07 24






1980/81 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts
1 Boston 34 23 9 2 70 18 55
2 Alfreton Town 34 16 10 8 73 40 42
3 Eastwood Town 34 16 9 9 63 41 41
4 Bridlington Trinity 34 15 10 9 63 40 40
5 Guisborough Town 34 16 7 11 60 48 39
6 Belper Town 34 15 8 11 44 43 38
7 Arnold 34 14 8 12 55 47 36
8 Heanor Town 34 13 10 11 57 52 36
9 Skegness Town 34 12 11 11 49 52 35
10 Long Eaton United 34 13 8 13 54 51 34
11 Appleby Frodingham Athletic 34 12 10 12 56 56 34
12 Sutton Town 34 12 10 12 48 51 34
13 Mexborough Town Athletic 34 12 5 17 42 67 29
14 Spalding United 34 10 7 17 28 47 27
15 Ashby Institute 34 12 3 19 40 60 27
16 ILKESTON TOWN 34 7 9 18 44 65 23
17 Brigg Town 34 6 10 18 42 63 22
18 Kimberley Town 34 6 8 20 34 81 20



1980/81 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE RESULTS

DATE OPPONENTS RESULT SCORERS
16 AUG ASHBY INSTITUTE D1-1 TAYLOR
19 AUG Belper Town L1-2 TAYLOR
23 AUG Alfreton Town L2-3 BEARDSLEY, TAYLOR
26 AUG ALFRETON TOWN D3-3 TAYLOR, HENSHAW, FLECKNEY
30 AUG Brigg Town L0-3
02 SEP Ashby Institute L0-1
10 SEP BELPER TOWN L1-2 FLECKNEY (PEN)
20 SEP SUTTON TOWN W2-1 FLECKNEY 2
27 SEP Heanor Town L2-7 FLECKNEY, HENSHAW
04 OCT GUISBOROUGH D0-0
11 OCT Appleby Frodingham Athletic L1-3 FLECKNEY
18 OCT Spalding United W2-1 PARRY, BEARDSLEY
25 OCT ARNOLD D1-1 SZEP
01 NOV BRIDLINGTON TRINITY L0-3
08 NOV Guisborough L2-3 TAYLOR, BEARDSLEY (PEN)
22 NOV APPLEBY FRODINGHAM ATHLETIC D2-2 BEARDSLEY (PEN), LEVERS
06 DEC SPALDING UNITED D1-1 SMITH
13 DEC Arnold L1-3 BEARDSLEY (PEN)
20 DEC SKEGNESS TOWN W4-1 WEBSTER 2, LOCKWOOD (OG), PARRY
27 DEC LONG EATON UNITED L2-5 PARRY, WEBSTER
03 JAN Boston L0-3
24 JAN BOSTON W3-0 GREEN, BELL, FLYNN
31 JAN Sutton Town L0-1
07 FEB Mexborough Town Athletic D1-1 BELL (PEN)
14 FEB Kimberley Town L1-2 WEBSTER
21 FEB EASTWOOD TOWN L0-1
28 FEB Skegness Town L2-3 SMITH, FLYNN
28 MAR BRIGG TOWN W1-0 WEBSTER
07 APR Eastwood Town W2-0 WEBSTER, HENSHAW
11 APR Bridlington Trinity L0-2
18 APR KIMBERLEY TOWN D0-0
20 APR MEXBOROUGH TOWN ATHLETIC L2-3 NEWTON, COLLISON
28 APR Long Eaton United D1-1 WEBSTER
02 MAY HEANOR TOWN W3-2 WEBSTER, COLLISON, FLYNN



1980/81 FA CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT
1QR 13 SEP HOLBEACH UNITED D0-0 119
1QRrep 17 SEP Holbeach United L0-1 130



1980/81 FA TROPHY RESULT

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORER
PR 06 SEP Sutton Coldfield Town L1-2 148 FRANCIS



1980/81 DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP RESULT

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT
1R 29 NOV Matlock Town L0-3 384



1980/81 MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CUP RESULT

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT
PR 10 JAN SKEGNESS TOWN L0-3

ROBINS HELD AS SKIPPER WALKS OUT
16TH AUGUST 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 1 ASHBY INSTITUTE 1
Ilkeston captain Jim Baker stormed out of the ground ten minutes before the kick off following a disagreement with new manager David Stainwright. Under the circumstances Town were probably happy to end the game with a point. Ilkeston began well on a warm bright afternoon despite the pitch being in poor condition following heavy rain. Their early dominance was rewarded in the 24th minute when Steve Taylor headed home a fine cross supplied by Steve Dowey. But despite controlling the first half The Robins were pegged back a minute before the break. 'Keeper Pete Tyrell managed to block Cowling's shot but the defence failed to clear and Robinson pounced to level the scores.

