09 21





1976/77 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION FINAL TABLE

    P W D L F A Pts
1 Alfreton Town 34 24 5 5 79 33 53
2 Long Eaton United 34 20 6 8 66 36 46
3 Brigg Town 34 16 13 5 54 32 45
4 Arnold 34 18 6 10 63 38 42
5 Eastwood Town 34 14 11 9 57 41 39
6 Mexborough Town Athletic 34 14 11 9 50 37 39
7 Boston 34 14 10 10 42 26 38
8 Louth United 34 14 8 12 61 55 36
9 Sutton Town 34 12 11 11 39 45 35
10 Bridlington Trinity 34 12 8 14 43 51 32
11 Kimberley Town 34 12 6 16 40 54 30
12 Heanor Town 34 10 9 15 38 59 29
13 Skegness Town 34 10 7 17 29 42 27
14 Belper Town 34 8 10 16 31 48 26
15 ILKESTON TOWN 34 9 8 17 41 66 26
16 Clifton All Whites 34 6 13 15 28 51 25
17 Retford Town 34 7 8 19 39 59 22
18 Ashby Institute 34 6 10 18 34 61 22



1976/77 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE RESULTS

DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORER
21 AUG CLIFTON ALL WHITES D1-1 KALASIAK
25 AUG Heanor Town D1-1 WILTON
28 AUG KIMBERLEY TOWN W3-1 RODWELL, DAWKINS (PEN), C.DOWNIE
01 SEP ALFRETON TOWN L1-2 WILTON
04 SEP Arnold L0-1  
06 SEP Retford Town D1-1 DAWKINS
11 SEP BELPER TOWN L0-1  
02 OCT SUTTON TOWN L2-3 KALASIAK, RODWELL
09 OCT HEANOR TOWN W7-1 KALASIAK 2, PARRY, RODWELL 3, WILTON
16 OCT Skegness Town D1-1 RODWELL
23 OCT LOUTH UNITED L0-4  
30 OCT EASTWOOD TOWN D2-2 RODWELL, KALASIAK
13 NOV Louth United W2-1 RODWELL 2
20 NOV Eastwood Town L1-7 KALASIAK
04 DEC ASHBY INSTITUTE W2-1 TAYLOR, RODWELL
11 DEC Clifton All Whites L2-3 TAYLOR, WEBSTER
18 DEC BOSTON L0-2  
27 DEC RETFORD TOWN L2-5 HARDING, KALASIAK
08 JAN LONG EATON UNITED W3-1 KALASIAK, WEBSTER, HARDING (PEN)
05 FEB Alfreton Town L0-3  
12 FEB Belper Town W1-0 HARDING (PEN)
26 FEB Kimberley Town L0-3  
05 MAR Ashby Institute W1-0 SLATER
19 MAR BRIDLINGTON TRINITY L1-3 C.DOWNIE
26 MAR SKEGNESS TOWN W2-1 C.DOWNIE, SIMPSON
02 APR Long Eaton United L1-2 WINFIELD
06 APR BRIGG TOWN L0-2  
11 APR Bridlington Trinity L0-1  
16 APR Brigg Town D2-2 SLATER, A.DOWNIE
23 APR MEXBOROUGH TOWN ATHLETIC D0-0  
27 APR Boston L0-5  
30 APR ARNOLD W1-0 SLATER
07 MAY Sutton Town D1-1 JARVIS
11 MAY Mexborough Town Athletic L0-4  


1976/77 FA CUP RESULT

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT
1QR 18 SEP Hednesford Town L0-1 282

1976/77 FA TROPHY RESULT
ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORER
PR 28 SEP Oldbury United L1-4 RODWELL


1976/77 DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORERS
1R 27 NOV BUXTON W3-2 TAYLOR 2, FLECKNEY
QF 29 JAN Belper Town L0-2  


1976/77 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CUP RESULT

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORERS
PR 06 NOV BRIDLINGTON TRINITY L2-5aet RODWELL, PARRY

KALASIAK RAISES THE TEMPERATURE
21ST AUGUST 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 1 CLIFTON ALL WHITES 1
Both teams had to cope with the scorching Autumn sun in the middle of a heatwave but they were still able to produce a fast exciting game. Clifton dominated the first half but apart from their 27th minute goal, a header by the unmarked Burton from a Peck corner, they couldn’t find a way past ‘keeper Keith Selwood. Ilkeston’s Dick Kalasiak’s header forced a brilliant save from Hart before Clifton’s opener.

