09 20










1973/74 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts
1 Alfreton Town 32 22 5 5 77 37 49
2 Worksop Town 32 21 4 7 90 29 46
3 Ashby Institute 32 19 7 6 52 28 45
4 Arnold 32 19 7 6 50 31 45
5 Frickley Athletic 32 15 6 11 71 61 36
6 Sutton Town 32 13 8 11 35 34 34
7 Boston 32 12 7 13 47 46 31
8 Kimberley Town 32 12 7 13 40 49 31
9 Long Eaton United 32 11 8 13 41 47 30
10 Belper Town 32 10 9 13 26 33 29
11 Eastwood Town 32 9 10 13 34 51 28
12 Retford Town 32 12 4 16 35 55 28
13 Bridlington Trinity 32 12 3 17 50 62 27
14 ILKESTON TOWN 32 9 9 14 41 54 27
15 Skegness Town 32 8 7 17 32 45 23
16 Clifton All Whites 32 8 6 18 30 55 22
17 Hednesford Town 32 4 5 23 30 64 13



1973/74 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE RESULTS

DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
18 AUG FRICKLEY ATHLETIC L0-4
21 AUG Kimberley Town L0-2
25 AUG LONG EATON UNITED L0-1
01 SEP WORKSOP TOWN D1-1 272 RATCLIFFE
08 SEP Boston W4-3 ELLIS, TINDALL 2, RATCLIFFE
22 SEP Frickley Athletic D1-1 SMITH
29 SEP BOSTON W3-2 179 BALL, HORSEFIELD (OG), ELLIS
13 OCT ARNOLD L1-2 265 BALL
27 OCT SKEGNESS TOWN D1-1 246 RATCLIFFE
03 NOV Eastwood Town D1-1 BOWERY
10 NOV Hednesford Town D1-1 243 RATCLIFFE
17 NOV CLIFTON ALL WHITES W3-2 180 STEVENSON, ELLIS, RATCLIFFE
01 DEC HEDNESFORD TOWN L0-1 133
15 DEC EASTWOOD TOWN D1-1 124 SMITH
29 DEC ASHBY INSTITUTE L2-3 175 RATCLIFFE, ELLIS (PEN)
06 JAN Retford Town W3-1 SMITH 2, BOWERY
27 JAN Long Eaton United W2-0 BOWERY 2
03 FEB Skegness Town D2-2 ATKINSON, BALL
16 FEB Ashby Institute L0-1
24 FEB KIMBERLEY TOWN L0-1 204
03 MAR SUTTON TOWN L1-3 147 RATCLIFFE
09 MAR Sutton Town W2-0 ELLIS (PEN), BOWERY
23 MAR BRIDLINGTON TRINITY L1-2 134 STEVENSON
06 APR BELPER TOWN D0-0
08 APR Arnold L1-2 PIGOTT (OG)
13 APR Clifton All Whites W2-1 HIGGINS, SMITH
15 APR RETFORD TOWN W3-1 HILL, SMITH, ELLIS (PEN)
17 APR Alfreton Town L1-2 433 SMITH
20 APR Belper Town D1-1 FLYNN
22 APR ALFRETON TOWN W2-1 BOWERY, HILL
27 APR Worksop Town L0-4
11 MAY Bridlington Trinity L1-6 FLYNN



1973/74 FA CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
1QR 15 SEP BRERETON SOCIAL D2-2 RATCLIFFE, ROBERTSON
1QRrep 18 SEP Brereton Social D1-1 TINDALL
1QR2ndrep 24 SEP Brereton Social W1-0 ROBERTSON
2QR 06 OCT ATHERSTONE TOWN W2-0 338 RATCLIFFE 2
3QR 20 OCT TAMWORTH L2-3 427 SMITH, FREEMAN




1973/74 FA TROPHY RESULT

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATTD SCORER
1R 13 JAN Grantham L1-4 2000 BOWERY



1973/74 DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
1R 24 NOV MATLOCK TOWN D1-1 204 RATCLIFFE
1Rrep 08 DEC Matlock Town L1-2 SMITH



1973/74 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
2R 20 JAN Hednesford Town W3-0 BOWERY 2, ELLIS
QF 30 MAR ALFRETON TOWN D2-2 279 RATCLIFFE 2
QFrep 03 APR Alfreton Town L1-3 525 HIGGINS

FRICKLEY HEAT
18TH AUGUST 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 0 FRICKLEY ATHLTIC 4
No full report available. Ilkeston got off to the worst possible start on their return to the Midland Counties League when they were emphatically beaten by the previous season’s runners up. It is understood that ‘keeper Mick Webster was at fault for two of the goals.

SORRY ROBINS IN DERBY DEFEAT
21ST AUGUST 1973
KIMBERLEY TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston didn’t lack enthusiasm but they were short on skill and ineffective in midfield against a better organised Kimberley team. Kimberley took the lead in the 35th minute when Stephens converted Beck’s cross.