Ashby were much improved after the break and grew stronger as the game went on. Nevertheless Ilkeston had chances to win with Tommy Anderson twice going close, as did Alan Green. 
 
HOLLETT SPOILS IT FOR ROBINS
19TH AUGUST 1980
BELPER TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Reigning champions Belper looked like being held to a point before they took the points with a late goal. Belper dominated the first half and took the lead on 33 minutes when Ilkeston 'keeper Pete Tyrell brought down Ormondroyd and Brentnall scored from the spot.

Ilkeston drew level early in the second half when Steve Taylor's miscued shot deceived future Ilkeston 'keeper Ken Shaw. But their hopes of picking upan excellent point were wrecked ten minutes from time when Dick Fleckney's pass back was intercepted by substitute Hollett who went on to score.

ROBINS THROW AWAY TWO GOAL LEAD
23RD AUGUST 1980
ALFRETON TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston ought to have picked up at least a point but came away with nothing when Alfreton scored a winner in stoppage time. They began well and Tommy Anderson had an effort ruled out before Alfreton got a foothold and Pete Tyrell had to make a couple of excellent saves. But it was Ilkeston who took the lead on 38 minutes with a well struck free kick by Chris Beardsley. The Robins were on top for the remainder of the half.

Ilkeston seemed to be on course for victory when Steve Taylor made it two with a well taken goal. But goals from Cant and Emmett changed the picture and Alfreton went on to win.

FLECK WRECKS REDS HOPES
26TH AUGUST 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 3 ALFRETON TOWN 3
Alfreton got off to a flying start with a first minute goal by Cant who pushed the ball into the net during a goalmouth scramble. Ilkeston settled down, however, and drew level a minute before the break when Steve Taylor headed in Tommy Anderson's corner.

Alfreton began the second half strongly and when Les Parker was found guilty of pushing White scored from the spot five minutes after the restart. Four minutes later Emmett won the ball and found Henson who fired into the corner for Alfreton's third. But Ilkeston fought back and gave themselves hope when Alan Henshaw scored in the 78th minute. Their hopes were realised two minutes from time when Chris Beardsley pushed his free kick into Dick Fleckney's path and he scored with a fierce shot on the turn.

DRINKELL SPRINKLES MORE WOE ON TOWN
30TH AUGUST 1980
BRIGG TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston were as miserable as the wet and windy weather and they found themselves a goal down after 5 minutes when they failed to clear a cross and Ellis drove home. Brigg put on constant pressure throughout the first half and Drinkell doubled their lead on 29 minutes. Drinkell compounded Ilkeston's misery by netting his second and Brigg's third.

MISSED CHANCES COSTLY FOR TOWN
2ND SEPTEMBER 1980
ASHBY INSTITUTE 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston produced a feast of exciting, attacking football during the first half but missed a series of great chances, the best two of which fell to Steve Taylor and Dick Fleckney. Fleckney was also denied by a great save by Pass. But the only goal of the game came Ashby's way, scored by Whyte.

TOWN KNOCKED OUT COLD
6TH SEPTEMBER 1980
SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (FA TROPHY PRELIMINARY ROUND)
Playing in their first FA Trophy game since 1977 after failing to enter for the past couple of seasons Ilkeston appeared to be heading for a replay before their West Midlands Regional League Premier Division opponents scored a late winner. Sutton Coldfield dominated the first half and led at the break.

Ilkeston then showed their fighting qualities and improved considerably after half time. They were rewarded in the 75th minute with a well taken goal by Carl Francis. But Sutton Coldfield struck again to send Town out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle.

OWN GOAL COSTS ROBINS POINT
10TH SEPTEMBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 1 BELPER TOWN 2
Ilkeston looked set for a point against a team that won the Midlands Counties League just four months earlier until a last minute own goal won the game for Belper.

Earlier Dowling had put Belper ahead in the first half but Ilkeston pegged them back on 70 minutes through a Dick Fleckney penalty.

