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1945/46 NOTTS & DERBYS SENIOR LEAGUE FINAL TABLE
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1945/46 NOTTS & DERBYS SENIOR LEAGUE RESULTS

DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORERS
25 AUG Chilwell Garrison L1-5 HEMBURY
01 SEP DERBY ROLLS ROYCE D3-3 HEMBURY, WAGSTAFFE, E.PARRY
08 SEP Leicester City Reserves L1-8 TOPLIS
15 SEP BRINSLEY WELFARE W4-2 HEMBURY, GAYNOR, LEAKE, TOPLIS
22 SEP NOTTINGHAM FOREST RESERVES L1-3 TOPLIS
29 SEP DERBY COUNTY RESERVES L2-3 WAGSTAFFE, LEAKE
06 OCT Butterley Welfare L3-6 HEMBURY 2, WEBB
20 OCT OLLERTON COLLIERY RESERVES L2-3 HEMBURY 2
27 OCT Holbrook Miners Welfare L1-10 GAYNOR
03 NOV Shelton United W1-0 HEMBURY
10 NOV Derby Rolls Royce W3-2 HEMBURY 2, SYSSON
17 NOV LEICESTER CITY RESERVES L2-3 HEMBURY, WAGSTAFFE
24 NOV Brinsley Welfare W5-1 HEMBURY, BROUGH 2, GAYNOR 2
01 DEC Nottingham Forest Reserves L0-3
08 DEC Derby County Reserves W7-0 WAGSTAFFE 3, LEAKE (PEN), GAYNOR, BROUGH, HEMBURY
15 DEC BUTTERLEY WELFARE W5-3 BROUGH, WAGSTAFFE 2, GAYNOR, HEMBURY
26 DEC Ollerton Colliery Reserves W4-2 HEMBURY 2, WESTON, BROUGH
29 DEC HOLBROOK MINERS WELFARE L1-4 WESTON
12 JAN CHILWELL GARRISON W3-2 HEMBURY, WAGSTAFFE 2
06 APR SHELTON UNITED W9-1 HEMBURY 3, BROUGH 2, WESTON, GAYNOR 2, HENSHAW (PEN)

1945/46 DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORERS
QF 30 MAR HOLBROOK MINERS WELFARE W5-0 HEMBURY 2, GAYNOR 2, WESTON
SF 20 APR GRESLEY ROVERS W3-0 HEMBURY 2, TUNSTALL
F 17 MAY Buxton L1-3aet MEAKIN (PEN)

NB. The Final was staged at Chesterfield's Saltergate ground.


1945/46 NOTTS & DERBYS SENIOR LEAGUE CUP RESULTS

DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORERS
19 JAN Derby County Reserves L1-3 WAGSTAFFE
02 FEB BRINSLEY WELFARE L3-4 WAGSTAFFE 2, LEAKE (PEN)
09 FEB NOTTINGHAM FOREST RESERVES L1-2 HEMBURY
23 FEB Butterley Welfare L1-2 WESTON
09 MAR Ollerton Colliery Reserves L2-3 B.SMITH, MEAKIN (PEN)
16 MAR Holbrook Miners Welfare L2-6 GAYNOR, BROUGH
13 APR Shelton United L0-3  

NB. The league's top 8 clubs took part in this competition, played on a league basis with each team meeting each other once. The team which finished higher in the league had home advantage.

BEVIN BOYS BEATEN BUT NOT DISGRACED
25TH AUGUST 1945
CHILWELL GARRISON 5 ILKESTON TOWN 1
As Ilkeston took to the field a soldier in the crowd yelled "Come on the Bevin Boys". This was a reference to the efforts of the young miners during the Second World War.

This was never going to be an easy game for Town. Chilwell’s team of soldiers contained several men with Scottish League experience. In contrast the Ilkeston team was made up almost entirely of local players.

Chilwell’s aggressive attacking play was too much for Ilkeston during the first half. They had goalkeeper Joe Whitehead to thank for keeping the score down to 2-0. Matters had been made even harder when Marshall sprained his groin after just 20 minutes and Town were down to ten men for the rest of the half.

Marshall returned briefly after the break but was unable to continue. Depleted Town fought bravely despite conceding more goals and had their best spell late in the game. Frank Hembury scored a consolation goal when he beat a defender, rounded the goalkeeper, and tucked the ball into the empty net.

