09 20






1971/72 SOUTHERN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION (NORTH) FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts
1 Kettering Town 34 23 6 5 70 27 52
2 Burton Albion 34 18 13 3 58 27 49
3 Cheltenham Town 34 20 4 10 72 51 44
4 Rugby Town 34 18 7 9 52 36 43
5 Wellingborough Town 34 15 10 9 73 44 40
6 Stourbridge 34 13 14 7 59 42 40
7 Kings Lynn 34 14 11 9 62 45 39
8 Corby Town 34 15 9 10 47 35 39
9 ILKESTON TOWN 34 14 11 9 44 38 39
10 Banbury United 34 14 5 15 54 46 33
11 Bury Town 34 14 5 15 47 44 33
12 Wealdstone 34 14 5 15 51 58 33
13 Lockheed Leamington 34 15 3 16 41 52 33
14 Gloucester City 34 8 8 18 46 61 24
15 Stevenage Athletic 34 8 8 18 41 69 24
16 Bletchley 34 7 7 20 36 70 21
17 Dunstable Town 34 5 7 22 29 75 17
18 Barry Town 34 1 7 26 22 84 6


1971/72 SOUTHERN LEAGUE RESULTS

DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
24 AUG Banbury United W2-0 500 BUCKLEY, NAYLOR
11 SEP Dunstable Town W3-1 127 STAINWRIGHT, RANN 2 (1 PEN)
25 SEP Corby Town L0-4
02 OCT WEALDSTONE D0-0 531
09 OCT Bletchley L2-3 BREWSTER, NAYLOR
16 OCT CHELTENHAM TOWN W3-2 417 BROWN, STAINWRIGHT, NAYLOR
23 OCT Rugby Town W3-2 589 BROOKES 2, NAYLOR
30 OCT BANBURY UNITED W2-1 495 RANN, NAYLOR
06 NOV BURTON ALBION D0-0 758
13 NOV Barry Town D0-0 125
20 NOV Gloucester City L1-3 401 STAINWRIGHT
27 NOV WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN L1-3 359 BARKER (OG)
11 DEC Stevenage Athletic D2-2 312 NAYLOR, CZARNECKI
18 DEC Bury Town D0-0 314
26 DEC KINGS LYNN W3-2 451 BROWN 3
01 JAN Kings Lynn L0-1 818
08 JAN CORBY TOWN D0-0
15 JAN Cheltenham Town D1-1 HAMSON
29 JAN Wealdstone W3-1 ROBERTSON, NAYLOR, HAMSON
05 FEB BLETCHLEY W1-0 327 NAYLOR
19 FEB Lockheed Leamington D0-0
26 FEB Burton Albion W1-0 1175 HAMSON
11 MAR GLOUCESTER CITY L2-3 236 NAYLOR 2
18 MAR Wellingborough Town W2-1 BROWN, NAYLOR
25 MAR DUNSTABLE TOWN W2-0 316 BAYLISS, HAMSON
01 APR STEVENAGE ATHLETIC W3-1 PATRICK, BROWN, NAYLOR
03 APR KETTERING TOWN L0-1 699
04 APR Kettering Town L0-1 2500
08 APR BURY TOWN D1-1 259 NAYLOR
15 APR Stourbridge L0-1
18 APR RUGBY TOWN D1-1 119 HAMSON
22 APR LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON W2-1 210 BROWN 2
25 APR BARRY TOWN W2-0 172 HAMSON, PATRICK
04 MAY STOURBRIDGE D1-1 198 NAYLOR

1971/72 FA CUP RESULT
ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORER
1QR 18 SEP BEDWORTH UNITED L1-2 706 NAYLOR

1971/72 FA TROPHY RESULTS
ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
3QR 04 DEC Bridlington Trinity D0-0
3QRrep 08 DEC BRIDLINGTON TRINITY W3-0 225 NAYLOR, BROWN, CZARNECKI
1R 22 JAN GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY W1-0 CZARNECKI
2R 12 FEB Stafford Rangers L0-3  

1971/72 DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP RESULT
ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORERS
1R 30 NOV Matlock Town L2-3 NAYLOR, RANN (PEN)

1971/72 SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP GROUP 4 TABLE AND RESULTS
  P W D L F A Pts
1 ILKESTON TOWN 5 4 0 1 11 5 8
2 Stourbridge 5 3 2 0 10 5 8
3 Cheltenham Town 5 3 1 1 7 6 7
4 Burton Albion 5 1 2 2 5 4 4
5 Gloucester City 5 1 0 4 6 12 2
6 Barry Town 5 0 1 4 3 10 1

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
GRP4 14 AUG CHELTENHAM TOWN W3-0 434 NAYLOR, STAINWRIGHT, RANN
GRP4 17 AUG GLOUCESTER CITY W3-1 779 NAYLOR, RANN, PATRICK
GRP4 21 AUG BARRY TOWN W2-1 719 NAYLOR, FALLON
GRP4 28 AUG Burton Albion W1-0 1140 BUCKLEY
GRP4 04 SEP Stourbridge L2-3 820 NAYLOR, PATRICK
1R1L 23 SEP NUNEATON BOROUGH L0-1 619
1R2L 25 OCT Nuneaton Borough D0-0 2300  

ROBINS OFF TO A FLYER
14TH AUGUST 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 3 CHELTENHAM TOWN 0 (SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP GROUP 4)
Ilkeston kicked off their debut season as members of the Southern League with this fine victory. Played at times in a violent storm The Robins did well to contain a Cheltenham team that was lively during the first half. After the break Ilkeston forced the pace and ran out worthy winners. However, they had to survive a scare in the first half when Casey put the ball in the net following brilliant play on the right by Corr but a surprising offside decision meant no goal was given.

Ilkeston took the lead in the second half when Bill Naylor collected Steve Buckley’s cross and shot powerfully past Jeffries. The second goal was a thrilling 20 yard strike by David Stainwright, and fine play by Ralph Brown presented Roger Rann with a header for the third. Graham Pigott, who made several good stops earlier in the game, prevented Casey from scoring a consolation goal with a brilliant save to keep out his thunderbolt.