The second half continued in the same way, Beck hitting the post before Kimberley scored again on 67 minutes when Shepherd headed home another Beck cross.

TOOTHLESS TOWN STUMBLE TO ANOTHER DEFEAT
25TH AUGUST 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 0 LONG EATON UNITED 1
There was little to choose between the teams and The Robins were worthy of a point but their own negativity cost them dearly. Long Eaton were the more adventurous throughout and won the game on 37 minutes with a disputed penalty taken and converted by future Ilkeston manager Steve Holder after he had collided with Malcolm Rye in the area.

Long Eaton also went close when Hickton shot against the post from close range and Town ‘keeper Mick Webster made two fine saves after half time including a brave save at Smith’s feet. Ilkeston’s best effort came after a fine move involving Dave Freeman, Les Tindall and Bert Bowery but Geoff Ball’s powerful shot struck a defender.

CHAMPS PEGGED BACK
1ST SEPTEMBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 1 WORKSOP TOWN 1
Champions Worksop put Ilkeston under considerable pressure during the first half but The Robins improved greatly after the break and thoroughly deserved their point. Ilkeston somehow weathered the storm during the opening period when resolute defending, typified by two excellent saves by ‘keeper Paul Daley, plus poor finishing prevented Worksop from building a healthy lead.

Worksop continued to attack after the break and on 53 minutes Daley failed to punch Wall’s free kick to safety and Pearson netted with a good header. The goal provoked Ilkeston into a response and they quickly regrouped to take the game to the visitors. Their deserved equaliser, their first goal of the season, came when Bert Bowery headed down Geoff Ball’s cross and although ‘keeper Finch managed to get a palm to the ball Phil Ratcliffe pounced to head home.

TOWN BOSS BOSTON IN THRILLER
8TH SEPTEMBER 1973
BOSTON 3 ILKESTON TOWN 4
Ilkeston outplayed the home side during the first half but Boston made a great fightback that looked like winning them a point before The Robins struck in the dying seconds. Town, for whom John Anthony made his debut, took the lead in the 12th minute when Phil Ratcliffe chipped the ball through for Alan Ellis to score. Boston equalised eight minutes later when ‘keeper Paul Daley misjudged a cross and Creasey scored with a header but Ilkeston restored their advantage on 25 minutes. Dave Freeman’s cross was headed on by Ratcliffe and Les Tindall converted the chance. They scored a third before half time through a superb goal by Ratcliffe who beat three defenders before firing crisply into the corner.

Ilkeston could have increased their lead further early in the second half but Geoff Ball’s penalty was saved by Adams. The game changed on 55 minutes when Ellis, who had been booked in the first half for kicking the ball away, was sent off for retaliating against Gallacher. With the numerical advantage Boston pressed and Lumby pulled a goal back. All Ilkeston’s hard work appeared to be undone when Stone scored from the penalty spot on 89 minutes to level the scores. But with time almost up ten man Ilkeston conjured up a winner when Ball’s floated free kick was headed in by Tindall.

ROBINS FIGHT BACK TO AVOID CUP EXIT
15TH SEPTEMBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 2 BRERETON SOCIAL 2 (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND)
West Midlands Regional League side Brereton Social gave Ilkeston far more problems than anticipated and they led at half time thanks to goals from Hall and Johnson. Ilkeston had it all to do after half time to avoid a damaging defeat but they gave themselves hope in the 53rd minute when Phil Ratcliffe headed in a Dave Freeman corner. Freeman then beat two men and crossed for Mick Robertson to head home with eleven minutes remaining.

CUP TIE GOES TO ANOTHER REPLAY
18TH SEPTEMBER 1973
BRERETON SOCIAL I ILKESTON TOWN 1 - AFTER EXTRA TIME (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND REPLAY)
No report available. Les Tindall scored Ilkeston’s goal.

LATE FRICKLEY STRIKE ROBS TOWN OF VICTORY
22ND SEPTEMBER 1973
FRICKLEY ATHLETIC 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Unlucky Ilkeston had the chances to claim a deserved victory but a costly mistake allowed Frickley back into the game late on. The Robins played particularly well in the first half. Les Tindall went clean through but his shot was blocked by the ‘keeper, and Dave Freeman went on a lovely run past four defenders but his shot lacked power and was cleared off the line. However, they deservedly went in front on 38 minutes through Dick Smith who went on a fine run before shooting home from 12 yards.

Ilkeston continued to impress after half time. Geoff Ball hit the bar from 20 yards and another Ball shot was blocked by a defender. But on 87 minutes Frickley equalised with a 35 yard free kick that flew straight through Paul Daley’s arms and into the net.