TOWN EARN FIRST POINT
1ST SEPTEMBER 1945
ILKESTON TOWN 3 ROLLS ROYCE 3
Defensive errors proved costly for Town as Tunstall grabbed a hat-trick for the visitors. Ilkeston played their part in an exciting game and deserved a share of the spoils. They had E. Parry to thank when he latched on to a fine pass by Bernard Wagstaffe he levelled with just five minutes to go.

Tunstall scored twice in the first half before Frank Hembury reduced the arrears when he placed the ball confidently past the advancing goalkeeper. Despite further first half pressure Town were unable to find an equaliser.

Ilkeston immediately put on pressure after the break but Tunstall scored again against the run of play. Town did not give up hope and took advantage of a tiring Rolls Royce team. First Wagstaffe pulled a goal back with a fine shot. Then came Parry’s moment of glory.

CITY’S LATE GOAL FEAST
8TH SEPTEMBER 1945
LEICESTER CITY RESERVES 8 ILKESTON TOWN 1
While Leicester’s team, which contained several first team regulars, undoubtedly deserved to win the difference between the sides was not as great as the score suggests. However, City scored five times in the last 15 minutes to destroy Ilkeston’s spirited resistence. Doug Gregory and Jack Oliver were passengers towards the end and City took full advantage.

Town began brightly and Percy Toplis saw his shot saved but City took the lead on 20 minutes through Grant. Soon after, they doubled the lead but Toplis gave Ilkeston hope when he knocked the ball home after the ball came back off the bar. Moments later Town thought they had equalised but the referee ruled that the ball had not crossed the line.

Ilkeston continued to battle bravely in the second half but they started to struggle against their fitter opponents. Joe Whitehead made a string of fine saves but once Grant scored Leicester’s fourth on 75 minutes Town ran out of steam.

OFF THE MARK
15TH SEPTEMBER 1945
ILKESTON TOWN 4 BRINSLEY WELFARE 2
Ilkeston recorded their first ever victory in a match that kicked off 35 minutes after the scheduled kick off time due to the late arrival of the visitors. Brinsley appeared to be making up for lost time with a flurry of attacking moves early on but the long clearances of Witham and Norman Daykin launched several dangerous Ilkeston counter attacks.

One such clearance by Daykin led to a sweeping break and Frank Hembury was on hand to give Town the lead. Later in the half another long ball by Witham led to Len Gaynor doubling the lead with a low drive. Walters scrambled a goal back for Brinsley before Ilkeston threatened again, Bernard Wagstaffe’s fierce shot bringing a good save.

Town produced some fast attacking play in the second half and missed several chances before Reg Leake added a third with a brilliant goal. Then Percy Toplis beat the flat footed goalkeeper with a shot five minutes from time before Morris netted a consolation penalty for the visitors in the 88th minute.

POOR TOWN CAN’T DOUSE FOREST FIRE
22ND SEPTEMBER 1945
ILKESTON TOWN 1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST RESERVES 3
Town produced their worst performance to date and were deservedly beaten by a Forest side who showed greater understanding and cohesion. Ilkeston, however, lost possession far too easily and their ponderous defence lost possession all too frequently in dangerous areas. The visitors led 3-0 before Percy Toplis grabbed a consolation goal for Ilkeston.

IMPROVED ILKESTON FALL TO ANOTHER DEFEAT
29TH SEPTEMBER 1945
ILKESTON TOWN 2 DERBY COUNTY RESERVES 3
Luck didn’t favour Ilkeston who sportingly loaned Jack Parry to the visitors who arrived a man short. In an exciting game Webb almost put Town ahead early on but it was Derby who took the lead. Joe Whitehead was to blame for allowing Draper’s low shot to slip through his grasp into the net.

Town responded strongly as Bernard Wagstaffe grazed the bar with a rasping shot but the visitors were dangerous on the break. Whitehead atoned for his earlier error with several good stops.

County added to their lead when Colin Walker fired a fine cross in off the post but Ilkeston pulled a goal back before the interval when Wagstaffe coolly finished after receiving a fine pass.

Ilkeston gradually assumed control after the break. Hembury headed a superb Wagstaffe cross just over but in doing so received a head wound which required attention off the pitch. However, ten man Town equalised through a great shot by Reg Leake. Once Hembury returned to the fray Ilkeston looked the likelier winners but it was Derby’s Cyril Walker who had the last word when he latched onto a long ball before firing in off a post.