ILKESTON GLORY, GLOUCESTER GLUM
17TH AUGUST 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 3 GLOUCESTER CITY 1 (SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP GROUP 4)
Gloucester fought hard but were ultimately beaten by an Ilkeston team that rewarded the fans with an outstanding performance typified by flowing football. The Robins began well and nearly scored when Ralph Brown broke forward and found Roger Rann whose effort was headed off the line. Gloucester responded well and a Blackburn shot was cleared off the line by John Beresford. However, it was Ilkeston who broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when Roger Patrick’s ball was met by a brilliant Bill Naylor header. Gloucester were not unsettled by this setback and on 27 minutes they drew level with an Andrews penalty after Kevin Fallon handled. The game continued to fluctuate with a strong Steve Buckley header from a Rann cross being saved by Miles at one end and Graham Pigott saving a Meredith header from Hughes’ cross at the other.

Ilkeston stepped up a gear after the interval. Strong penalty appeals were turned down when Baggart appeared to handle and Rann shot over from close range following a good move between Brown and David Stainwright. Rann made amends on the hour by putting Town back in front with an excellent goal, a crisp finish into the far corner being the end result after a fine solo run. Rann then turned provider five minutes from time when he weaved his way through to set up Patrick for the finish.

TOWN BATTLE BACK TO BURY BARRY
21ST AUGUST 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 2 BARRY TOWN 1 (SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP GROUP 4)
Ilkeston were disjointed and not at their best but they showed great character and resolve to come from behind and edge closer to qualifying for the knockout stages. Sharp Barry impressed early on and took the lead when Venn headed in a Curtin corner. The remainder of the quiet first half was edged by the hard working visitors although Ilkeston twice went close to a goal. Firstly a Steve Buckley cross was scrambled off the line and then a cracking Ralph Brown shot from distance grazed the bar.

Brown saw another fine shot rise over the bar early in the second half but Barry continued to look the better side until The Robins equalised in the 58th minute. Brown’s fine cross was well controlled by Bill Naylor and he beat three defenders before steering the ball past ‘keeper Fletcher. The goal gave Ilkeston a real boost and they grabbed the winner on 76 minutes, the unmarked Kevin Fallon heading in Buckley’s corner. The visitors pegged away in a vain search for an equaliser, their crisp football not penetrating Ilkeston’s well marshalled defence.

ROBINS MAINTAIN WINNING START
24TH AUGUST 1971
BANBURY UNITED 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
The Robins rode their luck at times but did enough to make it four wins out of four in what was the opening league encounter of the campaign. They began brightly and Bill Naylor headed just over but Banbury soon put on some intense pressure. Ilkeston looked shaky in defence and the home side came close to taking the lead with a Bradbury shot that John Beresford headed off the line. Banbury’s pace threatened a goal but it didn’t come, mainly because of Graham Pigott’s faultless form in goal. And it was Ilkeston who went in front on 42 minutes. Earlier Naylor’s through pass found Roger Patrick but he miscued his shot across the face of the goal. This time Naylor was heavily involved again when he headed Roger Rann’s corner against the bar and Steve Buckley nodded in the rebound.

Ilkeston improved after the break, showing greater organisation and flair. It was no surprise when the second goal came and it was the result of a lovely move. Ralph Brown started the move in his own half and found Beresford who beat two men before passing to Buckley, the resultant cross being driven home powerfully by Naylor. Rann then provided Roger Patrick with a shooting opportunity and Rennie did well to keep out his excellent strike. Banbury put on some late pressure but found Ilkeston in no mood to surrender. There were two bookings during the game, John Gulson for a foul on Anderson and Banbury’s Spiers was cautioned for dissent.

BUCKLEY BAGS WINNER AS BREWERS DROOP
28TH AUGUST 1971
BURTON ALBION 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP GROUP 4)
Ilkeston scored an early goal and then kept the home side at bay to make certain of qualifying for the knockout stages. Burton forced Ilkeston back for long spells but their final ball was frequently wayward in a game played in a swirling wind. The only goal came after 8 minutes. Bill Naylor’s excellent control led to a shot that ‘keeper Allsop was able to palm out but Roger Rann pounced on the loose ball and cleverly pulled it back for Steve Buckley to fire crisply into the roof of the net. Burton responded with a Brown header that Graham Pigott tipped over for a corner and they kept up the pressure, Town’s only effort of note during this spell being a Rann shot that just cleared the bar. Cowlishaw’s powerful shot was excellently tipped away by Pigott for another corner and this led to a narrow escape for The Robins as several shots were blocked on the line.

Ilkeston successfully defended their lead in the second half despite Burton’s almost constant pressure. Pigott managed to hold Smith’s effort from close range and the same player headed just wide from Bostock’s free kick. In between Ilkeston had a rare attempt when Buckley’s cross was volleyed over by David Stainwright. Stainwright was booked during the second half for a foul on Hickton but that was the only black mark on an otherwise highly satisfactory afternoon for The Robins.

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AS TOWN TASTE DEFEAT
4TH SEPTEMBER 1971
STOURBRIDGE 3 ILKESTON TOWN 2 (SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP GROUP 4)
Stourbridge thoroughly deserved their win and played some excellent football, particularly in the first half. But Ilkeston, for whom Ralph Brown was making his 200th appearance, fought back strongly and could even have won themselves. Two early goals put the home side well in command and they could have had the game sewn up before half time but for poor finishing and fine goalkeeping by Graham Pigott. The first goal came on 10 minutes when Locker converted a corner from 10 yards. Four minutes later it was two as Punter took full advantage with Town’s defence all at sea.

However, Ilkeston took control after half time and they pulled a goal back in the 51st minute through a Bill Naylor header into the top corner from Roger Patrick’s cross. Remarkably they equalised on the hour with a lovely goal from Patrick who cut in from the right and shot hard and low into the corner from 18 yards. With both teams going all out for the winner Roger Rann, on his 100th appearance, cleverly lobbed over the Stourbridge defence to put Naylor in the clear but he overran the ball. Stourbridge’s winner came seven minutes from time through a disputed Bates goal when Pigott appeared to have been impeded but on the balance of play over the whole game it was no more than they deserved.

LUCKY ROBINS GO TOP
11TH SEPTEMBER 1971
DUNSTABLE TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 3
The score flattered Ilkeston who lacked cohesion and needed to defend for long spells although it could be argued that they gave the home side a lesson in finishing. The Robins’ defence was shaky early on and they had Graham Pigott to thank for keeping them in the game. He went full length to turn a Huntley shot round the post, saved a low close range shot by Auguste, and tipped a Thear header over the bar. Pigott was finally beaten on 28 minutes after John Beresford brought down Mansfield on the edge of the area and Jarmin blasted home the free kick. Yet, against the run of play, Ilkeston drew level ten minutes later. Huntley obstructed Bill Naylor a few yards out and Ralph Brown touched the indirect free kick to David Stainwright who crashed the ball through the wall lined up on the goal line high into the net.