ROBINS WIN ANTI SOCIAL ENCOUNTER
24TH SEPTEMBER 1973
BRERETON SOCIAL 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND SECOND REPLAY)
Ilkeston won an ugly, bruising match to progress to the next round. Off the ball incidents marred the game early on and a series of poor tackles blighted the game. The busy referee booked John Anthony and Brereton’s Peter Smith and Paul Smith. Phil Ratcliffe had his shin stamped on, Mick Robertson went off on the hour with torn knee ligaments and Terry Stevenson picked up a groin strain as Town bravely stuck to their task in a match where they were often forced to defend, the poor pitch evening up the two teams. Brereton squandered a wonderful early chance when Radcliffe fired against the post with the goal at his mercy and they continued to create the better openings until Ilkeston’s winner in the 27th minute. Geoff Ball’s free kick was headed in by Mick Robertson to set Town on their way for a place in the next round.

RAMPANT ROBINS ROCK BOSTON IN SUPER FIRST HALF SHOW
29TH SEPTEMBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 3 BOSTON 2
Ilkeston produced an excellent first half display on a wet and windy day and although Boston pulled back a couple of goals in the second half The Robins were always firmly in control. Playing a brand of skilful, composed football with controlled aggression Ilkeston took just 7 minutes to get their noses in front when Geoff Ball stooped low to head home. Poplar wasted a chance to equalise before Dave Freeman went close to extending the lead with a shot that just cleared the bar. Town’s second goal arrived in the 35th minute when ‘keeper Evans could only half stop Phil Ratcliffe’s shot and the unlucky Horsefield turned the ball into his own net. Ilkeston scored again five minutes later following a corner, Alan Ellis thundering a shot into the corner.

Boston’s first goal came on 52 minutes through a Reeson volley after Poplar headed down Lee’s cross. Reeson scored again with a 35 yard shot from out wide that completely deceived ‘keeper Paul Daley but Town never looked like conceding another.

CHIRPY ROBINS KEEP CUP RUN GOING
6TH OCTOBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 2 ATHERSTONE TOWN 0 (FA CUP SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND)
Ilkeston dominated the game and played some attractive football, the biggest surprise being how long it took to make the superiority count. Apart from a brief spell early in the second half when two headers by Vincent brought fine saves from Paul Daley Atherstone were hardly in it. Ilkeston finally went in front in the 71st minute when John Anthony’s cross was met by Les Tindall’s head and Phil Ratcliffe whipped the ball into the top corner from the angle of the area. Geoff Ball went close with a 40 yard shot before The Robins scored again on 74 minutes. Dave Freeman’s cross was met by a darting Ratcliffe header. As the game headed towards its close a number of petty fouls crept into the game.

RANN’S THE MAN FOR ARNOLD
13TH OCTOBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 1 ARNOLD 2
Ilkeston put on plenty of first half pressure but were frustrated by officials who rejected a penalty appeal and gave a number of dubious offside decisions against them. And it was Arnold who took the lead a minute before the break when former Ilkeston star Roger Rann went on a fine run before firing home a great shot from 20 yards.

Rann returned to torment Ilkeston again in the 54th minute when in a seemingly offside position he pounced on a through ball before finishing coolly with a well taken shot. Things could have got worse for Ilkeston when John Anthony headed a Redmile cross off the line before they started to fight back. Phil Ratcliffe’s clever run finished disappointingly with a tame shot, and former Ilkeston ‘keeper Graham Pigott made a brilliant save to keep out a Dick Smith thunderbolt. Both teams were guilty of some blatant fouls as the game neared its end, prior to a last minute consolation goal for Ilkeston from Geoff Ball who crashed a free kick high into the net.

TAMWORTH TAME TOWN
20TH OCTOBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 2 TAMWORTH 3 (FA CUP THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND)
Southern League First Division North outfit Tamworth were too hot for Ilkeston, particularly during the first half when their quick sweeping moves created havoc. They took the lead after 10 minutes when Walker volleyed home from the edge of the area following a fine move. Tamworth went further ahead in the 24th minute through Morrow who hooked the ball in from close range after Millward had nodded down. Ilkeston responded with a well worked goal. Terry Stevenson’s short pass found Dave Freeman who went on a jinking run before slipping the ball to Les Tindall, his flick being slotted into the net by Dick Smith. But Tamworth restored their two goal advantage four minutes before the break when a long pass found Walker who crashed home.

Ilkeston ‘keeper Paul Daley made a good save early in the second half before Town gave themselves hope when Geoff Ball’s free kick rebounded to Freeman who scored with a lovely volley from 20 yards. The Robins had an escape when Kevin Rawson clearly fouled Walker but no penalty was given but their improved second half display kept them in with a shout. John Anthony sliced wide with only ‘keeper Richards to beat and then, at the death, Les Tindall’s powerful header found the target but the referee had already blown for full time.