BORE DRAW LEADS TO REPLAY
13TH SEPTEMBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 0 HOLBEACH UNITED 0 (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND)
Faced by opponents from the United Counties League Ilkeston were held to a draw in an uninspiring game played in wet and windy weather. Holbeach dictated the early play but Ilkeston, playing in their first FA Cup tie since 1977, defended soundly before play became more even. The closest Ilkeston came to scoring in the first half was a powerfully struck shot by Alan Henshaw that was saved.

Ilkeston came more into the game the longer it went on although Holbeach were threatening on the break. In the end both teams had to settle for a replay.

FREAK GOAL SKITTLES TOWN
17TH SEPTEMBER 1980
HOLBEACH UNITED 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND REPLAY)
Holbeach started the game positively but Ilkeston settled down and as half time approached The Robins looked the better side.

Ilkeston remained confident after the break until Holbeach settled the tie with a strange goal on 55 minutes. A cross struck unsighted 'keeper Bob Henshaw on the knee before bouncing off Jimmy Webb and into his own net. From that point on Ilkeston faded badly and the home side deserved their passage into the next round.

STAINWRIGHT BREAKS HIS DUCK
20TH SEPTEMBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 2 SUTTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston rode their luck to record their first win under David Stainwright's leadership. They didn't play well, particularly in the first half, and they fell behind to a good goal by Hobson on the half hour. 'Keeper Bob Henshaw then made a good save to keep Ilkeston in the game before Jim Baker went close for The Robins with a header from the edge of the box.

Ilkeston improved after half time and went close on a few occasions before turning things around late in the game. Dick Fleckney scored two goals, both of which were provided by substitute Tommy Anderson, to leave Ilkeston second from the bottom in the table.

HUMILIATION AT HEANOR
27TH SEPTEMBER 1980
HEANOR TOWN 7 ILKESTON TOWN 2
All seemed well for Ilkeston when Dick Fleckney headed them into a 13th minute lead following a corner. But Heanor hit back immediately with two goals inside a minute and Ilkeston capitulated, their lack of effort simply adding to the humiliation. Bob Henshaw's error led to Kerry driving home Heanor's equaliser on 14 minutes, and seconds later Henshaw brought down future Ilkeston player Kevin Smith and Egan scored from the spot. Fisher scored their third a minute before half time.

Heanor destroyed Ilkeston after the break with two goals from Malc Ablott who would later play for Ilkeston, and one from Egan. Alan Henshaw scored a consolation goal for The Robins on 70 minutes but there was still time for Smith to add a seventh goal for Heanor. 

ROBINS PRESSURE BRINGS NO REWARD
4TH OCTOBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 0 GUISBOROUGH TOWN 0
Ilkeston were as bright as the sunny afternoon but failed to win an exciting game. They went close to taking the lead when Chris Beardsley's terrific shot skimmed the bar. Stills and Dilworth had near misses for the visitors but Ilkeston were extremely unlucky not to take a first half lead when Jimmy Webb's tremendous shot crashed against the bar.

Ilkeston dominated the second half but had no luck in front of goal and failed to pick up the two points their overall performance warranted.

SNEE GLEE AS TOWN ARE EXPOSED
11TH OCTOBER 1980
APPLEBY FRODINGHAM ATHLETIC 3 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Despite playing their part in an entertaining game Ilkeston's shortcomings in defence were ruthlessly exploited by the home side. Appleby took the lead after just 4 minutes when Town failed to clear a free kick and Snee fired home amid the confusion. Ilkeston responded with a John Parry shot that found the side net before the home side took control. Appleby scored a gift second in the 30th minute when Snee's harmless centre completely deceived 'keeper Bob Henshaw and crept into the net. Despite decent efforts by Dick Fleckney and Tommy Anderson Town went in at the break two goals down.

Snee added a third five minutes after half time. Ilkeston's best spell came during the final half hour and they were rewarded with a goal on 75 minutes. Parry found Dick Fleckney who scored with a delightful curling shot.

TOWN WIN BATTLE AT THE BOTTOM
18TH OCTOBER 1980
SPALDING UNITED 1 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Despite falling behind to Oliver's 4th minute goal Ilkeston recovered well to produce a fine performance against the bottom club. Spalding were on top during the early stages but Ilkeston settled as the first half progressed.