It was Ilkeston’s turn to seize control after half time. Clyde Downie went on a fine run before shooting into the side net, and then Kalasiak headed a Dave Wilton cross against the bar. Kalasiak was not to be denied, however, and on 62 minutes he scored from point blank range after Dennis Webster’s cross had eluded Hart, to give The Robins a deserved point in an encouraging performance.

DUDLEY RESCUES HEANOR
25TH AUGUST 1976
HEANOR TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
With both teams going close to scoring more goals a draw was probably the right result. But the bone hard pitch made flowing football difficult and neither side showed much cohesion. Ilkeston took the lead in the 8th minute when Dave Wilton shot home following a Clyde Downie cross. Heanor drew level just seven minutes later through a Scarle header.

The best chance for a winner fell to Ilkeston on 65 minutes when Heanor ‘keeper Dudley fouled Dick Kalasiak but he redeemed himself by saving Roger Dawkins’ penalty.

CLYDE BANKS POINTS FOR ROBINS
28TH AUGUST 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 3 KIMBERLEY TOWN 1
Ilkeston recovered from a bad start to win in style with an exciting performance. They fell behind on 4 minutes when ‘keeper Keith Selwood could only punch the ball as far as former Ilkeston midfielder John Oldham who chipped it back into the net. Kimberley were on top for a spell as the game grew scrappy but it all changed in the 24th minute when Dave Wilton’s fine through ball found Neil Rodwell who hammered home. The goal led to a big improvement from The Robins and they dominated the remainder of the match although they looked nervous at the back whenever Kimberley pushed forward. Ilkeston were twice denied goals before half time by brilliant saves from Fowler who kept out long range strikes by Roger Dawkins and Wilton.

Fowler was eventually beaten by two goals in the second half. When Clyde Downie burst into the area and was brought down Dawkins gave Ilkeston the lead from the penalty spot. Then Downie scored a lovely goal when he outpaced the Kimberley defence and rounded Fowler to score.

ALFRETON SHOW TITLE CREDENTIALS
1ST SEPTEMBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 1 ALFRETON TOWN 2
Alfreton showed why they would go on to win the title with a strong second half display after falling behind before the break. Dave Wilton had given Ilkeston the lead with a volley from 10 yards after the ball had been pumped into Alfreton’s box.

Alfreton equalised in the 50th minute when Hollett side footed home Greaves’ cross, and the winner came on 68 minutes when future Ilkeston player John Harrison latched onto a through ball and beat the last man before calmly finishing. Such was their superiority that Alfreton could easily have added to their total towards the end with Lyons twice, Ford and Harrison all denied by ‘keeper Keith Selwood. Dick Smith made his 150th appearance for Ilkeston.

BRAVE ILKESTON UNLUCKY IN DEFEAT
4TH SEPTEMBER 1976
ARNOLD 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston survived an early Arnold storm and gradually came to the fore in the first half. Dennis Webster blazed wide from close range and the unmarked Dick Fleckney also missed the target from close in as The Robins could easily have taken a first half lead.

Arnold settled the issue in the 50th minute when former Ilkeston star Roger Rann crossed for Hines to tap in. Ilkeston’s brave display counted for nothing as the home side held on to their lead.

RETFORD HELD BY LUCKY ROBINS
6TH SEPTEMBER 1976
RETFORD TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Retford ought to have won the game with a strong second half performance that left Ilkeston hanging on. Ilkeston had begun brightly and scored shortly before half time with a delightful curling free kick by Roger Dawkins.

The home side deservedly equalised in the second half with a cracking goal by Latimer but they couldn’t find a winner.

CLUELESS ROBINS SLIP AT HOME
11TH SEPTEMBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 0 BELPER TOWN 1
Ilkeston produced a desperately poor performance and deservedly lost a dour match. There was no lack of effort but Ilkeston lacked cohesion and ideas to unhinge The Nailers. Belper took an early lead when Hill was allowed to run forward and blast home from 30 yards. Neil Rodwell missed a simple chance to equalise but Jaruszewski went closer to doubling Belper’s lead when he took advantage of a poor back pass only to shoot fiercely against the post.

Ilkeston attacked more after the break but rarely threatened apart from when John Parry and Clyde Downie linked well with substitute Dave Wilton blazing the chance over. Belper had chances to extend their lead but they had to settle for a narrow victory.

