keep hold of the ball. A goalmouth scramble ensued but Ilkeston managed to clear and the first half ended goalless.

Matlock started the second half strongly with Yates having to tip a cross shot over the bar. Matlock skipper John Johnston then fired narrowly wide.after being found by Scott Boden. Wafula had a shot blocked then Wright did really well to claim Larell Kings teasing cross under the crossbar. Lindon Meikle created an opportunity for himself but saw his effort curl just wide. It was looking like one goal would win the game and on 75 minutes Johnston put Matlock ahead with a superb free kick into the top corner. Ilkeston then had a penalty appeal following an off the ball incident not seen by the referee. Jamie Walker had an effort blocked but on 83 minutes White smashed in the equaliser from close range. Both teams looked for a winner and Cursons nearly got it after picking up Yatess long clearance but lifted his shot over the bar. Right on time Minkley rose to head home the winner and Ilkeston took all three points.

 

Written by – John Attewell

Photo by – Jim Bolton