The Robins drew level on 66 minutes when John Parry burst forward from midfield before unleashing an unstoppable 30 yard shot. Both teams went in search of a winner and it came Ilkeston's way in the final minute. Chris Beardsley got it with a well taken shot.

LATE GOAL THWARTS ROBINS
25TH OCTOBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 1 ARNOLD 1
Ilkeston's good performance ought to have brought them a victory but they were denied maximum points by a late equaliser. Clive Smith brought future Ilkeston 'keeper Dave Buxton to make a superb save but there waslittle he could do about Town's 24th minute goal. He managed to get a hand to John Parry's powerful shot and Steve Szep was on hand to drive home the loose ball.

The second half was played at a furious pace as Arnold came more into it but Ilkeston remained dangerous and Szep went close to sealing the game. However, Elliot set up Dixon for Arnold's equaliser late on. Ilkeston almost snatched victory when Chris Beardsley's powerful header was saved by Buxton.

DISASTROUS START KILLS OFF FEEBLE ROBINS
1ST NOVEMBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 0 BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 3
Ilkeston never recovered after conceding a goal after just 55 seconds when Taylor scored with a well taken goal. Taylor almost scored again with an effort that hit the bar before the visitors scored twice more thanks to two own goals. On 42 minutes Jimmy Webb diverted Raynor's cross past Bob Henshaw, and a minute later it was Jim Baker's turn to put the ball into his own net.

Ilkeston did improve a little after the break but apart from a couple of missed chances by Steve Szep and Clive Smith they never seriously troubled Bridlington. Indeed it took a couple of saves by Henshaw late in the game to prevent The Robins from falling to a heavier defeat.

LATE FIGHTBACK BRINGS NO REWARD
8TH NOVEMBER 1980
GUISBOROUGH TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston buckled under constant first half pressure. Guisborough took the lead on 20 minutes when Chris Beardsley sliced the ball into his own net. Scott then made it two with a tremendous 30 yard shot and it took a brilliant save by Bob Henshaw to prevent a third.

When Maltby headed number three early in the second half it seemed as if the game was over but Ilkeston began to show some spirit. Steve Taylor pulled a goal back on 67 minutes and Beardsley scored a late penalty. However, it was too little too late.

TOWN THROW AWAY TWO GOAL LEAD
22ND NOVEMBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 2 APPLEBY FRODINGHAM ATHLETIC 2 
Ilkeston were unlucky not to win this entertaining game and could have sewn the game up before half time. They adapted to the heavy conditions better than the visitors, and after Willie Robertson and Jimmy Webb went close they took a 20th minute lead. Alan Henshaw was brought down and Chris Beardsley netted with a confidently taken penalty. Clive Smith almost made it two but his effort was cleared off the line before Appleby Frodingham had their first serious goal attempt, Bob Henshaw saving Whyte's shot.

When Ilkeston scored again on 50 minutes it seemed as if victory was heading their way. Alan Henshaw's shot was parried into the path of Mark Levers who forced the ball home. The Robins, however, gradually lost their hold on the game and Keena pulled one back when he took full advantage of a poor clearance. Then the visitors scored a controversial equaliser ten minutes from time. A twice taken free kick came back off the Ilkeston wall to Welbourne who made no mistake. Town tried hard to find a late winner and Steve Taylor, Smith and Dave Waller all went close to grabbing one.   

OUTCLASSED AND OUT OF THE CUP
29TH NOVEMBER 1980
MATLOCK TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP FIRST ROUND)
Northern Premier League side Matlock outplayed Ilkeston in the mud and only a string of fine saves by Bob Henshaw kept the score down. Ilkeston resisted gamely under fierce pressure early on but Matlock hit them with three goals in a five minute spell through Travis, Scott and Travis again. Then, on 31 minutes, Jim Baker handled and Henshaw did brilliantly to save Walker's penalty.

Good second half defending by Ilkeston and poor finishing stopped the game from turning into a rout.

STRUGGLERS CAN'T BE SEPERATED 
6TH DECEMBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 1 SPALDING UNITED 1
Town ought to have won but their failure to take their chances led to them being held in a game they dominated. They were on top from the start and took a 12th minute through Clive Smith following a well taken free kick. The Robins controlled the first half but found themselves back on level terms two minutes before the break thanks to a swift counter attack. Warnes received a quick throw out from his 'keeper and released Lewis who ran through to score.