SKEGNESS ROCK ILKESTON WITH LATE LEVELLER
27TH OCTOBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 1 SKEGNESS TOWN 1
Ilkeston lacked authority in midfield and goal attempts were generally confined to efforts from long range in a disjointed, scrappy game with no fewer than 44 free kicks. The overall negative play ensured that the game lacked both incident and quality and when Ilkeston took a 75th minute lead it came out of the blue. Les Tindall and Skegness ‘keeper Utteridge both challenged for a cross that they both missed and the unmarked Phil Ratcliffe headed in from point blank range. Ilkeston’s lethargy allowed Skegness back into the game and Daniels equalised from the edge of the area, his volley finding the target with a minute remaining.

HARD FOUGHT DERBY ENDS ALL SQUARE
3RD NOVEMBER 1973
EASTWOOD TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
A tough local derby with 42 free kicks, with future Ilkeston player Alan Green a particular culprit, ended with honours even. Ilkeston played positively and always looked to attack but they were fortunate when another future Ilkeston player Graham Wright powered in a header that was disallowed because Green had strayed offside.

The Robins took the lead on 63 minutes when Phil Ratcliffe helped on Pete Atkinson’s cross to substitute Bert Bowery who shrugged off two defenders and rounded future Ilkeston ‘keeper Ken Shaw to score from a narrow angle. Eastwood equalised ten minutes from time against the run of play when Dilks scored from 20 yards.

BOTTOM CLUB HOLDS ROBINS
10TH NOVEMBER 1973
HEDNESFORD TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston were full of effort and probably deserved to win against the bottom club but they were not sharp enough up front. They took the lead on 30 minutes when Bert Bowery went on a long run from midfield to reach the by-line and his cross was spilt by ‘keeper Nickels leaving Phil Ratcliffe to stab home.

Hednesford equalised five minutes after the break through Richards. He won possession and the ball ran kindly allowing him to slot past the advancing Paul Daley. Both teams went close in the closing stages but neither team was able to take advantage of the openings. Kevin Flynn made his Ilkeston debut.

NO CLIF-HANGER
17TH NOVEMBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 3 CLIFTON ALL WHITES 2
Ilkeston won without extending themselves although their sometimes over casual approach could have cost them a point. Town began well and took the lead in the 5th minute when Alan Ellis’ corner was met by a firm Terry Stevenson header. The Robins thought they should have had a penalty when Les Tindall’s shot following a close range indirect free kick appeared to be handled on the line. Clifton equalised on 41 minutes when ‘keeper Paul Daley dropped a corner and future Ilkeston striker Ian Muir scored from close range, but Ilkeston regained the lead a minute later. Phil Ratcliffe’s run drew the defence and his pass inside found Ellis, booked earlier in the half for a foul on Walsh, who cracked a 30 yard shot into the top corner.

Town looked to be home and dry on 75 minutes when good play by Dick Smith down the flank led to Tindall supplying Ratcliffe with the chance to slot home. However, sloppy play by Stevenson allowed a through ball to reach substitute Liversey who ran on to lob over the advancing Daley four minutes from time but it was too little too late for lowly Clifton.

GLADIATORS TAKE TOWN TO REPLAY
24TH NOVEMBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 1 MATLOCK TOWN 1 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP FIRST ROUND)
The wind during the first half made good football difficult but play improved significantly after the break when the wind had dropped to a large extent. Overall this dreary game lacked incident apart from when Alan Ellis was pushed in the area but the referee chose to award Ilkeston an indirect free kick rather than a penalty, whilst Matlock had a seemingly good goal ruled out during the second half

Matlock went in front on 48 minutes through a Tom Fenoughty penalty after Terry Stevenson fouled Wright on the edge of the box. Ilkeston quickly regrouped and added some pressure although they had an escape when Mick Fenoughty beat Kevin Rawson and Paul Daley and appeared to score but the referee adjudged that John Anthony had managed to clear the ball before it crossed the line. As Ilkeston’s play grew more urgent they equalised in the 75th minute, Phil Ratcliffe heading in a Dick Smith cross to take the tie to a replay.

PITMEN SNATCH UNLIKELY VICTORY
1ST DECEMBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 0 HEDNESFORD TOWN 1
The Robins were well on top against bottom club Hednesford but lost their grip in the last 25 minutes after missing a string of chances. Fluent and constructive in the first half Ilkeston’s best chances fell to Bert Bowery. Firstly, finding space on the edge of the area, he had a shot blocked on the line. Then, he fired a similar opportunity wide.

Lissaman stunned Ilkeston when he scored six minutes from time, chipping over ‘keeper Paul Daley and John Anthony from 10 yards. Earlier Terry Stevenson twice put headers wide as Ilkeston searched to break the deadlock.