TOWN DESTROYED BY FOUR GOAL BLAST
6TH OCTOBER 1945
BUTTERLEY WELFARE 6 ILKESTON TOWN 3
Ilkeston failed to come to terms with a treacherous surface but it wasn’t until a disastrous final few minutes that they were condemned to another defeat.

Butterley swiftly adapted to the conditions better but found goalkeeper Joe Whitehead in good form. Whitehead was finally beaten on 25 minutes by Ball’s header, a goal which seemed to bring Town to life. An equaliser duly came five minutes later when Percy Toplis’ corner was headed home by Frank Hembury. Bernard Wagstaffe came close to giving Town the lead before half time when he received a good pass from Toplis but his powerful shot was well saved.

Ilkeston’s best spell came early in the second half. Wagstaffe hit the bar before Town went ahead. Toplis’ low corner found Hembury who turned well and drove the ball into the net.

Butterley equalised when Ilkeston failed to play to the whistle. With a Butterley player down injured the defence froze allowing a home forward to take the ball through the heart of the defence for a soft goal. Then Butterley took Ilkeston apart with a four goal blast in the last 10 minutes, Ball, Sumner and Riley amongst the scorers. In the final minute Wagstaffe did well down the left and his centre was met by Webb for a consolation goal. But it was too little too late.

TOWN MISS OPPORTUNITY
20TH OCTOBER 1945
ILKESTON TOWN 2 OLLERTON COLLIERY RESERVES 3
Defensive frailties once again proved costly in a match that they otherwise deserved at least a point. The two teams were evenly matched but Ilkeston heads dropped in the second half after Meakin conceded a penalty from which Ball scored to put the visitors 2-1 up. Hickling added a third and it was only in the latter stages that Town battled back through a clever Frank Hembury goal ten minutes from time. Despite late pressure they were unable to level the scores,

The match began well enough for Ilkeston when Frank Hembury nodded in a Bernard Wagstaffe centre on nine minutes and Joe Whitehead made several fine saves. However the goalkeeper was at fault for Ollerton’s equaliser before half time when he allowed Ball’s low shot to slip through his fingers.

DEBACLE
27TH OCTOBER 1945
HOLBROOK MINERS WELFARE 10 ILKESTON TOWN 1
No match report available. Len Gaynor scored Ilkeston’s solitary goal.

TRANSFORMED TOWN PICK UP FIRST AWAY WIN
3RD NOVEMBER 1945
SHELTON UNITED 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
In contrast to recent performances Town produced an excellent team performance. Defensively they were sound and they were altogether a more determined outfit. In fact they should have won more comprehensively against a poor Shelton side who failed to come to terms with a greasy surface.

Although Shelton had a goal disallowed before the break Ilkeston dominated the first half with Frank Hembury having a header and a fierce shot well saved. Ron Marriott had to make only one save of note in the Ilkeston goal.

Town improved further still in the second half and looked more dangerous. A Reg Leake header was just off target, Hembury’s header from a Bernard Wagstaffe cross was saved and then Percy Toplis’ 20 yard shot was stopped. Town finally took the lead on the hour through a crisp first time Hembury shot. They remained in control for the remainder of the game and missed opportunities, created mainly by Hembury, to extend their lead

REVIVAL ROLLS ON
10TH NOVEMBER 1945
ROLLS ROYCE 2 ILKESTON TOWN 3
The non arrival of the referee made for a hasty decision to appoint Town general secretary Bernard Shaw as the match official. The game kicked off late as a result and it was agreed that the game would be of 80 minutes duration. No one informed the home crowd, however, and they were incensed when Shaw brought the game to an end with their team a goal in an arrears. A potentially ugly situation was resolved when the spectators learned that the playing time had been reduced.

Town deserved their win but after they raced into the lead they slackened and almost paid the price. Frank Hembury headed Ilkeston into the lead after the ball came back off the bar on 4 minutes. Town then seemed in control although Ron Marriott was forced into a couple of saves. Marriott could do little about the Jets’ equaliser, unsighted as he was as the ball came through a crowded goalmouth.

Hembury restored Ilkeston’s lead on 19 minutes when he spectacularly hooked the ball home and when Chubby Sysson added a third with a header from Jack Smith’s corner it appeared to be game over. Rolls Royce pulled back a goal just before half time.

There were fewer incidents after the interval although Town had a few anxious moments as the home team looked for an equaliser.