Dunstable continued to worry Ilkeston after the break and Jarmin flashed a header narrowly wide. But a defensive error proved costly when Ilkeston took the lead in the 56th minute. A loose clearance went straight to Roger Rann who took the ball forward before chipping the advancing Toogood. Two minutes from time Ilkeston made the game safe. Rann, through on goal again, was brought down by Toogood and he thumped home the penalty after receiving treatment. The result took The Robins to the top of the table.

TOWN SUFFER SHOCK CUP EXIT
18TH SEPTEMBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 1 BEDWORTH UNITED 2 (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND)
Bedworth United, of the West Midlands Regional League, surprised Ilkeston when they bossed the first half during which Ilkeston looked laboured. After the interval Town improved greatly but courageous Bedworth defending prevented Ilkeston from forcing the replay they probably deserved. Bedworth were on top early on although Roger Rann almost scored for Ilkeston when he brilliantly turned an angled shot against the post. Bedworth went in front on 21 minutes with a 30 yard lob by Knox that hit the bar and bounced into the net. Five minutes later they scored again following Roger Patrick’s foul on Healey, Eades converting from the spot. Ilkeston began to get moving as the first half drew to a close. A Steve Buckley header was saved on the line and both Rann and Ralph Brown had shots blocked..

Ilkeston poured forward during the second half and they were rewarded in the 67th minute when Rann’s fine through ball was fired into the far corner by Bill Naylor. Yet, for all their pressure, Ilkeston couldn’t score again and indeed Bedworth almost scored a third. With Graham Pigott stranded out of his goal Eades fired across the gaping goal.

UNLUCKY ROBINS HAVE IT ALL TO DO
23RD SEPTEMBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 0 NUNEATON BOROUGH 1 (SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP FIRST ROUND FIRST LEG)
Ilkeston bettered their more illustrious opponents from the Southern League Premier Division in all areas except in front of goal and misfortune prevented them from taking a healthy lead into the second leg. Steve Buckley and Kevin Fallon both hit the bar, Bill Naylor had an effort cleared off the line, and Ilkeston also had a strong penalty appeal turned down. Their frustration was showing as both Ralph Brown and David Stainwright picked up bookings along with Nuneaton’s Goodall. Howshall’s 50th minute goal decided the contest.

TOWN CRASH AT CORBY
25TH SEPTEMBER 1971
CORBY TOWN 4 ILKESTON TOWN 0
The Robins were well beaten by half time although some pride was restored by an improved second half performance. Corby took the lead through Walker who tucked away a cross from the right into the corner. Another corner led to their second, Hird touching it on and the unlucky David Stainwright deflected the ball into his own net. Corby went three goals up with five minutes of the first half remaining when Burns’ 30 yard shot squeezed under ‘keeper Graham Pigott’s body.

Ilkeston enjoyed far more of the game after the break and created chances. Roger Rann went clean through but his effort hit the ‘keeper’s arms, and Leo Brewster blazed a chance high over. Corby scored a fourth late on through future Ilkeston manager Steve Holder who lobbed over the advancing Pigott as The Robins stood appealing for offside.

ROBINS HELD UP BY STONES
2ND OCTOBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 0 WEALDSTONE 0
There were no goals but no lack of interest in Ilkeston’s opening home league fixture of the season. The game wasn’t played at great pace but there was plenty of clever football on offer. Wealdstone showed plenty of skill although they created little up front and all the best chances fell Ilkeston’s way. Leo Brewster’s clever close control allowed him to beat two men and shoot narrowly wide, and Roger Rann’s powerful header was just off target as Ilkeston shaded the first half.

Town came out even stronger in the second half. Following a Kevin Fallon free kick Brewster got in a shot from a difficult angle that ‘keeper Barr did well to save by the post, but the closest Ilkeston got taking a deserved lead was a Ralph Brown strike that bounced off the post. David Stainwright was booked during the game as was Wealdstone’s Cockell.

BLETCHLEY BREAK TOWN WITH LATE WINNER
9TH OCTOBER 1971
BLETCHLEY TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston slumped to their fourth defeat in five games and their more skilful play wasn’t enough to overcome a Bletchley team with just one point to their name. Defensive errors were a factor and Ilkeston also failed to take a grip in midfield. Yet the game started well for them when Leo Brewster put them ahead after 16 minutes. They found it difficult to contain Bletchley, however, and Graham Pigott made several good saves.

Pigott was finally beaten in the 61st minute by a Harris goal and worse was to follow. Kevin Fallon’s disastrous back pass on 79 minutes gifted Dixon the second. A minute later it seemed as if Ilkeston had earned themselves a reprieve when Bill Naylor equalised but Dixon scored again three minutes from time to seal The Robins’ fate.

LEADERS LASHED
16TH OCTOBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 3 CHELTENHAM TOWN 2
Unbeaten and top of the table Cheltenham were brought crashing down to earth by an Ilkeston team making a welcome return to form. Excellent attacking football by Ilkeston took them into a comfortable lead although Cheltenham replied with a couple of goals that gave the score a closer look than what was reality. Ilkeston made all the early running, Ralph Brown unlucky not to score with an early strike, John Beresford’s terrific effort from 40 yards swerved just off target, and Cheltenham ‘keeper M. Jeffries did well to tip over Bill Naylor’s header from Brown’s free kick. They finally went into the lead with a lovely goal on 30 minutes. Naylor and Roger Rann linked well in midfield to put Brown away and his shot flashed into the net. Ilkeston doubled the lead in the 42nd minute when Brown went on a fine run past three defenders and his cross left David Stainwright with a simple finish. Cheltenham tried to respond and Lewis fired a free kick wide but a minute before the interval Ilkeston scored again, Naylor meeting Roger Patrick’s cross with a flying header.

Cheltenham caught Ilkeston cold with a goal within a minute of the restart. Casey broke clear down the left and pushed the ball past Graham Pigott into the far corner. However, Ilkeston regained control and Brown was very unlucky to see his volley crash against the post. Cheltenham gradually gained the upper hand but Ilkeston looked the more dangerous and Leo Brewster, when presented with a great opportunity by Brown, lacked decisiveness and the chance was gone. Cheltenham further narrowed the gap in the 75th minute when slack marking allowed Lewis a simple header. A harmless looking tackle by Cheltenham’s A. Jeffries earned him a booking during the closing stages when his team continued to press but they rarely troubled Ilkeston’s defence.