UNLUCKY ILKESTON BOW OUT OF SENIOR CUP
8TH DECEMBER 1973
MATLOCK TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP FIRST ROUND REPLAY)
Ilkeston played well, especially during the first half which they controlled, and deserved to win. They adapted well to a stcky pitch and ‘keeper Paul Daley was rarely threatened before the break apart fom one early good save he had to make. Bert Bowery saw a header turned onto a post by Matlock ‘keeper Fell before Matlock took the lead against the run of play on 51 minutes. Daley’s weak goal kick was headed by Tom Fenoughty and Mick Fenoughty applied the finish. Ilkeston scored the equaliser they deserved in the 75th minute when Fell could only parry Phil Ratcliffe’s shot and Dick Smith netted from close range. The Robins laid siege to Matlock’s goal but five minutes later another error by Daley handed Matlock their victory. He couldn’t hold Tom Fenoughty’s long shot and Mick Fenoughty pounced to score. Kevin Flynn was unlucky with two 25 yard shots during the second half that could easily have brought Ilkeston a goal.

SMITH RESCUES POINT FOR ROBINS
15TH DECEMBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 1 EASTWOOD TOWN 1
Ilkeston played poorly and were seemingly heading for defeat as Eastwood defended stubbornly when The Robins finally applied some late pressure. Eastwood had taken the lead on 62 minutes when Perrycock’s tame free kick beat both Ilkeston’s static defence and ‘keeper Ernie Bailey. Ilkeston’s careless passing was a feature of the game prior to their 89th minute equaliser. Geoff Ball’s shot was superbly saved by Morley but the resultant corner fell to Dick Smith on the edge of the area and he scored with a fine volley.

ILKESTON CR-ASH
29TH DECEMBER 1973
ILKESTON TOWN 2 ASHBY 3
Although Ilkeston were on the attack for most of the game they were unable to cope with Ashby’s swift counter attacks in a game marred by a high number of fouls and an over lenient referee. Ashby moved up to second place with this win and they set themselves on their way with a goal after just 90 seconds, Thornhill firing in through a crowded goalmouth. The Robins drew level on 27 minutes after Crelland saved Terry Stevenson’s header at the expense of a corner. Taken by Geoff Ball, who chipped an elbow during the game, his centre was headed in by Phil Ratcliffe. Ilkeston had a great chance to go in front before half time when Dave Freeman went on a great run but his final ball was swept high over the top by Bert Bowery.

Confusion between Ball and ‘keeper Ernie Bailey allowed a cross to reach White who ran in to head Ashby back in front in the 55th minute but the visitors were pegged back again six minutes later when Alan Ellis scored from the spot after a trip on Kevin Flynn. Ilkeston thought they had won another penalty when Ellis was brought down but the referee overruled the linesman by giving a corner. And five minutes from time Ashby grabbed the winner. Stevenson skied his attempted clearance and Thornhill headed home.

RETFORD WRECKED BY ROBINS
6TH JANUARY 1974
RETFORD TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 3
There was nothing relaxing about this Sunday game. The first half was a real battle with Retford’s Knowles picking up an early booking as did Ilkeston substitute Malcolm Rye who had come on as substitute when Phil Ratcliffe broke his nose following a clash of heads during the first half.

Retford held out until half time before Ilkeston turned on the style to win comfortably. In the 57th minute Bert Bowery went on a fine run and crossed to Kevin Flynn who controlled the ball on his chest before being fouled by ‘keeper Finch. No penalty was awarded as the ball ran free to Dick Smith who fired into the empty net. Ilkeston scored again on 73 minutes when Finch failed to hold on to a corner and Bowery pounced and they made it three two minutes later when Smith chipped Finch following a lovely move from midfield. Retford scored a consolation goal six minutes from time through Knowles who brought the ball down before firing into the top corner.

GINGERBREADS HAVE TOO MUCH BITE
13TH JANUARY 1974
GRANTHAM 4 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (FA TROPHY FIRST ROUND)
Top non League side Grantham, heading towards finishing as Southern League runners up, were too powerful for Ilkeston who showed up well during the first third of the game. A tremendous shot by Phil Ratcliffe brought an excellent save from Grantham ‘keeper Gardiner before Town took a shock 20th minute lead. Bert Bowery outpaced the home defence chasing a long ball down the middle to fire past Gardiner. Grantham equalised ten minutes later. Horobin’s cross caught Peter Atkinson in two minds and former Ilkeston striker Bob Norris pounced to score from close range. Nixon put Grantham ahead and Harrison extended their lead from the penalty spot, after Terry Stevenson and Norris tangled, with quick fire goals just before half time.

Grantham issed chances during the second half as they remained firmly in control but they scored a fourth when Norris stabbed home a Nixon cross. They could have scored again when Stevenson, who received a booking for his troubles, tripped Nixon but Harrison shot wide from the spot.