WINNING CITY NOT SO SLICK
17TH NOVEMBER 1945
ILKESTON TOWN 2 LEICESTER CITY RESERVES 3
Ilkeston fell to their fourth successive home defeat but the result flattered a City team who could easily have gone home with nothing. Town had virtually all of the play but had no luck. Leicester led 2-0 at half time. Their first goal was clearly offside.

When Leicester added a third in semi-darkness with a shot that Marriott never saw it obviously wasn’t going to be Ilkeston’s day. To their credit they came back strongly. Frank Hembury scored a fine goal and then missed a great chance. Bernard Wagstaffe blasted past Calvert for Town’s second but they were unable to find an equaliser.

BRINSLEY BLOWN APART
24TH NOVEMBER 1945
BRINSLEY WELFARE 1 ILKESTON TOWN 5
Ilkeston destroyed Brinsley with three goals in the opening 14 minutes and from then on the result was never in doubt. Their forwards took full advantage of a greasy surface to torment the home defence. Town took the lead on 4 minutes with a lovely move involving Meakin, Len Gaynor and Bernard Wagstaffe that ended with Frank Hembury cracking home from 25 yards. Jackie Brough added a second pouncing on the rebound after the goalkeeper blocked his initial effort. On 14 minutes Brough scored again with a smart header from Wagstaffe’s cross.

A Reg Leake 30 yarder clipped the bar as Town continued to dominate although Joe Whitehead had to make a smart save at the other end. With Ilkeston starting to ease up Brinsley pulled a goal back through Morris following a neat move and Whitehead was forced into another fine save. However, Town took control again. Brough almost scored a brilliant individual goal when his final shot was saved. But then a lovely cross from Chubby Sysson was struck first time by Gaynor to put Ilkeston 4-1 up.

Town sat back after the interval but still managed a fifth goal when Gaynor’s shot took a slight deflection.

FOREST TOO STRONG FOR TOWN
1ST DECEMBER 1945
NOTTINGHAM FOREST RESERVES 3 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Nottingham Forest’s strong second half display was too much for an Ilkeston team that had shown up quite well during the first 45 minutes. Forest took the lead on 47 minutes and when Town went down to ten men due to Jackie Brough’s pulled muscle there was no way back. Allen made it two with a fine solo goal and this was the cue for almost constant Forest pressure. A late Ilkeston revival was thwarted by Williams’ 85th minute strike.

Forest had also begun the game strongly but Ilkeston picked up and Brough and Len Gaynor forced a couple of fine saves. Meakin almost scored with a shot that proved a handful for the goalkeeper although Joe Whitehead had to make a fine save just before half time to keep the scores level.

DESTRUCTION DERBY
8TH DECEMBER 1945
DERBY COUNTY RESERVES 0 ILKESTON TOWN 7
Ilkeston overwhelmed and outplayed the Rams from the moment Bernard Wagstaffe’s fierce shot gave Town a 2nd minute lead. Frank Hembury saw a shot saved soon after and although Ron Marriott was called into action at the other end Town made it two through a Reg Leake penalty. Jackie Brough and Len Gaynor both saw shots saved before Derby had a chance to haul themselves back into the game. Norman Daykin handled on the line but Marriott saved the low spot kick.

Gaynor forced a fine save following a strong run but he quickly added Town’s third. Brough added the fourth before half time when Wagstaffe’s shot crashed off the bar.

Derby tried to push forward after the break but it was Wagstaffe who came closest to scoring when his left foot shot was saved. However, on 50 minutes, he had better luck with his other foot. He struck the ball so sweetly that the ball flew through the net! Hembury headed a sixth before Wagstaffe completed his hat-trick, the first ever by an Ilkeston Town player.

HOME SWEET HOME
15TH DECEMBER 1945
ILKESTON TOWN 5 BUTTERLEY WELFARE 3
Ilkeston won at home for the first time in three months thanks to a good first half display. However, they showed a lack of killer instinct after the break. Jeff Weston and Bernard Wagstaffe both got in shots early on before Ron Marriott was forced into a rare save. Town took the lead on 10 minutes when Jackie Brough took advantage of neat build up play. Ten minutes later Wagstaffe scored with a fierce shot. The same player added a third before the break when he burst through to finish in style.

Len Gaynor fired home a fourth on 48 minutes and then Frank Hembury added another when he ran through to beat the ‘keeper. Ilkeston then relaxed and allowed Butterley to restore some self respect. Sumner’s shot from the left found the target on 65 minutes and then Riley scored. Sumner added a third following a corner.