ILKESTON SUFFER EARLY CUP EXIT
18TH SEPTEMBER 1976
HEDNESFORD TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND)
Ilkeston were always second best in this tie although they defended grimly in the first half and kept Hednesford at bay. The only chance they created in the first half fell to the grounded Neil Rodwell whose shot was saved.

Hednesford’s inevitable winner arrived on 52 minutes when Andy Simpson handled Barlow’s header. Perrins hammered the penalty into the corner to give Keith Selwood no chance.

ROBINS OLD-BURIED BY ROSE
28TH SEPTEMBER 1976
OLDBURY UNITED 4 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (FA TROPHY PRELIMINARY ROUND)
There was no lack of effort from Ilkeston, for whom Dick Smith was making his final appearance, but their shortage of organisation and pace meant they were no match for the home side. Rose missed two early chances but he made amends on the half hour when he scored following a one two with Bradbury.

Rose scored again in the 58th minute after a fine run by Judge, and Bistable made it three seven minutes later. This led to a brief Ilkeston rally and Neil Rodwell pulled one back following a corner. However, Rose completed his hat-trick and sealed a fine win for the home side with an excellent solo goal six minutes from time.

BENTLEY GOAL SPREE AS SUTTON STUN ROBINS
2ND OCTOBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 2 SUTTON TOWN 3
Uninspiring Ilkeston took a 10th minute lead when Dick Kalasiak drove home a Dave Wilton cross but a 20 minute hat-trick by Bentley before half time left them with a mountain to climb.

Ilkeston were more compsed after thr break but Sutton always looked the more dangerous and could have added to their lead. When Neil Rodwell pulled a goal back five minutes from time it signalled a late onslaught but the visitors held on to deservedly win the game.

HEANOR HIT BY GOAL BLITZ
9TH OCTOBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 7 HEANOR TOWN 1
After suffering four straight defeats Ilkeston turned on the style to record their biggest win on the Manor Ground for over 10 years. Yet Heanor made the better start and Keith Selwood had to make good saves from Davidson and McVeigh. And it was Heanor who took the lead with a powerful shot from 30 yards by Webster. John Parry went close to restoring parity and the equaliser duly came when Dave Wilton’s good pass found Parry who crossed for Dick Kalasiak to nudge home. The goal gave Ilkeston confidence and they gradually assumed control, scoring a second before the break, Steve Slater’s fine cross finding Parry who lobbed the ball into the net.

Constant Ilkeston attacks in the second half crushed the visitors who fell apart. Neil Rodwell went close before he scored on the hour with a header following good play by Slater. Rodwell added two more goals to complete a quickfire hat-trick, Kalasiak made it seven, and Wilton rounded off the show with a 30 yard drive.

SPIRITED ILKESTON RETURN WITH POINT
16TH OCTOBER 1976
SKEGNESS TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston thoroughly deserved their point with a pleasing display, with spirit and discipline the order of the day. Indeed they could have come back with both points as they attacked strongly late on. Skegness played the more enterprising football in the opening stages although Ilkeston went close when Proctor saved Dick Kalasiak’s header from Neil Rodwell’s cross. Skegness continued to apply the pressure but Ilkeston defended with determination. Nevertheless Skegness went close several times. Keith Selwood made an excellent reflex save to deny Daniels, Atkinson hit a post, and Dick Fleckney blocked a header on the line.

When Fleckney handled and Beckers scored from the spot on 51 minutes it seemed that Ilkeston were up against it but they came back strongly, Rodwell getting the equaliser in the 65th minute. The Robins looked for a winner and the nearest they came to one was when Dave Wilton’s powerful shot was saved by Proctor.

TERRIBLE TOWN TROUNCED
23RD OCTOBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 0 LOUTH UNITED 4
Woeful Ilkeston lacked commitment and were well and truly beaten by a fast and skilful Louth team. From the moment Dave Wilton had an early effort ruled out when he forced home an Andy Simpson cross only for Neil Rodwell to be given offside Ilkeston lacked heart. Louth took the lead on 11 minutes when Boyers steered in a fine header. When Ilkeston failed to clear a cross Brown drove in the second two minutes before the interval.

Ilkeston made an attempt to salvage the game with Dick Kalasiak and Andy Simpson both missing chances in the second half but it was no surprise when Drinkell made it three on 72 minutes. Towill completed the scoring two minutes from time.