RUGBY TACKLES LEAD TO SCRAPPY GAME
23RD OCTOBER 1971
RUGBY TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 3
Persistent fouling by Rugby occasionally rattled Ilkeston who for the most part were a class above their opponents and the final result was a just one. The referee lacked control and the game deteriorated because of his lack of authority. The game began at a fast pace with neither side in control but Ilkeston soon created the better openings. A Ralph Brown shot was headed off the line for a corner, and the same player shot wide after being found by Roger Rann. Rugby’s first real chance fell to Archibald who blazed over. The Robins took the lead in the 33rd minute when Rann and Brown linked to provide the unmarked John Brookes with the chance that he slotted home. Roger Patrick had a chance to extend the lead before half time but he volleyed over from six yards.

The game began to deteriorate after the break and Ilkeston became rattled under Rugby pressure. Kevin Fallon headed an effort off the line at the expense of a corner and this led to the equaliser on the hour. Keeley’s flag kick found Armstrong whose overhead kick hit the target. Brown was booked soon after for what appeared to be an accidental foul but Ilkeston soon regained their composure and stamped their authority. A Brown shot rattled the bar after good work by Pete Atkinson but this near miss was soon forgotten on 64 minutes when a defensive mistake allowed Bill Naylor to go through and score a fine individual goal. Three minutes later Ilkeston went two goals to the good. Naylor’s shot was blocked and the ball fell to Brooks who drove hard and low into the corner from the edge of the box. Rugby grabbed themselves a lifeline in the 76th minute when Graham Pigott could only punch a corner into his own net. Play worsened after that as Rugby tried to intimidate Ilkeston into conceding an equaliser but The Robins deservedly held onto their lead.

ILKESTON GO OUT FIGHTING
25TH OCTOBER 1971
NUNEATON BOROUGH 0 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP FIRST ROUND SECOND LEG)
Ilkeston began the game with caution but became more adventurous as the game went on as they sought to overcome the one goal deficit from the first leg. In an exciting game Ilkeston had most of the play but were let down by wayward finishing whereas Nuneaton created the better chances. Roger Rann forced ‘keeper Edwards into a full length save early on, and John Brookes went close with a fine individual effort later in the game. Notley and Cutler both missed from good positions for Nuneaton, and Baker almost wrapped the game up as it entered the closing stages with a fine header that hit the post. Ilkeston gave a good account of themselves against strong opponents from a division above and they went out of the competition knowing that on another day they could have progressed into the next round.

BANBURY BEATEN BY IMPRESSIVE TOWN
30TH OCTOBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 2 BANBURY UNITED 1
Ilkeston’s commanding performance, filled with skilful football with the emphasis on attack, earned them a victory that took them to third place in the table. Banbury looked useful going forward themselves and worried a shaky looking Robins’ defence, hampered by the loss of Pete Atkinson through injury on 20 minutes, when they did so. However, Ilkeston could have won by a greater margin despite Banbury being well organised defensively. The visitors took the lead during the first half when Sherill took full advantage of a poor John Beresford header. Town replied with a well struck John Brookes shot that smacked against the bar and they drew level on the stroke of half time when Roger Rann converted a fine centre by Bill Naylor.

Rann could have put Ilkeston ahead after the break when he shot narrowly over before the winning goal arrived in the 75th minute, Naylor driving home substitute Steve Buckley’s cross. The game was exciting during the closing stages as Banbury went in search of an equaliser and Ilkeston tried to make the game safe.

NO GOALS BUT PLENTY OF FIREWORKS
6TH NOVEMBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 0 BURTON ALBION 0
Bonfire Night may have been the night before but there was some cracking football in this exciting, incident packed match. Even though both goalkeepers were excellent and the defences were on top there was always a threat of goals. Ilkeston pressed for much of the game whilst the well organised Burton team were dangerous on the counter attack. The Brewers almost scored on one such raid when Cowlishaw went on a fine run and crossed to Waller whose shot produced a brilliant diving save from Graham Pigott.

With both teams fully committed the game needed a strong referee but sadly there was little control from the officials and too many fouls went unpenalised. As the game entered the closing stages Tony Flower reacted angrily after being brought down by Riley. Intense late pressure almost brought Ilkeston a winner. Roger Rann’s downward header hit the post but if it had gone in it would have been tough on the visitors, the draw being a fair result.

BOTTOM BARRY PROVIDE STIFF TEST
13TH NOVEMBER 1971
BARRY TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Barry may have been at the bottom of the table without a point to their name but they proved to be surprisingly tough opponents. Their defence coped admirably against an Ilkeston team that created the better opportunities only to waste them. The first serious goal attempt was provided by Barry’s Curtin whose effort tested Graham Pigott. Barry ‘keeper Fletcher had to make brave saves at the feet of Roger Rann and Roger Patrick but the home side put on some considerable pressure towards half time and could have scored when King chipped narrowly wide with Pigott stranded.

Ilkeston enjoyed the bulk of the play in the second half although the final ball was invariably poor. The Robins almost grabbed a winner near the end when Rann’s shot from six yards was headed off the line by Pratt.

CITY SLICKERS TOO GOOD FOR TOWN
20TH NOVEMBER 1971
GLOUCESTER CITY 3 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston were well beaten and relieved to hear the final whistle after being outplayed. Their defence was frequently stretched, particularly after John Gulson went off with an ankle injury inside the first twenty minutes. Played in driving wind and rain Gloucester dominated the first half yet somehow failed to turn their superiority into goals. Fern went on a brilliant run and found McCool whose shot hit the inside of the post and came out. Yet Ilkeston could have taken an undeserved lead before the break when Bill Naylor burst through the middle and shot narrowly over the bar.

Although Ilkeston somehow survived the first half Gloucester went in front on 50 minutes, ironically with a lucky goal. McCool’s shot took a cruel bounce that went over Graham Pigott’s despairing dive. Incredibly Ilkeston equalised in the 68th minute. ‘Keeper Miles went out to claim a cross only to collide with one of his defenders and David Stainwright was able to lob the loose ball into the empty net. Gloucester deservedly regained the lead four minutes later through substitute Hargreaves who ran through Town’s defence to shoot past Pigott from 12 yards. Severe Gloucester pressure brought a third goal from Hurford two minutes from time.