TOWN MAKE IT THREE IN A ROW
26TH DECEMBER 1945
OLLERTON COLLIERY RESERVES 2 ILKESTON TOWN 4
Town’s impressive form continued although they struggled during the first half. Lacey gave Ollerton the lead before Frank Hembury levelled after Jackie Brough’s effort came back off the bar. Bad luck struck Ilkeston before the break when Norman Daykin’s attempted clearance bounced off Reg Leake and into the net for an own goal.

Ilkeston were much more confident in the second half and goals from Hembury, Jeff Weston and Brough sealed the points.

HOLBROOK HEAD FOR TITLE
29TH DECEMBER 1945
ILKESTON TOWN 1 HOLBROOK MINERS WELFARE 4
Holbrook did enough to win a scrappy game against an Ilkeston team that lacked the cutting edge of recent weeks. Their victory took them ever closer to the Notts & Derbys League title.

The unmarked Saxelby fired the visitors into a fifth minute lead. This setback sparked Ilkeston into life. Jeff Weston twice shot into the side netting and one of his crosses found Bernard Wagstaffe who could only shoot straight at the ‘keeper from 15 yards. Hibbert cleverly tucked away Holbrook’s second on 20 minutes and the same player ran through the middle unchallenged to add a third on the hour.

Wagstaffe and Frank Hembury both went close to pulling one back but it was Weston who finally managed it. Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished when Parker headed past Ball four minutes from time.

TOWN WIN CHILWELL THRILLER
12TH JANUARY 1946
ILKESTON TOWN 3 CHILWELL GARRISON 2
A thrilling game led to a tense finale when both teams squandered chances to score. Ilkeston had the best of the opening exchanges but Chilwell took a 10th minute lead when Maynard netted from 10 yards. Within 30 seconds Town were level. Bernard Wagstaffe laid the ball off perfectly for Frank Hembury to drill into the far corner. Ilkeston began to apply constant pressure and on 31 minutes Hembury fed Wagstaffe who held off two challenges before driving into the net. Soon Ilkeston were down to nine men as Norman Daykin (leg) and Jackie Brough (mud in the eye) received attention but both were soon to return. Len Gaynor and Brough both went close before half time.

Ilkeston extended their lead early in the second half. Gaynor laid off Frank Henshaw’s neat pass for Wagstaffe to finish in style. Hembury and Wagstaffe forced a couple of good saves before Chilwell launched attacks of their own. Henshaw and Daykin both cleared off the line before Barr reduced the arrears in the 70th minute. A Reg Leake header and shots from Hembury and Jeff Weston were all saved before Ilkeston had to survive a few anxious moments near the end.

RAM RAIDERS
19TH JANUARY 1946
DERBY COUNTY RESERVES 3 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (LEAGUE CUP)
On a frozen surface bordering on the dangerous Town came a cropper against a strong Derby team with plenty of first team experience. Both teams showed attacking intent early on. A Len Gaynor screamer brought a fine save which was matched at the other end by Mitchell. On 9 minutes Ilkeston went in front. Frank Henshaw’s neat pass found Jeff Weston whose deep cross was thumped against the post by Jackie Brough. Bernard Wagstaffe was on hand to push in the rebound. Mitchell made another good save before Derby levelled, Knight hooking the ball over his shoulder into the top corner. After Brough shot just over Wainwright scored a fine goal and then Ted Attwood, later to become an Ilkeston player, headed in from a corner before half time. The second half was a duller affair with both teams taking it steady due to the state of the pitch.

WET AND WOEFUL
2ND FEBRUARY 1946
ILKESTON TOWN 3 BRINSLEY WELFARE 4 (LEAGUE CUP)
In heavy rain Town produced a poor display and would have won had they played to their potential. After early Ilkeston pressure Brinsley took the lead on 15 minutes through Watchorn. Town drew level when Frank Hembury fed Bernard Wagstaffe who scored with a first time shot. Jackie Brough’s delightful cross was headed over by Wagstaffe before the break.

Brinsley went ahead again on 50 minutes through Timms. Ten minutes later it was all square when Wagstaffe finished off a lovely move. However, on 65 minutes, they were trailing again when Hankin scored. Loose defending then allowed Miller with all the time in the world to beat Mitchell, stranded on his line, to make it four. Only in the desperate last ten minutes did Ilkeston look like getting back. Brough was felled and Reg Leake placed the penalty past Bowmer but they couldn’t find an equaliser.