CHAMPS PUSHED ALL THE WAY
30TH OCTOBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 2 EASTWOOD TOWN 2
Eastwood, crowned as champions six months earlier, went top of the table after this game but tireless Ilkeston gave them a terrific game and should have won. In a fast and exciting opening John Parry fired just wide but it was Eastwood who took the lead, future Ilkeston player Graham Wright heading in a free kick. However, Ilkeston drew level within a minute with Neil Rodwell heading home past a static Eastwood defence. The visitors put on significant pressure later in the first half and Keith Selwood made two great saves from Martin Wright.

With the game finely balanced Ilkeston edged in front on 59 minutes with Dick Kalasiak prodding home in a goalmouth scramble. Eastwood responded immediately and Dennis Webster’s handball led to Millward converting a penalty on the hour. Both teams went in search of a winner and Ilkeston appeared to be the more likely victors, Ian Harding and Steve Slater being unlucky with good shots, but Eastwood held on for a point.

TRINITY TRIUMPH IN EXTRA TIME
6TH NOVEMBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 2 BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 5 - AFTER EXTRA TIME - (LEAGUE CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND)
Ilkeston ended up being well beaten but they were certainly not disgraced. During normal time, which was exciting, entertaining and even, they looked capable of winning the match. However, a controversial decision by the referee during extra time didn’t help The Robins’ cause. Heavy rain fell throughout a game that Ilkeston bossed early on. Dick Kalasiak fired a great chance wide but on 32 minutes Ilkeston went in front. John Parry showed brilliant control and sent over a fine cross to Neil Rodwell who drove the ball into the net. However, Bridlington were allowed back into the game in the 40th minute when an error by Dennis Webster presented Bowden with a chance he accepted. Far from being disheartened Ilkeston regained the lead before half time when Parry thundered in a 20 yard left foot shot.

Bridlington turned up the heat after the break and they had a great chance to equalise when Keith Selwood was adjudged to have fouled a Bridlington forward but he made amends by saving Lafferty’s penalty. It looked as if The Robins were going to hold out but the visitors finally drew level on 79 minutes to take the tie into extra time. Andy Simpson went close to putting Ilkeston back in front during extra time but three goals in the second period of extra time swung the game in Bridlington’s favour. On 106 minutes Bowden completed his hat-trick although he appeared to be in an offside position. Bridlington’s fourth came from a Jackson penalty after Dick Fleckney handled, and Moran made it five three minutes from time.

HOT ROD’S LATE GOALS SHATTER LOUTH
13TH NOVEMBER 1976
LOUTH UNITED 1 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston survived a torrid first half and came back to record an excellent win with two late goals. Louth could easily have won the game by the break. Keith Selwood made a brilliant one handed save to deny Drinkell, Barratt’s 30 yard shot struck the post, and Marley was unlucky with another effort that hit the woodwork. Yet Ilkeston almost took the lead themselves just before the break when Roger Dawkins scraped the bar with a header from a free kick.

Encouraged by their own survival Ilkeston looked more potent after half time but they fell behind on 58 minutes when Fisher cracked in a shot from 25 yards. Ilkeston refused to give up and they equalised in the 79th minute when Neil Rodwell pushed the ball in following a scramble. Scenting victory they continued to attack and got the goal they wanted five minutes from time when Dick Kalasiak made a superb run and created a simple chance for Rodwell to slide in his second. Louth almost snatched a last gasp equaliser but Dawkins made a brilliant goal line clearance.

SEVEN UP EASTWOOD DESTROY ILKESTON
20TH NOVEMBER 1976
EASTWOOD TOWN 7 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Reigning champions Eastwood’s classy football tore Ilkeston apart and it could have been worse for The Robins had hat-trick hero Millward not missed a penalty near the end. Eastwood mounted early pressure although Ilkeston went close to taking the lead when Steve Slater headed Andy Simpson’s cross narrowly wide. But it was Eastwood who got their noses in front. Roger Dawkins’ poor back pass was collected by Martin Wright and although Keith Selwood managed to parry his shot Millward was on hand to score. Ilkeston were badly shaken by the goal and Eastwood went three goals up by half time through Martin Wright and a fine effort by Slater.

The half time break appeared to do Ilkeston some good as they came out enthusiastically to pull a goal back when Dick Kalasiak converted John Parry’s cross. But the goal didn’t have the desired effect and it merely stung Eastwood into further action. Millward scored twice more to complete his hat-trick and Martin Wright and Williams added goals to make it seven.