Ilkeston wasted chances after the break although Spalding had a goal disallowed in one rare attack. Ilkeston's best chance of all came in the last minute when Dave Waller rounded the 'keeper but his fatal hesitation gave a defender time to get back and clear his shot off the line.

BIRCH CANES ILKESTON
13TH DECEMBER 1980
ARNOLD 3 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Arnold dominated the first half and took the lead in the 23rd minute when Norris took full advantage of a poor back pass by Alan Newton. Yet Ilkeston fought back to equalise before half time. Alan Henshaw won a penalty that was converted by Chris Beardsley.

Arnold regained control after the break and went on to win thanks to two pieces of clinical finishing by Birch. The result left Ilkeston firmly rooted at the foot of the table.

ROBINS RUN RIOT AS WEBSTER LEADS THE WAY
20TH DECEMBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 4 SKEGNESS TOWN 1
Ilkeston's superb display gave them a much needed victory. They took the lead inside the first minute when Chris Beardsley's shot got stuck in the mud and debutant Jeff Webster pounced to drive home. Further Ilkeston led to a second goal on 15 minutes when Lockwood scored an own goal. Skegness rallied before half time and Bob Henshaw was tested by a fine shot by Drinkell. It was Drinkell who gave the visitors hope with a tremendous goal before the interval.

Skegness looked sharp early in the second half but Ilkeston struck on the hour, Beardsley's fine free kick being converted by Webster for his second. Ilkeston then took complete control and John Parry made it four with a superb 25 yard shot.

WOEFUL ROBINS CHRISTMAS SHOCKER
27TH DECEMBER 1980
ILKESTON TOWN 2 LONG EATON UNITED 5
Ilkeston got off to the best possible start by scoring after just 1 minute, John Parry thumping home a superb drive from 30 yards. Long Eaton soon got more into the game and it was no surprise when they equalised in the 15th minute, Alan Green's indecision allowing McMahon the chance which he accepted. The rest of the first half was fairly even although Ilkeston created very little apart from a couple of long range strikes by Chris Beardsley.

There was little sign of the carnage to come as the second half started but Town completely fell apart during a spell when Long Eaton scored 4 times in a 15 minute spell. Crudge put them ahead, McMahon made it three, future Ilkeston striker Paul Acklam added another, and future Ilkeston manager Steve Holder scored the fifth direct from a corner. The inept Robins did manage to score a last minute consolation goal through Jeff Webster who drove home after being put through by a lovely pass from Lee Johnson. 

BOSTON STILL UNBEATEN
3RD JANUARY 1981
BOSTON 3 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Boston, unbeaten at the top of the table and racing towards the title, cruised to a straightforward victory. On a windy afternoon they took the lead after just 5 minutes when Musson's 40 yard free kick was deflected into the net by Cox past debutant 'keeper Dave Buxton. They soon scored a second when Steve Straw conceded a penalty that was converted by Scothorne. Cox made it three with just half an hour gone.

With the home side in complete control they relaxed after half time but Ilkeston could make little headway.

ROBINS ROUTED
10TH JANUARY 1981
ILKESTON TOWN 0 SKEGNESS TOWN 3 (LEAGUE CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND)
Ilkeston's inept and gutless performance ensured they were knocked out of the league cup at the earliest possible stage. On a heavy pitch both teams seemed edgy early on as the wind made life difficult but the visitors always looked the more dangerous. Once Skegness took a 15th minute lead there was only going to be one winner. The goal came when Sharpe pounced on a loose ball and fired the ball in dangerously for Alan Newton to slice it into his own net. The closest Ilkeston came to a goal in the first half was a long shot from John Parry that narrowly missed the target.

Ilkeston's play deteriorated further after the break and but for 'keeper Dave Buxton the final score could have been much worse. Pigott's fine goal made sure that Ilkeston were out of the contest, and with Skegness in complete control during the closing stages they added a third goal.

BOSTON SHOCKED AS ROBINS ROCKED
24TH JANUARY 1981
ILKESTON TOWN 3 BOSTON 0
Boston lost their unbeaten record and were destroyed by a brilliant Ilkeston performance. After weathering the early storm Ilkeston began to create chances. Kevin Flynn set up a chance for Alan Henshaw who fired over and Alan Bell went close before Town took the lead. Bell and Mark Levers combined well for Alan Green to force home. Boston came back strongly before half time but Ilkeston defended soundly to hold on to their lead.