UNLUCKY TOWN SLIP TO THIRD CUP DEFEAT
9TH FEBRUARY 1946
ILKESTON TOWN 1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST RESERVES 2 (LEAGUE CUP)
Ilkeston strove manfully on a soggy pitch but lost to a late goal. Ron Moore’s 88th minute blunder in front of his own goal allowed Goodman to score from the simplest of chances. The game had begun in an exciting fashion with both Frank Hembury and Jeff Weston shooting into the side netting. Bernard Wagstaffe then struck a fierce shot that hit the Forest goalkeeper. Mitchell was called upon at the other end to make a couple of decent saves before Frank Hembury’s shot gave Ilkeston a tenth minute lead.

Bad luck then hit Town. Over the next few minutes Wagstaffe, Hembury and Dawson all left the pitch through injury. Although all returned for the second half only Hembury was anything like fit enough.

Somehow the eight men of Ilkeston held on until half time but their exertions meant that they quickly tired after the break. Lee levelled the scores on 54 minutes yet Town defended bravely until the late cruel goal.

INJURY JINX STRIKES AGAIN
23RD FEBRUARY 1946
BUTTERLEY WELFARE 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (LEAGUE CUP)
Ilkeston’s run of misfortune continued. In the first half they were repeatedly denied by goalkeeper Dick Pickering (who later played for Ilkeston) before falling behind to a 43rd minute goal from W. Ball. Town thoroughly deserved the 55th minute equaliser, a cracking shot from Jeff Weston, but they were stunned soon after when J. Ball netted for the home side following a controversial drop ball decision.

Worse was to follow. Incessant pressure was applied on the Butterley goal but on a rare break by the home side Town defender Meakin collided into Mitchell in a mix up between the pair. Mitchell suffered a broken jaw although Meakin was able to continue minus a few teeth. As hard as they tried Ilkeston couldn’t find an equaliser.

DEBUTANT ATKIN HAS GAME TO FORGET
9TH MARCH 1946
OLLERTON COLLIERY RESERVES 3 ILKESTON TOWN 2 (LEAGUE CUP)
Town fell to another narrow cup defeat despite dominating the early stages of the game. Jack Oliver, Jackie Brough, Frank Hembury and Jeff Weston all went close and then Hembury saw a good header saved. It was no surprise when they took the lead. Weston and Len Gaynor combined well before Brian Smith controlled and struck home a 25 yard drive. In the 25th minute it all started to go wrong, however. Strange equalised with a slow shot that deceived goalkeeper Joe Atkin and Ilkeston started to fall apart. Tansey headed Ollerton in front a minute before the break.

Town came out stronger in the second half and equalised through a Meakin penalty awarded for handball. Encouraged by the goal Town went in search of a winner but were rocked by a diving header by Tansey after Atkin failed to cut out Bowler’s cross. Gaynor then shot over the bar and when Brough went off injured 15 minutes from time it clearly wasn’t going to be Ilkeston’s day.

CHAMPS THRASH TOWN AGAIN
16TH MARCH 1946
HOLBROOK MINERS WELFARE 6 ILKESTON TOWN 2 (LEAGUE CUP)Holbrook proved once more to be much too strong for Ilkeston. This was not too surprising as their side included players with First Division experience. It took them just five minutes to take the lead, following a corner. Ilkeston showed great determination, however, and Len Gaynor levelled with a terrific shot. This seemed to give Town great heart and they took the game to Holbrook. But, against the run of play, Hibbert put the home side back in front. Undaunted Town equalised just before half time when a lovely move involving Jeff Weston, Gaynor and Frank Hembury ended with a thunderous shot by Jackie Brough.

Holbrook showed their class after the interval. They went 3-2 up on 51 minutes and never looked back. Two goals in a minute, the latter from Spooner on 74 minutes, rounded off an emphatic victory.

TOWN SENSATION
30TH MARCH 1946
ILKESTON TOWN 5 HOLBROOK MINERS WELFARE 0 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP QUARTER-FINAL)
Ilkeston reserved their finest performance of the season for the visit of Holbrook, champions of the Notts & Derbys Senior League, in the Derbyshire Senior Cup. Holbrook had scored twenty times in three previous meetings with Town.

In a thrilling game played in spring weather, goalkeeper Eric Walker was soon called into action but Ilkeston quickly took control. Frank Hembury gave Town the lead from a Jeff Weston corner and although both goalkeepers were forced to make saves the Holbrook ‘keeper was easily the busier of the two and he had to be at his best to keep out efforts from Len Gaynor and Webster. Hembury also went close with two headers.