BUCKS STOPPED BY TERRIFIC TAYLOR
27TH NOVEMBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 3 BUXTON 2 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP FIRST ROUND)
Ilkeston produced a surprising but welcome victory against their Northern Premier League opponents, coming back from the dead to snatch a last minute winner by debutant Steve Taylor. Neil Rodwell went close with a header early on for Ilkeston but Buxton gradually took control and took the lead. Keith Selwood managed to get a hand to a corner but when the ball came back into the danger area Gauden fired the ball home. Ilkeston fought back bravely before the break with Steve Slater flashing a header wide and Rodwell missing a good chance following good play by Taylor.

Ilkeston began the second half strongly but seemed to lose heart when Buxton added a second goal through Smith who shot past a hesitant defence. They grabbed themselves a lifeline on the hour, however, when Rodwell headed down a long ball for Taylor to slam home from close range. Suddenly the game changed and Ilkeston equalised within a minute of the restart, Dick Fleckney controlling a corner on his chest and turned to smash in an excellent goal. Ilkeston now looked the likelier winners and took the initiative. Taylor and Rodwell both had goals disallowed for offside before they scored a dramatic winner on 90 minutes. Taylor made a great run at the heart of the Buxton defence, beat a couple of men, and ended with a shot that gave the ‘keeper no chance.

AWAY JOY AT ASHBY
4TH DECEMBER 1976
ASHBY INSTITUTE 1 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston adapted to the atrocious conditions better than bottom of the table Ashby and well deserved their win. Ilkeston were on top from the start on the icy pitch. Neil Rodwell missed a chance to give Ilkeston the lead, Steve Taylor’s fierce shot was saved by Knight at full stretch, Steve Slater went close, and Dennis Webster’s shot forced a good stop from Knight. Ashby’s only effort of note in the first half was a 30 yard shot by Lingard that Steve Rann saved.

Ilkeston deservedly went in front in the 46th minute when Dick Fleckney’s superb cross from the left was driven in by Taylor. Roger Dawkins and Rodwell almost added goals before Ilkeston made the game safe on 75 minutes. Taylor broke down the left and beat two defenders before squaring the ball to Rodwell who fired home. Substitute Phil Barrowcliffe hit the bar as Ilkeston looked for a third although Ashby had the final word with a last minute consolation headed goal by Bradley.

CLIFTON CLINCH WIN IN FIVE GOAL THRILLER
11TH DECEMBER 1976
CLIFTON ALL WHITES 3 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston began the game brightly but once Clifton settled play went from end to end on the icy surface. Nick Jarvis saved The Robins when he headed off the line whilst at the other end Neil Rodwell and Tony Downie went close, but there were to be no goals in the first half.

A fast and furious second period opened with Ilkeston scoring within a minute of the restart. Clifton ‘keeper Hart’s poor goal kick went straight to Steve Taylor who made certain with a calm finish. Marshall put Clifton back on level terms soon after, but Ilkeston regained the lead within a minute with Dennis Webster’s fine lob from the edge of the box. However, Clifton were far from finished and they equalised with a fine cross shot by former Ilkeston player Peter Higgins. It was anybody’s game and Rodwell’s overhead kick just cleared the bar, but it was Clifton who grabbed the winner when Marshall’s brilliant run ended with Binch converting the chance provided. Andy Simpson went close to an Ilkeston equaliser late on and had it gone in it would probably have been a fairer result.

BOSTON BOSS POOR ROBINS
18TH DECEMBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 0 BOSTON 2
Ilkeston’s poor display prevented them from making any headway against a Boston team whose strength in midfield, organisation and skill allowed them to gradually take control. Steve Taylor and Tony Downie went close to giving Ilkeston an early lead before Steve Rann came to their rescue when he blocked a shot from point blank range. Himsworth then fired a long range shot just off target as Boston began to dictate and Vaughan had a goal disallowed for a foul on Rann who had just spilled a cross. Boston also had a very strong penalty appeal turned down before half time.

In the second half Ilkeston’s standards dropped further and it was no surprise when Reeson found Duncan to fire in from an acute angle on 72 minutes to give Boston the lead. Ilkeston tried to fight back but Boston added a second when Reeson broke through and beat the offside trap to score from 20 yards.