Ilkeston doubled their lead in the 50th minute when Henshaw broke down the right and found Bell whose shot crashed into the net off a defender. Boston then pushed forward in numbers but Ilkeston remained resolute and 'keeper Dave Buxton made some good saves. The match was put beyond Boston's reach ten minutes from time when good play by Jeff Webster set up Flynn to score with a fierce shot.

DRAB ROBINS STUMBLE AT SUTTON
31ST JANUARY 1981
SUTTON TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Lacklustre Ilkeston had to chances to draw but failed to take them against a mediocre Sutton team. Sutton were lively at the start and Ilkeston had to defend well. The Robins went close to taking the lead when Kevin Flynn's long range strike was tipped over but it was Sutton who grabbed the only goal on 42 minutes, Hobson firing in following a free kick.

Play was ragged in the second half with frequent stoppages. Ilkeston grew frustrated, partly at their own poor finishing, and lost their way. Their day was summed up in the last minute when Alan Henshaw, with only the 'keeper to beat, shot wide.

REF IN THE SPOT-LIGHT
7TH FEBRUARY 1981
MEXBOROUGH TOWN ATHLETIC 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Two harsh penalty awards for handball presented a goal for each team but Ilkeston could count themselves unlucky not to have returned home with a victory. They began very brightly and took the lead on 4 minutes. Jeff Webster looked to be about to latch onto a through ball but it was cut out by Mellow. However, the referee adjudged that the ball had been handled and Alan Bell made certain from the spot. Mexborough equalised with a penalty of their own ten minutes later when Alan Henshaw, attempting to clear, miskicked and the ball bounced up and struck his hand. Kulic scored from the spot.

Mexborough began the second half well. Clive Smith cleared one attempt off the line and Dave Buxton made a good save to thwart Oxer. But Ilkeston gradually took control and had chances to win. Great play by Webster set up Henshaw who fired over, and Webster saw his good effort saved by Proctor. However, The Robins' pressure counted for nothing and they had to settle for a point. 

STAGS BAG THE POINTS
14TH FEBRUARY 1981
KIMBERLEY TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston's bid to avoid having to apply for re-election took a turn for the worse when they were deservedly beaten at the bottom club. They started well enough and took an early lead when Lee Johnson's cross was hammered home by Jeff Webster. But Kimberley equalised ten minutes later with a Hill header after former Ilkeston player Phil Barrowcliffe beat three men and crossed from the right. The teams had chances to take the lead before half time, the woodwork denying both of them.

Kimberley's winner came a minute into the second half. Under pressure Clive Smith put through his own goal following a corner. The home side then took control and only the excellence of Ilkeston 'keeper Dave Buxton prevented Kimberley from winning by a bigger margin.

BADGERS WIN WITH CONTROVERSIAL GOAL
21ST FEBRUARY 1981
ILKESTON TOWN 0 EASTWOOD TOWN 1
Ilkeston played well and more than held their own but luck deserted them as they fell to another defeat. The visitors began the stronger but Ilkeston defended well and they came more into the game as the first half wore on.

The second half belonged to Ilkeston who dominated the game but were unable to create any clear cut chances. Then, in the dying minutes, a Chambers shot hit the bar and the referee ruled that the ball had crossed the line, much to Ilkeston's dismay. The Robins went in search of a late equaliser but it wouldn't come. Dave Collison made his Ilkeston debut.

ROBBED
28TH FEBRUARY 1981
SKEGNESS TOWN 3 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Skegness scored their winning goal controversially six minutes into stoppage time after Ilkeston had come back from two goals behind. Both teams began the game looking to attack and it was Skegness who took the lead when Drinkell's cross was punched into his own net by 'keeper Dave Buxton. Four minutes later Drinkell beat three Ilkeston defenders before driving home.

Ilkeston produced some quality football, particularly after half time, and they pulled a goal back early in the second half when Clive Smith headed in from a corner. Kevin Flynn then grabbed the equaliser and it looked as if The Robins would pick up a point. But Skegness still created chances and hit the bar, whilst Ilkeston had a goal disallowed. Then, with 96 minutes on the clock, Spall's deflected shot found the target. 

BRIGG BATTLE BUT ROBINS TAKE POINTS
28TH MARCH 1981
ILKESTON TOWN 1 BRIGG TOWN 0
Ilkeston were fortunate to win but an uninspiring performance still brought a crucial victory against a robust and experienced Brigg team. Although Steve Straw and Jeff Webster went close for Ilkeston during the first half Brigg were much the better side and only some excellent goalkeeping by Dave Buxton kept The Robins on level terms.