RAWSON OFF AS ILKESTON MAKE CUP PROGRESS
20TH JANUARY 1974
HEDNESFORD TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 3 (LEAGUE CUP SECOND ROUND)
Bottom club were no match for Ilkeston who were playing their third Sunday game in a row. Ilkeston dominated throughout and took the lead when Bert Bowery streaked past a defender to fire home from 12 yards following good work by Phil Ratcliffe. Bowery had less luck when he broke free and his shot bounced off ‘keeper Baldwin and over the bar to safety.

The Robins resumed from where they left off after the break and scored again in the 55th minute. Alan Ellis’ one two with Bowery ended with the former coolly slotting home. Ratcliffe twice went close and Bowery had a fierce shot saved before Ilkeston finished off in style four minutes from time. Bowery raced past two defenders before firing home. With the game over tempers inexplicably rose and Kevin Rawson and Richards were both sent off following a clash.

ROBINS ON SONG AS LONG EATON GET THE BLUES
27TH JANUARY 1974
LONG EATON UNITED 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston were always the better side and Long Eaton rarely threatened. Both teams defended strongly during the first half but it didn’t prevent Ilkeston from taking an early lead. On 6 minutes Alan Ellis’ free kick was chested down by Bert Bowery and he shot past Inger. Bowery went close when his downward header from a cross hit the post, and a Bowery cross was thumped into the side net by Ellis. Phil Ratcliffe’s 30 yard shot flew inches wide but Long Eaton only once came close to scoring in the first half and that was when Terry Stevenson’s back header almost went into his own net.

Former Ilkeston star Ralph Brown flicked a chance wide but Ilkeston controlled the second half. Phil Ratcliffe cracked a shot over following a brilliant Dave Freeman run before The Robins made the game safe seven minutes from time. Kevin Flynn’s beautiful cross picked out Bowery who scored with a glancing header.

SKEG PEG TOWN BACK
3RD FEBRUARY 1974
SKEGNESS TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Skegness twice came from behind and earned a point thanks to a late equaliser. Ilkeston took the lead after just 5 minutes when Pete Atkinson beat two men before firing into the top corner. The Robins rued missed chances when Skegness levelled on 25 minutes, Bentley shooting in off a post. Within a minute Ilkeston were back in front, however, Geoff Ball’s long shot bouncing over the diving Barker.

Skegness fought back with spirit after the break but they had to wait until the 85th minute before they equalised for the second time. A corner came out to Bentley who shot into the top corner for his second.

ILKESTON UNLUCKY IN DEFEAT
16TH FEBRUARY 1974
ASHBY 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Third place Ashby took a 6th minute lead through Tomlinson but play went from end to end thereafter with Ilkeston creating the better openings. The closest Ilkeston came to equalising in the first half was when Bert Bowery scraped the bar.

Ilkeston continued to fight in vain for a draw after the break. Bowery had a good header stopped on the line and Kevin Flynn shot wide when presented with a good opportunity.

HOT ROD STEALS POINTS FOR STAGS
24TH FEBRUARY 1974
ILKESTON TOWN 0 KIMBERLEY TOWN 1
Ilkeston, for whom Peter Atkinson was making his 150th appearance, suffered a cruel defeat against ten man Kimberley after dominating possession. Kimberley’s winner came after just 8 minutes when future Ilkeston striker Neil Rodwell chested the ball past Ernie Bailey. The referee lacked authority in a game littered with fouls, most of the 42 being committed by the visitors. The Robins had chances to equalise in the first half, including a 20 yard shot by Kevin Flynn that swept just wide of the post, and they failed to capitalise during a goalmouth scramble following a great 50 yard run by Bert Bowery.

There was more of the same after the break. ‘Keeper Sharpe did well to hold Phil Ratcliffe’s flick from Alan Ellis’ cross and Ratcliffe and Bowery both went close. Kimberley’s Newton, who was booked for dissent in the first half, committed a poor foul on Ellis and was finally sent off on 79 minutes when he fouled Flynn but The Stags managed to hold on to their lead.

SUTTON SWAMP SORRY ROBINS
3RD MARCH 1974
ILKESTON TOWN 1 SUTTON TOWN 3
In a game that lacked effort and excitement Sutton overcame disappointing Ilkeston. Sutton went ahead on 17 minutes through a Walker penalty after Terry Stevenson accidentally handled after the ball bounced off his back.

Ilkeston drew level in the 69th minute when Bert Bowery raced down the wing and sent over a neat cross for Phil Ratcliffe to side foot home but they were not on level terms for long. Ten minutes later a dangerous cross was headed out by Geoff Ball but only as far as Wheldon who headed into the net. Sutton ensured victory was theirs with a late goal. With Ilkeston’s defence stretched Wheldon broke down the wing and passed inside to Matthew who slotted home. An outstanding moment of brilliance by Bowery earlier in the game almost brought Ilkeston a goal with a back heel.