ROBINS RUE RODWELL MISS
27TH DECEMBER 1976
ILKESTON TOWN 2 RETFORD TOWN 5
Ilkeston were well below par and undoubtedly deserved to lose but the game was in the balance until the dying minutes. Second from bottom Retford adapted better to the hard pitch than Ilkeston, who missed an open goal in the opening minutes, and they took the lead on 8 minutes through Bell who beat the offside trap to lob Steve Rann. Ilkeston then stepped up a gear and Andy Simpson, Dick Kalasiak, Neil Rodwell and Steve Taylor all missed clear cut chances before they equalised before half time. Steve Slater and Rodwell combined well and the ball fell to Ian Harding who drove home.

Ilkeston put Retford under pressure early in the second half but were caught cold by two quick breaks that led to goals by Mallender and Bell, the latter being a result of a misunderstanding between Rann and Dick Fleckney. Retford were now dominant and had a goal disallowed before Doherty hit the woodwork with a header. Ilkeston looked to be out of it but still created a couple of good chances that Kalasiak and Taylor missed. They did score, however, when Kalasiak headed in a Rodwell cross and on 85 minutes they had a perfect chance to equalise but Rodwell’s penalty trickled wide. Harding then had an effort saved before Retford killed the game with two goals in the last three minutes by Smith and Mallender.

ROBINS RULE OVER HIGH FLYERS
8TH JANUARY 1977
ILKESTON TOWN 3 LONG EATON UNITED 1
High flying Long Eaton United were toppled by an Ilkeston team that played at their best. The visitors began strongly but The Robins came more into the game as the first half wore on, Phil Barrowcliffe testing ‘keeper Inger with a good shot. Long Eaton came closer to scoring, however, when Brindley’s shot hit the bar and future Ilkeston manager Steve Holder put the rebound over from close range.

The second half was dominated by Ilkeston and they took the lead in the 55th minute with a brilliant Dick Kalasiak diving header following a free kick. Andy Simpson and Steve Slater went close, and Ian Harding and Nick Jarvis were unlucky with good shots as Ilkeston remained in charge although Steve Rann made a good save at the other end. Ilkeston’s second goal was scored by Dennis Webster with a fine shot after Long Eaton’s defence failed to clear, and when Kalasiak was brought down Harding converted the penalty for the third. Substitute Steve Taylor could have added another but there was time for Long Eaton to grab a consolation goal through former Ilkeston midfielder Kevin Flynn who pounced following a good save by Rann.

NAILERS NAIL DOWN SEMIS SPOT
29TH JANUARY 1977
BELPER TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP QUARTER FINAL)
Lacklustre and lacking cohesion Ilkeston dominated possession but rarely looked like scoring. Belper, on the other hand, created only three serious chances, scoring from two of them and hitting the woodwork with the other. Ilkeston began positively but Belper, whose approach at times was extremely physical, came more into the game and Steve Rann had to make a couple of good saves to deny Johnson. And it was Johnson who broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time when he worked his way forward before unleashing a shot from 20 yards.

Ilkeston tried to find a way back in the early stages of the second half and almost equalised when Steve Slater intercepted a back pass and poked the ball past the advancing ‘keeper but the ball went narrowly wide. Slater also forced the ‘keeper into a good save with a well taken shot but that was as it good as it got for The Robins and it was no surprise when Johnson added his and Belper’s second.

RANN SAVES ROBINS FROM MASSACRE
5TH FEBRUARY 1977
ALFRETON TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Alfreton went top of the table with this win as they headed towards another Midland Counties League title. They dominated the game, twice hit the woodwork and only a string of brilliant saves by Steve Rann prevented them from winning by a much bigger margin. His first save, from Folan, came in the opening couple of minutes but Folan was not to be denied. He took advantage of some slack defending to put Alfreton in front after 4 minutes. Rann made fine saves from Lyons and Hallett as the half wore on but he was beaten in the 42nd minute, again by Folan.

Ilkeston did improve after half time and Neil Rodwell missed a couple of good chances but Alfreton always looked capable of scoring more goals and one came from Hollett late in the game.

HARDING PEN WRITES OFF BELPER
12TH FEBRUARY 1977
BELPER TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston produced their best performance for some time and dominated Belper with their flowing football. They could have scored more goals than the one they had to show for their efforts, that being from a rather fortunate penalty. Early on Steve Slater slammed a shot against the bar and Dick Kalasiak headed the rebound wide. Steve Taylor was just off target with a powerful shot, and Dick Fleckney drove wide following a Dick Kalasiak header as Ilkeston continued to dominate. The Robins went in front when Dennis Webster was adjudged to have been pushed by the ‘keeper and Ian Harding put the penalty away with ease. Although Ilkeston were well on top throughout the first half Steve Rann had to make a couple of good saves before half time.