Ilkeston improved in the second half as the game became more physical. There were several bookings and a Brigg player needed to go to hospital for treatment. The Robins' winning goal came midway through the second half thanks to a beautiful strike by Webster.

CRUCIAL DERBY WIN FOR ROBINS
7TH APRIL 1981
EASTWOOD TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston picked up a much needed victory in their bid to avoid applying for re-election. It was well merited, and although they had to defend for much of the game they did so without alarm. Ilkeston's opener came in the 22nd minute and there was an element of good fortune about it. Chris Beardsley broke strongly down the right and his powerful cross struck Jeff Webster's shoulder before boucing wickedly into the net.

Ilkeston made certain of victory late in the game. Alan Henshaw capitalised on an error by Wharton and easily beat that advancing Price for a well taken goal. 

TASTY HERRING AT THE SEASIDE LEAVES TOWN SICK
11TH APRIL 1981
BRIDLINGTON TRINITY 2 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston played well during the first third of the game with both Chris Beardsley and Alan Henshaw going close. But Town gradually faded and Bridlington went on to win comfortably. The home side took the lead on the stroke of half time through Kudelnitzki who took advantage of a slack defence to drive into the net.

Ilkeston offered little after the break and it was no shock when Herring made it two.

SHOCKER
18TH APRIL 1981
ILKESTON TOWN 0 KIMBERLEY TOWN 0
Bottom club Kimberley and fellow strugglers Ilkeston illustrated why they were favourites for having to apply for re-election as they served up a dish of rotten football. Chances were very few and far between and when they came no one had the quality to take them. Substitute John Parry made his final appearance for Ilkeston.

ROBINS CRASH IN CRACKER
20TH APRIL 1981
ILKESTON TOWN 2 MEXBOROUGH TOWN ATHLETIC 3
This was an exciting game but Ilkeston lost after leading at half time, thus leaving themselves in a highly precarious position at the foot of the table. Mexborough had an early goal disallowed when Levitt's thumping free kick was ruled out for offside but the game really sprung into life after halfan hour with three goals in a five minute spell. The visitors took the lead on 30 minutes, Paul Gregory sending a header into his own net. Ilkeston drew level within a minute when Alan Newton met a corner with a fine header, and they soon took the lead with a brilliant goal. Dave Collison weaved his way past three defenders before blasting into the roof of the net from 20 yards.

Mexborough came out strongly after the break and went on to dominate the second half. Two goals from Kulic turned the match on its head and Ilkeston were left knowing that they needed at least 4 points from their final two games to avoid having to apply for re-election.

BUXTON SAVES THE DAY
28TH APRIL 1981
LONG EATON UNITED 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
A superb penalty save two minutes from time by Dave Buxton ensured that The Robins escaped from what would have been a hugely damaging defeat. Ilkeston took the lead with a fluke goal on 56 minutes, when Dick turned Chris Beardsley's low cross against Mark Levers and the ball then bounced off Jeff Webster's knee before finding the net. Long Eaton equalised in the 75th minute through future Ilkeston player Malc Ablott's close range effort after former Ilkeston player Danny Anderson's shot came back off the bar. Town clung on for the point although they had to be thankful to Buxton for his late penalty stop from future Ilkeston manager Steve Holder.

DERBY DRAMA ENDS IN ROBINS RELIEF
2ND MAY 1981
ILKESTON TOWN 3 HEANOR TOWN 2
Ilkeston went into the game knowing that they had to win if they were to be certain of avoiding the spectre of re-election. They should have taken an early lead when Mark Blount was brought down but Alan Bell's weak penalty was easily saved. However, Ilkeston were not downhearted and they deservedly took the lead on 17 minutes with a beautiful Jeff Webster header following Kevin Flynn's corner. Six minutes later they made it two when Dave Collison latched on to Steve Szep's free kick, and The Robins went on to dominate the rest of the half without adding to their score.

Ilkeston continued from where they left off at half time and a brilliant solo goal by Flynn appeared to make them home and dry. But panic set in when Heanor pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, and when the visitors scored again ten minutes from time the tension became almost unbearable. Ilkeston somehow managed to hang on to claim the victory they needed to make them safe.