ROBINS ON THE BUTTON AT SUTTON
9TH MARCH 1974
SUTTON TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston gained revenge for their defeat earlier in the week with a fine defensive display. Showing great spirit and resilience they withstood fierce Sutton pressure in the second half and scored a late goal to seal an impressive victory. Ilkeston took the lead in the 11th minute when Betts pulled down Bert Bowery and Alan Ellis scored from the spot. They controlled the first half and created several more openings. Bowery had a great chance but shot just wide, and Phil Ratcliffe charged down a clearance and shot just past the angle as they looked to double their lead.

The Robins were forced to defend after half time. Johnson shot narrowly wide, and two Daft headers went close, but Ilkeston were a threat on the break. A low shot by Bowery was saved by Straw’s foot, and Bowery also beat two defenders before shooting just off target. Sutton’s last real chance fell to Wheldon whose diving header hit the side net. Ilkeston made certain of victory in the last minute. Peter Higgins made a great down the right and his superb crossfield pass found Bowery who shrugged off a challenge to fire home from ten yards, the goal being Ilkeston’s 3000th in competitive football.

BRID PUT SKIDS ON TOWN
23RD MARCH 1974
ILKESTON TOWN 1 BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 2
Ilkeston lacked fight, power and killer instinct against lowly Bridlington who got off to the best possible start by scoring on 3 minutes, Ashmore scoring with a header after a defensive mix up.

Trinity sealed a comfortable victory on 83 minutes thanks to a Redfern volley although Terry Stevenson scored a consolation goal for Ilkeston two minutes from time.

STOPPAGE TIME LEVELLER HALTS ROBINS
30TH MARCH 1974
ILKESTON TOWN 2 ALFRETON TOWN 2 (LEAGUE CUP QUARTER FINAL)
Champions elect Alfreton were seemingly strolling to victory, their dangerous attack and simple football making Ilkeston second best. However, The Robins stormed into the lead late in the game only to be pegged back five minutes into injury time. Alfreton took the lead on 29 minutes with a slick move that ended with Wadsworth beating the offside trap to fire past Ernie Bailey from 15 yards.

The game turned in the 75th minute when Ilkeston equalised against the run of play. Alan Ellis’ superb low cross was flicked by Phil Ratcliffe and ‘keeper Meechan made a brilliant save at the expense of a corner which Ellis centred for Ratcliffe to head home. The Robins suddenly scented glory and after Geoff Ball’s 20 yard shot was saved by the post by Meechan they went in front on 84 minutes. Once more Ellis delivered the perfect cross for Ratcliffe to head past Meechan. Just when it seemed that Ilkeston had booked their place in the semi finals former Ilkeston player John Brookes forced in a scrappy equaliser.

REDS REACH SEMIS
3RD APRIL 1974
ALFRETON TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (LEAGUE CUP QUARTER FINAL REPLAY)
Alfreton, on their way to a league and cup double, were too good for Ilkeston. Quicker on the break they had the edge over Ilkeston who had started well by going in front with a Peter Higgins goal on 11 minutes. Wadsworth’s free kick two minutes later put Alfreton back on level terms before Parlett gave them the lead with a terrific 25 yard drive. Wadsworth scored his second and Alfreton’s third to send Ilkeston out of the competition.

STALEMATE
6TH APRIL 1974
ILKESTON TOWN 0 BELPER TOWN 0
This was a great game for insomniacs. Ilkeston turned in a poor performance in a seriously drab encounter, the only incident of note being a booking for Belper’s Jarazewski.

EX ROBINS HAUNT ILKESTON
8TH APRIL 1974
ARNOLD 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston fought back strongly against hard working but unimaginative Arnold after going two goals down but the goals they deserved eluded them. Arnold took the lead through former Ilkeston striker Mick Raynor’s header on 31 minutes. Matters grew worse for The Robins seven minutes later when John Hayman’s back pass was intercepted by Peter Hamson, another former Ilkeston player, who made no mistake. However, Ilkeston were given hope two minutes before half time when their former ‘keeper Graham Pigott inexplicably spilled a Peter Higgins corner and the ball rolled into the net.

Ilkeston were well on top for most of the second half but were denied by Pigott who did particularly wellto block a Terry Stevenson shot with his legs late on. Town’s John Anthony was booked for a high challenge on Dixon during the game.

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY AS ROBINS GRAB WIN
13TH APRIL 1974
CLIFTON ALL WHITES 1 ILKESTON TOWN 2
How Ilkeston managed to win was anyone’s guess as Clifton dominated from start to finish but the home side failed to take their chances. Ilkeston took the lead against the run of play on 13 minutes when Dick Smith’s free kick found Peter Higgins who scored with a close range shot. Disbelieving Clifton conceded again in the 25th minute when Bob Hill challenged their ‘keeper and the ball ran free to the unmarked Smith who scored from a narrow angle. Liversey hit the bar for Clifton before half time.