Town got even better after half time. On 47 minutes they went further ahead with a superb goal. Hembury’s intelligent dummy run created the space for Gaynor to burst through the middle to score with a left foot drive. The third came soon after when Gaynor pounced on a mistake by the ‘keeper. Then, on 59 minutes, Ilkeston went four up, Hembury latching onto Weston’s cross. Play quietened down after that but there was still time for Ilkeston to crown a wonderful display with the goal of the match in the 87th minute. A lovely move ended with Weston executing an inch perfect lob.

SHELTON SHELLSHOCKED
6TH APRIL 1946
ILKESTON TOWN 9 SHELTON UNITED 1
Ilkeston concluded their league fixtures with a resounding victory. The match began in dramatic fashion, Frank Hembury putting Town ahead inside the first minute only for Tomlinson, looking suspiciously offside, to equalise a minute later. From then on there was only one team in it. Jackie Brough let fly on 15 minutes to put Ilkeston ahead again and five minutes later Jeff Weston scored with a lovely shot from the left hand side of the area. On 39 minutes Hembury shot home from 10 yards following a corner and then a fine move involving Weston and Brough ended with Len Gaynor scoring shortly before half time.

A minute after the break Brough made it six following a neat pass and Gaynor added another with a left foot drive on 59 minutes. Frank Henshaw converted a penalty given for handball before Hembury completed his hat-trick ten minutes from time.

SHELTON GAIN REVENGE
13TH APRIL 1946
SHELTON UNITED 3 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (LEAGUE CUP)
It was hard to believe these were the same two teams that met the previous week. The match was played over just 80 minutes. Ilkeston, struggling on a poor pitch, were very disappointing and disjointed. Although Frank Hembury headed just over early on Shelton soon took command. On 20 minutes Robinson deflected a long range shot beyond Eric Walker to give them the lead. Selby then scrambled a second on the stroke of half time.

Ilkeston improved slightly in the second half but Robinson added a third against the run of play. Town fought to get something out of the game but were unable to score, thus making it seven defeats in seven League Cup ties.

Play deteriorated for the rest of the half. The expected Gresley onslaught never materialised after the break and Ralph Tunstall added the third on 58 minutes.

Injuries to Len Gaynor (ankle) and Jeff Weston which resulted in the latter leaving the pitch 15 minutes from time made no difference to the outcome and indeed Ilkeston could have added to their tally, Jackie Brough and Hembury forcing the goalkeeper into good saves.

TOWN REACH FINAL
20TH APRIL 1946
ILKESTON TOWN 3 GRESLEY ROVERS 0 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP SEMI-FINAL)
Gresley Rovers frequently looked like they could get something out of the game but they failed against an Ilkeston team in control throughout. As early as the second minute Town took the lead when Frank Henshaw’s through ball released Frank Hembury who coolly lobbed the advancing goalkeeper. The same player scored again eight minutes later when he latched onto a long ball and stroked the ball home. Ralph Tunstall added Town's third.

ILKESTON HEROICS NOT ENOUGH
17TH MAY 1946
BUXTON 3 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP FINAL @ CHESTERFIELD FC)
Ilkeston put up a brave fight against a Buxton team containing several guest players from Football League clubs. They gave their all and managed to take the game into extra-time. Buxton deserved to win but Ilkeston could take great pride from their performance, especially Eric Walker who was outstanding in goal.

Both teams attacked early on. Frank Hembury had a shot saved and Jackie Brough’s header was just too high. Buxton almost took the lead in a goalmouth scramble and Quinn should have done better when he shot wide with only Walker to beat.

Robinson shot over as Buxton continued to press but on 67 minutes they finally took the lead. Walker’s only error of the game was costly. Unable to hold a tame shot Baker was able to push the ball into the empty net. Town showed great character, however, and six minutes from time Meakin showed great compsure to score from the spot. In an exciting finish Hembury almost grabbed the winning goal but the game went into extra time.

In the 100th minute Quinn scrambled Buxton’s second. When Ron Moore conceded a penalty it looked to be game over but Walker made a brilliant save. In the second period of extra time Jeff Weston’s cross was shot inches over the bar by Hembury. It wasn’t until the final minute that Buxton made the game safe, Quinn adding his second goal to finish Town’s brave bid for the cup.