Nick Jarvis preserved Ilkeston’s lead early in the second half when he cleared off the line but as The Robins gradually regained control Dick Kalasiak went on a forward burst before his effort suffered a similar fate. Belper rarely threatened although Rann had to react well to a shot that took a deflection off Harding.

KIMBERLEY CRUSH TOWN
26TH FEBRUARY 1977
KIMBERLEY TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston had the better of the first half but fell away badly as silly mistakes and slack marking cost them dearly. There were no goals in an exciting opening period although when Kimberley came more into it as half time approached a Paul header was cleared off the line by Nick Jarvis.

A mistake by ‘keeper Steve Rann gifted Kimberley a 48th minute goal scored by Harbon with a low shot, and although Dick Kalasiak missed a good chance for Ilkeston they were outplayed by the home side during the second half. Former Ilkeston player manager Phil Waller added the second on 78 minutes, and after Steve Taylor and John Parry had shots saved at the other end Paul made it three 4 minutes from time.

BETTER SLATE THAN NEVER
5TH MARCH 1977
ASHBY INSTITUTE 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston deservedly beat bottom club Ashby in a tense struggle with a battling performance. Played on an uneven pitch and in a gusty wind the game was occasionally a rough one. Ilkeston showed character early in the game as they survived some Ashby pressure and the best chance of the first half fell Ilkeston’s way but Dick Fleckney spurned it when he headed over. ‘Keeper Steve Rann needed lengthy treatment before half time in making a brave save to keep The Robins on level terms.

Ilkeston improved and were more ambitious after the break and their persistence was finally rewarded on 70 minutes when Steve Slater’s goalbound shot was helped in by a defender. Ilkeston were now well in control and continued to search for more goals without success.

ROBINS OUTCLASSED
19TH MARCH 1977
ILKESTON TOWN 1 BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 3
Poor in defeat, Ilkeston lacked direction and enthusiasm as they were outplayed by the visitors. Trinity took the lead on 25 minutes when Jackson bent a magnificent free kick over the defensive wall. Ilkeston’s only effort of note in the first half came just before half time through Dick Fleckney’s fierce shot.

Harper netted from close range after Martin beat two defenders to supply a perfect pass in the 53rd minute. Mason scored Bridlington’s third and it was only when they were well beaten that Ilkeston showed any sort of attacking threat. Dennis Webster tried a long shot and substitute Clyde Downie shot just over. It was Downie who scored a super consolation goal eight minutes from time, starting and finishing the move himself.

SIMPSON SEALS IT WITH LATE GOAL
26TH MARCH 1977
ILKESTON TOWN 2 SKEGNESS TOWN 1
Ilkeston played well throughout a fast and exciting game but had to come from behind to win it. Early on Clyde Downie went on a brilliant run before shooting across the face of goal. Although Atkinson and Whittaker went close for Skegness Ilkeston continued to look the more dangerous. ‘Keeper Proctor couldn’t hold Ian Harding’s free kick and Dick Kalasiak was just unable to force the loose ball home, and when Proctor could only half stop an Andy Simpson free kick Steve Taylor pushed the ball just wide.

Skegness got their noses in front early in the second half when Dave Winfield lost control of the ball and Rogers cracked an unstoppable shot past the advancing Steve Rann. But Ilkeston equalised on the hour. Simpson got his head to a corner and Clyde Downie forced the ball in. Ilkeston went all out for a winner with Proctor making a great save from a brilliant Steve Slater header, and Winfield’s fine shot narrowly missed the upright. However, a Simpson header late in the game ensured Ilkeston of a deserved victory.

ROBINS ROBBED AT LONG EATON
2ND APRIL 1977
LONG EATON UNITED 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston made a spirited fightback at second place Long Eaton and deserved something from the game but a controversial decision robbed them of a point. Long Eaton were well on top for most of the first half and Edwards slammed in the first goal to put them ahead. Andy Simpson had two decent efforts as The Robins rallied briefly, the first being a fine shot that went just over and then he went close with a free kick. But Long Eaton scored again through Edwards in the 25th minute when he controlled the ball and shot past Steve Rann following a Dowling free kick. The referee needed to lecture the two captains before half time when former Ilkeston player Ian Muir clashed with Tony Downie and Dave Winfield.