Clifton resumed from where they left off but they could only manage one goal as Ilkeston held on.

TEN MAN ROBINS SEE OFF RETFORD
15TH APRIL 1974
ILKESTON TOWN 3 RETFORD TOWN 1
Ilkeston took the lead in the 18th minute when Retford ‘keeper Finch misjudged Peter Atkinson’s free kick and Bob Hill was able to roll the ball over the line. But Hill turned villain on 58 minutes when he was sent off for retaliation.

Going down to ten men didn’t hinder Ilkeston. They almost scored when O’Fee’s wayward back pass was cleared off the line by Sadler, and they doubled the lead in the 64th minute with an Alan Ellis penalty, awarded for a push in the back on Dick Smith. Ilkeston made it three on 68 minutes when Ellis’ pass released Bert Bowery whose cross was met by a Smith header. Ashmore scored a late consolation goal for Retford when he broke down the middle and lobbed over the advancing Keith Brown.

IMPRESSIVE ROBINS UNLUCKY AT HIGH FLYERS
17TH APRIL 1974
ALFRETON TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston took the lead but lost the game at champions elect Alfreton. Both teams had chances to win but Ilkeston were the more creative of the two teams. A defensive error allowed Dick Smith to put Ilkeston ahead on 36 minutes but Wadsworth, who was the victim of a challenge by Kevin Rawson during the game that led to a booking, equalised a minute before half time.

Alfreton’s winner came in the 75th minute when Harrison’s corner found Griffiths who put the ball in off the post.

ILKESTON PICK UP POINT AT BELPER
20TH APRIL 1974
BELPER TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
No report available. Ilkeston’s goal was a Kevin Flynn header during the first half.

ALFRETON TITLE HOPES BLOW
22ND APRIL 1974
ILKESTON TOWN 2 ALFRETON TOWN 1
Alfreton’s march to the title suffered a minor setback as they stumbled to defeat against an Ilkeston team that had twice lost to them earlier in the month. The Robins took full advantage against off colour Alfreton and took the lead in the 20th minute. John Anthony hooked the ball over the visitors’ defence and although Meehan was able to parry Phil Ratcliffe’s attempt Bert Bowery was on hand to score from close range.

Alfreton came close to a goal early in the second half. Former Ilkeston defender Steve Tunstall struck the bar and Wadsworth put the rebound over. However, Alfreton equalised six minutes after the break when Parlett lobbed a cross over to the unmarked Wadsworth who ran in to score with a header. But Ilkeston were not to be denied and the winner came on 63 minutes. Substitute Geoff Ball beat three men along the by line to set up Bowery whose shot bounced loose for Bob Hill to jab home.

WORKSOP WRECK ROBINS’ RESISTANCE
27TH APRIL 1974
WORKSOP 4 ILKESTON TOWN 0
High flying Worksop, still with title hopes, were kept at bay by brave Ilkeston defending until the final 21 minutes. The Tigers then broke Ilkeston’s resolve with a ten minute hat-trick from Birkenshaw. Beswick rubbed salt in the wound with a fourth goal six minutes from time.

WHOLLY TRINITY
11TH MAY 1974
BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 6 ILKESTON TOWN 1
The Robins collapsed against lowly Bridlington after taking the lead through Kevin Flynn. A defensive error handed Trinity, who climbed above Ilkeston with this win, an equaliser and the game turned into a rout. Trinity could have scored more goals as Haigh hit the bar and three other efforts were cleared off the line. Ilkeston’s misery was complete when Peter Higgins limped off injured near the end. Whiitaker was Bridlington’s hero with four goals, and Coupe and Haigh also found the target.

1973/74 EAST MIDLANDS REGIONAL LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts H A
1 Clay Cross Works 32 22 5 5 81 35 49
2 Graham Street Prims 32 21 5 8 75 38 47
3 Borrowash Victoria 32 22 3 7 71 34 47
4 Gresley Rovers 32 20 3 9 83 36 43
5 Long Eaton Grange 32 17 4 11 62 39 38
6 Ripley Miners Welfare 32 15 7 10 55 33 37
7 Alvaston St Helens 32 14 8 10 62 36 36
8 Arnold Kingswell 32 14 6 12 58 54 34
9 Littleover British Legion 32 13 5 14 46 52 31
10 Moorgreen Colliery 32 10 8 14 49 53 28
11 Roe Farm Athletic 32 11 5 16 41 52 27
12 Clay Cross Miners Welfare 32 9 7 16 56 69 25
13 Allenton Athletic 32 10 5 17 40 58 25
14 Radcliffe Olympic 32 10 4 18 44 73 24
15 Rolls Royce Associates 32 6 11 15 38 70 23
16 Grantham St Johns 32 6 5 21 34 90 17
17 ILKESTON TOWN RESERVES 32 6 1 25 29 103 13 X X