TOWN WELL BEATEN
27TH NOVEMBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 1 WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN 3
Both teams played enterprising football in the miserable weather but Ilkeston, who lacked menace up front, paid the penalty for missed chances as the visitors scored two late goals. Yet The Robins began very brightly and took the lead in the 9th minute. Ralph Brown’s delightful lay off to Roger Patrick was crossed dangerously and Barker could only put the ball into his own net. Wellingborough equalised in the 24th minute with a breakaway goal, Daldy heading home a Johnson cross.

Ilkeston could have got themselves into a winning position during the second half. David Stainwright’s fine effort was deflected for a corner, and when Roger Rann was presented with a good chance he saw his effort blocked. Wellingborough took the lead ten minutes from time thanks to some chaotic Ilkeston defending. With a chance to clear the danger no one seized the initiative, including ‘keeper Graham Pigott who could have grabbed the ball, and Tasey and Daldy forced John Gulson into a bizarre own goal. Ilkeston pressed for an equaliser but they were undone again on 85 minutes when Daldy broke clear of Stainwright and fired in off the far post. Ilkeston’s day was summed up in the dying minutes when Gulson hit the bar and then his follow up effort was headed off the line.

MATLOCK END AGNEW’S REIGN
30TH NOVEMBER 1971
MATLOCK TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 2 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP FIRST ROUND)
Manager Dave Agnew left Ilkeston by mutual consent soon after this defeat, his position being untenable in the face of fierce criticism from supporters. Matlock were clearly the better team but a tremendous second half fightback by The Robins could have forced a replay and at least Agnew could have gained some satisfaction. Two first half goals from the home team, the first from Fenoughty after 8 minutes and the second from McArthur in the 25th minute appeared to have put them well on the way to victory.

However, Ilkeston came back strongly after the break. Bill Naylor pulled a goal back on 54 minutes and Roger Rann equalised from the penalty spot ten minutes from time but Matlock grabbed the winning goal their overall performance deserved a minute later when Coley slipped the ball neatly past Graham Pigott.

TRINITY TROPHY TIE ENDS IN DRAW
4TH DECEMBER 1971
BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 0 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (FA TROPHY THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND)
Reserves manager Mick Walker took temporary control of first team affairs and saw his team draw a match they should have won easily. The excellent form of Bridlington ‘keeper Bacon kept Ilkeston out during the first half although The Robins almost missed several good chances. Nevertheless the best chance of all fell Bridlington’s way but Coop wasted the opportunity.

It was all Ilkeston during the second half. Bill Naylor somehow lifted the ball over the bar from close range and when Tony Bayliss eventually put the ball in the net with a 25 yard drive the goal was disallowed because Steve Buckley had strayed offside.

ROBINS REACH FIRST ROUND WITH REPLAY VICTORY
8TH DECEMBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 3 BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 0 (FA TROPHY THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND REPLAY)
Mick Walker was handed the manager’s job on a permanent basis before the game and Ilkeston proceeded to be too strong for a hard working Bridlington team. Ilkeston took the lead after just 12 minutes as a result of some quality play by Ralph Brown who cleverly set up Bill Naylor for a simple finish. Although Ilkeston were well in control Bridlington had moments of their own and Graham Pigott twice had to save efforts from close range. Before half time Naylor’s volley produced a fine one handed save from Bacon and from the corner the ‘keeper tipped Naylor’s header onto the bar.

Ilkeston had a scare early in the second half when Caunt’s fine shot hit the bar but Brown settled their nerves with a brilliantly struck free kick on 54 minutes to put The Robins two goals up. Jan Czarnecki sealed the win with a well placed shot from the left in off the far post twenty minutes later.

STEVENAGE STEAL A LATE POINT
11TH DECEMBER 1971
STEVENAGE ATHLETIC 2 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston turned in a highly competent display and were seemingly heading for a well earned win until Stevenage pressure in the final twenty minutes culminated in a late goal. Ilkeston began well with a fierce Ralph Brown strike that bounced to safety of Jefferies’ back but they fell behind to a fluke goal on 10 minutes. Jan Czarnecki intercepted McCullen’s short corner but bizarrely misplaced his pass back into his own penalty area and as the ball bobbled around John Beresford sliced his attempted clearance into his own net. Ilkeston were undaunted by the setback and after Czarnecki fired just over they equalised in the 24th minute. Brown got to the by line on the right and pulled the ball back nicely for Bill Naylor to net from close range. Ilkeston were now on top and Stevenage ‘keeper Collier made fine saves from Naylor and a long range shot by Brown before spectacularly tipping over a Kevin Fallon header. Ilkeston thought they had taken the lead before half time when Pete Atkinson’s cross was met by John Beresford whose shot was deflected into the net but the goal was disallowed, possibly for handball.

The Robins finally went in front ten minutes into the second half. Gear miscued his clearance and the ball fell to Czarnecki who unleashed a shot from 20 yards into the corner. Then came Stevenage’s strong finish as Ilkeston desperately tried to hang on. Beresford cleared West’s powerful shot off the line and Graham Pigott produced a wonderful save to keep out Jefferies’ bouncing shot. But five minutes from time Costello sent Whitshaw speeding past Atkinson and he poked the ball past the advancing Pigott for the equaliser.

ROBINS FAIL TO BURY TOWN IN MATCH TO FORGET
18TH DECEMBER 1971
BURY TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Defences dominated this dull encounter with few scoring chances. The best of the lot came in the 11th minute when Pete Atkinson pulled down Clayton but Boggle fired wide from the spot. Ilkeston’s best effort was a Ralph Brown shot from 20 yards that went just wide before half time.

BRILLIANT BROWN’S ROYAL SHOW KILLS KINGS
26TH DECEMBER 1971
ILKESTON TOWN 3 KINGS LYNN 2
Ralph Brown’s outstanding display was the difference between two evenly matched teams. Ilkeston, with Roger Rann making his final appearance, fell behind to a 3rd minute goal when Banson powered home Clarke’s cross before Brown took over. Six minutes later Jan Czarnecki’s pass found Brown in space and his deceptive strike from fully 35 yards flew high into the net. Brown thought he had scored again a few minutes later when he headed home a Pete Atkinson cross but the goal was ruled out for pushing. Roger Patrick then sent in a fierce 20 yard shot that Kings Lynn ‘keeper Steel saved at the second attempt. However, Ilkeston’s pressure wfinally paid off when they took the lead through Brown again. Bill Naylor passed the ball inside to Brown in the area and he fired home with the visitors’ defence flat footed. Kings Lynn were stung into action and they soon equalised with a long range shot by Stewart that deflected into the net via John Gulson. The goal lifted the visitors for a time but Ilkeston gradually came back into it as the first half headed to its close.