Ilkeston were a different side after the interval and Winfield got them right back in it with a well taken goal following a good move. With the upper hand Ilkeston pushed hard for an equaliser and they thought they had got it but Simpson’s seemingly good goal was disallowed. Even with ten minutes of injury time added on Ilkeston couldn’t find the goal that would have given them a well earned point.

ILKESTON IN BRIGG TROUBLE
6TH APRIL 1977
ILKESTON TOWN 0 BRIGG TOWN 2
One of the linesmen failed to show up and Ilkeston’s players probably wished they hadn’t either as they failed to perform and never got going. Robinson scored a goal in each half for the visitors with the only two efforts of note by Ilkeston coming from substitute Danny Anderson with good shots.

TOWN GO DOWN AGAIN
11TH APRIL 1977
BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston began brightly and made Bridlington fight all the way but they left the coastal town empty handed. Steve Slater came close to giving Ilkeston the lead when his powerful shot was spilled by ‘keeper Lavery who just managed to reach the ball before it crossed the line. Ian Wilson then had a header cleared off the line before Bridlington came more into the game. Steve Rann had to make two good saves and Currie shot over an empty net but Ilkeston came again with a Steve Taylor effort that went close.

Ilkeston were under more pressure early in the second half and Rann made a couple of good saves before Bridlington got the winner on the hour. A disputed free kick, awarded for obstruction against Dick Fleckney, was headed in by Johnson. Ilkeston fought hard to get back in the game and had a good chance to equalise when Wilson fired high over.

TONY BOOSTS TOWN
16TH APRIL 1977
BRIGG TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston travelled to third place Brigg and returned home with a morale boosting and well earned point. They dominated the first half and a spectacular Steve Slater strike gave them a deserved lead.

Two goals in two minutes midway through the second half, headers from Bloomer and Martin, put Brigg ahead and Ilkeston had Steve Rann to thank for keeping them in the game when he made a brilliant save from Chapman. The Robins were rewarded on 86 minutes when Tony Downie forced his way forward to score with a fine shot.

TOWN LACK FINISHING TOUCH
23RD APRIL 1977
ILKESTON TOWN 0 MEXBOROUGH TOWN ATHLETIC 0
Despite the hard ground and high wind there was plenty of good football on offer, particularly from Ilkeston who controlled the midfield but they couldn’t finish off their approach work. Mexborough, on the other hand, made life difficult with some tough tackling and they had two players booked inside the first 20 minutes. Ian Harding missed a chance as Ilkeston began brightly and when Mexborough came more into the game Steve Rann had to be at his best to save a header. Ilkeston, however, remained the better side during the first half and Cooper made an excellent save from Steve Slater’s fine header from Clyde Downie’s cross.

The second half belonged to Ilkeston as well but they were unable to find the goal they deserved.

ROBINS CRASH
27TH APRIL 1977
BOSTON 5 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston were on the wrong end of a drubbing at Boston. No match report available.

ARNOLD DEFLATED BY SLATER
30TH APRIL 1977
ILKESTON TOWN 1 ARNOLD 0
Arnold, chasing the runners up spot, had their hopes dealt a big blow by The Robins. The visitors began very strongly with former Ilkeston strker John Limb to the fore, firstly heading against the bar and then striking a powerful shot that was scrambled to safety. Ilkeston came more into the game as the first half wore on and were in control as half time approached. Clyde Downie shot inches off target after a great dribble, and when John Parry’s free kick left Andy Simpson with a good chance he struck the ball well but was denied by a brilliant save by ex Ilkeston ‘keeper Graham Pigott.

Arnold began the second half as they had the first but they were rocked in the 55th minute when Ilkeston took the lead. Parry’s good cross found Dick Kalasiak who released the ball to Steve Slater who hammered it into the roof of the net. Ilkeston dominated the rest of the half although they had to negotiate a nervy last few minutes as Arnold pressed hard to get back on level terms.

JARVIS JOY SHORTLIVED
7TH MAY 1977
SUTTON TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston should have won an entertaining game they dominated after taking the lead in the 16th minute with a spectacular long range strike by Nick Jarvis. They held the lead for just seven minutes, however.

The Robins missed chances in the second half, Dick Kalasiak being guilty of missing two good openings, and Steve Slater’s 67th minute drive into the net was disallowed. For all their dominance Ilkeston almost lost the game in the dying seconds when Sutton missed a great chance.

MEXBOROUGH MAUL ROBINS
11TH MAY 1977
MEXBOROUGH TOWN ATHLETIC 4 ILKESTON TOWN 0
No match report available.