Kings Lynn began the second half impressively. Clarke’s 30 yard shot after Mick Robertson had slipped went just wide and the same player then cut in from the left and chipped narrowly off target. But Brown wouldn’t be kept quiet for long and he completed a superb hat-trick when he deftly placed the ball into the top corner from 20 yards for the winning goal. Patrick headed over a Brown cross as Ilkeston tried to make the game safe but it hung in the balance until the final whistle.

LYNN WIN REVENGE
1ST JANUARY 1972
KINGS LYNN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston could count themselves unlucky not to come away with at least a point. Ralph Brown shot over a good opportunity before Lindsay put the home side in front. The Robins continued to hold their own despite falling behind and Steel had to make a full length save to deny Bill Naylor. John Beresford then sent a header from a corner just wide. Kings Lynn’s best spell of pressure occurred as half time approached but they found Robins’ ‘keeper Graham Pigott in good form.

Ilkeston were strong in defence and looked good going forward after the break but the equaliser wouldn’t come.

NO COR DRAW
8TH JANUARY 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 0 CORBY TOWN 0
Second place Corby were second best for long periods as The Robins revelled in the mud but Ilkeston failed to make the most of their chances. Corby’s best spell came early in the game. John Beresford’s back pass stuck in the mud and Graham Pigott had to be alert to clear the danger. Future Ilkeston manager Steve Holder then sent in a header that rebounded to safety off Beresford. However, it was Ilkeston who had the best chance to go in front. Bill Naylor rounded ‘keeper Tennant only to be brought down and although he recovered to put the ball in the net the referee had blown for a penalty. Tennant rubbed salt in the wound by saving Ralph Brown’s spot kick on the half hour.

Brown was denied three times by good Tennant saves during the second half, the first from an overhead kick, the second from an angled drive, and then when he burst through the Corby defence. Pigott did well to save Hansen’s powerful shot at the other end but it was Ilkeston who were doing nearly all of the attacking, without success.

PATRICK OFF AS TOWN PICK UP POINT
15TH JANUARY 1972
CHELTENHAM TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston did well to pick up a point at promotion chasing Cheltenham where they played with skill and courage in abundance. They took the lead on 20 minutes when Peter Hamson linked well with Bill Naylor and shot home a return pass. John Gulson, who had been booked for kicking the ball away, was then carried off with a muscle injury and Ilkeston became unsettled. When John Beresford held back Casey the referee awarded a penalty that Thorndale converted before half time.

Roger Patrick and Cheltenham’s Wicks were sent off for fighting early in the second half and from then on Cheltenham had the bulk of the play. Ilkeston defended staunchly and came the closest to winning the game themselves when a fine effort by Hamson forced a desperate save from Pellant.

TOWN TRIUMPH OVER TRINITY
22ND JANUARY 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 1 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 0 (FA TROPHY FIRST ROUND)
The Robins’ magnificent, memorable performance backed by a tremendous will to win earned them a place in the next round as they deservedly beat higher opposition in Northern Premier League side Gainsborough. The visitors settled the quicker in the appalling ground conditions but Ilkeston grew in stature. Town went close to scoring when Jan Czarnecki’s corner found Bill Naylor whose fine header was cleared off the line. The only goal came on 22 minutes. Czarnecki broke clear on the left and fired a fierce left foot shot past ‘keeper Clark. Gainsborough’s Monty Brown saw his diving header saved by Graham Pigott and then Brown pushed the ball just wide as Trinity sought an equaliser. Ilkeston had the ball in the net again before half time but Ralph Brown'’ effort, after Naylor touched on John Beresford'’ free kick, was disallowed.

Ilkeston were on top throughout the second half with Gainsborough restricted to the occasional break. Late in the game Ilkeston almost made it two. Ralph Brown’s superb through ball to Roger Patrick was driven from 25 yards and Clark did well to touch the ball away.

WEALDSTONE WHIPPED
29TH JANUARY 1972
WEALDSTONE 1 ILKESTON TOWN 3
The hardworking Robins eased to a straightforward victory although their casual approach during the latter stages allowed Wealdstone a late consolation goal. Town led at half time thanks to Mick Robertson’s near post header following a corner.

Ilkeston doubled the lead on the hour when Bill Naylor converted Peter Hamson’s cross and they scored again ten minutes later through Hamson’s diving header. Brown got Wealdstone’s goal two minutes from time.

BLETCHLEY BEATEN IN WRETCHED GAME
5TH FEBRUARY 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 1 BLETCHLEY TOWN 0
A treacherous unpredictable pitch and a defensive visiting team produced a poor spectacle for the spectators. Ilkeston did almost all of the attacking but their moves often broke down because of the playing surface and the packed defence they were facing. Bletchley ‘keeper Barron blocked Peter Hamson’s shot following Jan Czarnecki’s through ball, Roger Patrick’s 20 yard shot went just over, and Bill Naylor’s diving header was deflected for a corner during first half pressure. Naylor headed the ball into the net as half time approached but his effort was ruled out for an infringement.

Bletchley came out of their shell more after the break but Ilkeston still had the bulk of the play without looking as dangerous as they had been earlier in the game. Nevertheless The Robins managed to grab a winner on 77 minutes. Hamson’s powerful shot was blocked by Barron and Naylor nodded home the loose ball.

LATE GOALS SEE OFF BRAVE ILKESTON CHALLENGE
12TH FEBRUARY 1972
STAFFORD RANGERS 3 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (FA TROPHY SECOND ROUND)
Ilkeston put up a splendid fight against arguably the best non League team in the country. Stafford were five points ahead at the top of the Northern Premier League and went on to win the title and the FA Trophy. The Robins were content to defend during the first half and they contained Stafford well. Only once did the home side come close to a goal, when Chapman’s shot was headed off the line by Mick Robertson.

Town were much more adventurous in the second half as they took the game to Stafford. Jan Czarnecki’s header just cleared the bar and then he set up a chance for Peter Hamson that Aleksic saved. Aleksic had to be at his very best to keep out a Hamson volley following Ralph Brown’s astute pass but Town were given a warning when Cullerton hastily shot high over with their defence all at sea. The game changed on 75 minutes when Williams was tripped by Robertson and Cullerton smashed in the penalty to give Stafford the lead. Ilkeston were forced to chase the game and the home side clinically took advantage. Williams eluded Robertson’s challenge and scored with a fierce shot in the 82nd minute, and he scored again two minutes from time when Graham Pigott couldn’t hold Cullerton’s long range shot.

DEADLOCKED
19TH FEBRUARY 1972
LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON 0 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Disappointing Ilkeston were far from their best, especially in attack, but they still created enough chances to have won. Leamington were on top in the first half but the second period was far more even and it was Ilkeston who came closest to winning when John Beresford’s shot crashed against the bar.

BURTON’S RUN ENDED BY FAULTLESS ROBINS
26TH FEBRUARY 1972
BURTON ALBION 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Burton Albion, challenging for the title, had their brilliant 31 match unbeaten run ended by the impressive Robins who didn’t put a foot wrong. After a frantic opening with a distinct lack of quality but plenty of niggling fouls Burton began to step up the pressure but their attack lacked accuracy with the final ball and they found Ilkeston’s defence a tough nut to crack. Burton’s Brown had a volley headed off the line by Pete Atkinson and Graham Pigott made several good saves. Town were hindered by a knee injury to John Gulson suffered in a challenge before half time and he had to be replaced by Tony Bayliss.

Ilkeston stunned Burton by taking the lead in the 48th minute. Ralph Brown robbed Goodwin and placed the ball inside to Peter Hamson who slotted the ball beyond ‘keeper Allsop. As expected Burton stepped up the pressure but Ilkeston, excellent in defence, regained control in midfield. As Burton grew frustrated Norman was booked for a late challenge on Bayliss. However, only a brilliant full length save by Pigott kept Ilkeston’s lead intact. Burton fell away in the closing stages and Ilkeston could easily have added further goals, efforts from Hamson, Brown, Steve Buckley, Bayliss and Bill Naylor all going close.

RAGGED ROBINS LET TWO GOAL LEAD SLIP
11TH MARCH 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 2 GLOUCESTER CITY 3
Ilkeston were competent enough during the first half but they fell away badly after the break as Gloucester grew more adventurous. Town took the lead in the 10th minute when Dick Smith broke down the left and split the Gloucester defence with a pass to Bill Naylor who rounded ‘keeper Miles and put the ball into the empty net. Peter Hamson came close to a second with a goalbound shot that struck a defender but Ilkeston failed to build on their advantage.

Even so the signs were good on 54 minutes when Steve Buckley’s cross was met by Naylor’s deft header that trickled over the line after Miles got a hand to it. Hudd pulled a goal back within a minute as Ilkeston’s defence was caught out of position. Suddenly Ilkeston looked shaky and Gloucester sensed the game was theirs for the taking. With Ilkeston’s defence all over the place again Stevens committed ‘keeper Graham Pigott and laid the ball off for Hurford to score a simple equaliser. And the job was done on 79 minutes when Stevens netted the winner.

QUICK FIRE ILKESTON BACK TO WINNING WAYS
18TH MARCH 1972
WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston’s dynamic opening when they scored twice in the first three minutes was enough to earn them victory. Ralph Brown scored in the first minute and Bill Naylor added the second two minutes later and both goals were the result of bad back passes. The Robins were then content to sit back and defend whilst looking to score on the break.

Wellingborough pulled a goal back through Kettleborough on the hour but the result was never in doubt. Ilkeston could have added further goals late in the game when Steve Buckley missed two chances and Peter Hamson struck the bar.

ILKESTON DUN THE JOB
25TH MARCH 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 2 DUNSTABLE TOWN 0
Ilkeston may have lacked creativity and flair but they still outclassed a poor Dunstable side. From the moment Bill Naylor hit the post with an early header Ilkeston were on top and they took the lead after 15 minutes, Ralph Brown crossing for Tony Bayliss to score with a well taken header. Peter Hamson shot wide following a goalmouth scramble but he had more joy in the 24th minute when he headed in a simple goal after Bayliss’ shot came off the bar.

Dunstable ‘keeper Mitchell made an excellent second half save to keep out a powerful John Beresford volley following Naylor’s header. Naylor, who had a goal ruled out for offside during the game, also went close to scoring late in the game but he headed narrowly wide.

RAMPANT ROBINS BLAST BACK
1ST APRIL 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 3 STEVENAGE ATHLETIC 1
Three goals in 16 second half minutes turned the game on its head. Ilkeston had dominated the early play and it was a shock when Stevenage took the lead. Pete Atkinson turned the ball past helpless ‘keeper Paul Daley and into his own net. The goal boosted Stevenage’s confidence and they lifted their game for the remainder of the first half.

The Robins settled down after the interval and some fine attacking football saw them ease to victory. Roger Patrick equalised two minutes after the restart and Ralph Brown put them into the lead in the 55th minute. Bill Naylor completed the scoring on 63 minutes although Ilkeston could easily have scored more as they dominated the whole of the second half.

KETTERING HEADING FOR TITLE
3RD APRIL 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 0 KETTERING TOWN 1
Kettering’s win kept them firmly on course to win the Southern League First Division North but unlucky Ilkeston were by no means outclassed. Defences dominated a fast end to end game and Bill Naylor twice came close to scoring for Ilkeston only to be thwarted by ‘keeper Mackleworth. The only goal of the game, on 67 minutes, was the result of a mistake by Peter Hamson who lost possession to Waldon for a clear run on goal. Waldon’s smart finish proved to be the difference between the teams.

DEJA VU
4TH APRIL 1972
KETTERING TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston fell behind to a 9th minute goal scored by the unmarked Peck following a well taken free kick. Like a day earlier this proved to be the only goal of the game and once again The Robins could count themselves unlucky. They dictated the game but couldn’t find a way back. Just before the break Ralph Brown’s header found the corner of the net but the referee disallowed the goal much to the amazement of everyone.

Ilkeston piled on the pressure late in the game. Two Brown shots from the edge of the area came close to producing an equaliser and Ilkeston went closer still three minutes from time when Bill Naylor headed against the post.

BURY WORRY ROBINS
8TH APRIL 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 1 BURY TOWN 1
The draw was the right result for this dull encounter with little to excite the fans. Ilkeston played a close passing, intricate game that looked pretty but there was no end product. Bury were content to sit back and counter attack and consequently were often the more dangerous. Ilkeston did create some chances during the first half and most fell to Tony Bayliss. Three tame shots of his were easily stopped by ‘keeper Slack but a better effort, a fierce angled drive, was well tipped over. Ralph Brown also had a good shooting opportunity from the edge of the box but he miskicked. Bury’s only decent effort of the first half was a Rayson header that Paul Daley saved.

Bury took the lead three minutes after half time when Valiant broke down the right and crossed for Buckle to score with a fine header. Ilkeston chipped away without really threatening until the 73rd minute when Bill Naylor hammered home from ten yards.

STOUR POWER
15TH APRIL 1972
STOURBRIDGE 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
There was little to choose between the two teams and but for some poor finishing Ilkeston could have taken something from the game. Henderson scored the only goal of the game in the 55th minute.

LATE PENALTY COSTS ILKESTON VICTORY
18TH APRIL 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 1 RUGBY TOWN 1
Ilkeston dominated for long spells but lacked bite in front of goal against a Rugby team who were lively on the break. The Robins felt they should have been awarded a first half penalty when Ralph Brown was brought down by Griffiths but Rugby went closest to scoring when Foster put the ball over from three yards out.

With the second half underway Foster missed another chance following Stewart’s cross. Rugby paid the price in the 56th minute when Peter Hamson shot past the unsighted Jones from 18 yards to put Ilkeston ahead. Jones then made a good diving save to keep out a Brown effort and an even better one to keep out a header from one of his own defenders. As the second half wore on Rugby pressed hard for an equaliser and it came late on after John Gulson was ruled to have handled, Lee scoring from the spot. Indeed Rugby could have snatched a winner but for two fine saves by Graham Pigott from headers.

BROWN GOES TO TOWN
22ND APRIL 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 2 LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON 1
Ilkeston nearly fell behind to an own goal early on when John Beresford headed a Cartwright cross against his own bar, and in another Leamington break Salmon’s fierce drive was tipped over by Graham Pigott. Ilkeston settled and proceeded to play some fluent, stylish football and they opened the scoring when Peter Hamson, collecting a punch out from Pigott, played an incisive pass to Ralph Brown who took the ball on to shoot past Lightfoot. Tony Bayliss headed just wide from a Brown corner, and when Roger Patrick got his head to a Hamson cross Bill Naylor couldn’t keep his shot down. Yet for all of Ilkeston’s good football they were pegged back in the 37th minute. John Gulson and Whitlock appeared to collide accidentally but the referee awarded a penalty that was converted by Shrimpton.

The Robins began the second half on the offensive and Brown’s shot on the turn following Bayliss’ cross went just over. However, Brown had more joy on 61 minutes. Roger Patrick’s corner was headed against the bar by Beresford and Brown headed in the rebound. Far from being the springboard for greater things the game then became dull as Town lost all cohesion. Nevertheless they continued to attack but efforts by Naylor, Hamson, Brown, Bayliss and Patrick all lacked accuracy. Brown went close to a hat-trick with a fierce drive from a free kick that was well saved by Lightfoot.

GREAT GOALS LIVEN UP THE SHOW
25TH APRIL 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 2 BARRY TOWN 0
Bottom of the table Barry arrived late and the kick off was delayed by 15 minutes. Things didn’t get any better for them as Ilkeston were by far the superior side in a poor game. The first goal, after 29 minutes, was initiated by Ralph Brown whose good work and pass set up Peter Hamson who scored with a spectacular flying volley that stung ‘keeper Williams’ fingertips. Barry could have equalised before half time when a flowing move provided a chance for King but he put it wide.

Williams had to be quick off his line to deny Brown following a poor back pass, and Hamson volleyed over as The Robins took control of the second half. The second goal was the result of a poor clearance but was still brilliantly taken. Roger Patrick took the ball forward twenty yards, beat two defenders, and placed the ball past Williams. Bill Naylor’s header from Patrick’s cross went just wide as Ilkeston looked for a third.

POINT DROPPED AS PIGOTT DROPS CLANGER
4TH MAY 1972
ILKESTON TOWN 1 STOURBRIDGE 1
The season ended with a match of variable quality and no shortage of goalmouth action. Ilkeston attacked during the opening stages and scored after just 4 minutes. John Beresford won the ball in a tackle and found Malc Fairbrother whose hard low cross was knocked in by Bill Naylor wide of ‘keeper Edwards. Ilkeston dominated most of the game thereafter but lacked quality in front of goal.

Stourbridge grabbed a shock equaliser on 53 minutes. Graham Pigott, who otherwise had an excellent game, lost concentration and allowed Taylor’s shot to bounce off his arm and into the net. The Robins should have gone on to win as they pressed forward following this setback but Edwards repeatedly denied them. He did well to tip over a Fairbrother shot, made an excellent save from a Roger Patrick shot after Beresford crossed, and turned a Ralph Brown toe poke round the post. 

1971/72 EAST MIDLANDS REGIONAL LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts H A
1 Enderby Town 36 30 2 4 117 29 62 0-2
2 Gresley Rovers 36 20 10 6 68 36 50 3-0 0-4
3 Anstey Nomads 36 19 11 6 66 46 49 2-4
4 Alvaston St Helens 36 18 10 8 66 37 46 0-4 1-3
5 Littleover British Legion 36 17 11 8 80 47 45 0-3 1-2
6 Roe Farm Athletic 36 17 9 10 82 50 43 2-1 0-2
7 Ripley Miners Welfare 36 17 9 10 63 39 43 0-2 4-1
8 Long Eaton Grange 36 17 8 11 72 39 42 1-2 0-0
9 Chesterfield Tube Works 36 16 10 10 70 46 42 2-7 1-1
10 Clifton All Whites 36 12 14 10 52 37 38 0-2 1-2
11 Moorgreen Colliery 36 14 9 13 62 48 37 0-1 1-6
12 Newhall United 36 11 10 15 56 80 32 3-1
13 Radcliffe Olympic 36 11 8 17 60 64 30 1-3 1-4
14 Meadows Old Boys 36 12 5 19 64 66 29 1-0 5-1
15 Belper Town Reserves 36 11 4 21 40 78 26 0-1 1-1
16 ILKESTON TOWN RESERVES 36 10 5 21 52 81 25 X X
17 Grantham St Johns 36 8 6 22 57 100 22 3-0 1-2
18 Blackwell Miners Welfare 36 5 10 21 38 71 20 3-1
19 Loughborough United Reserves 36 1 1 34 18 165 3 3-1 4-1