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1992/93 WEST MIDLANDS REGIONAL LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts
1 Oldbury United 36 24 8 4 80 39 80
2 Chasetown 36 23 11 2 66 28 80
3 Paget Rangers 36 21 7 8 84 53 70
4 Rocester 36 20 9 7 71 41 69
5 Stourport Swifts 36 19 9 8 69 38 66
6 ILKESTON TOWN 36 19 8 9 73 38 65
7 Rushall Olympic 36 17 7 12 61 53 58
8 Wednesfield 36 14 10 12 58 47 52
9 Alvechurch 36 14 5 17 58 65 47
10 West Bromwich Town 36 13 6 17 54 86 45
11 Pelsall Villa 36 10 12 14 60 54 42
12 Blakenall 36 9 13 14 57 75 40
13 Willenhall Town 36 12 4 20 49 69 40
14 Hinckley Athletic 36 11 6 19 56 68 39
15 Halesowen Harriers 36 8 9 19 44 62 33
16 Cradley Town 36 9 6 21 42 71 33
17 Oldswinford 36 9 6 21 39 80 33
18 Westfields 36 8 6 22 56 85 30
19 Lye Town 36 7 8 21 47 72 29



NEW BEGINNING NO JOY
15TH AUGUST 1992
ILKESTON TOWN 1 CHASETOWN 1
The New Manor Ground opened its gates for the first time and Ilkeston, who included several newcomers including Jason Campbell, seemed determined to begin in style with a fine first half performance. However, they fell away in the second half and had to settle for a point against a good Chasetown team. The Robins began strongly but failed to turn their early superiority into goals. Jamie Kay with two blocked headers, Simon Osborne, and a Larry Burrell effort that was kept out by 'keeper Withington all went close but they had to wait until the 39th minute, just as Chasetown were getting into the game, before they scored the historic first goal. Debutant Nigel Baily played a good ball through to Osborne who curled the ball past the advancing Withington into the net. Baily then came to Town's rescue just before half time when he cleared off the line.

Ilkeston failed to build on their first half showing but they were rarely in danger until the final quarter. Then, in the 70th minute, Ansell got in a shot that 'keeper Alan Rigby managed to parry and substitute Yates followed up to score. Osborne and fellow debutant John Humphreys both had shots charged down as Town tried to respond but it was Chasetown who looked the likelier winners late on. Yates had a header tipped over by Rigby, and the same player tricked his way through the defence only to shoot wide as Town clung on for a point.

LEE GLEE AS ROBINS STRUGGLE
22ND AUGUST 1992
CRADLEY TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston impressed during the first half but stumbled after the break and it needed a late equaliser to salvage a point. They had enough chances to have won the game by half time but all they had to show for their dominance was their 10th minute opener. Good play by Jamie Kay resulted in a through ball to Simon Osborne who slotted the ball under the advancing Carter. Later in the half a Nigel Baily cross found Osborne but this time he put the chance wide. Cradley rarely threatened during the first half until Hanson's shot brought a good save from Alan Rigby.

It was a different story after half time as Cradley took control. Goals in the 60th and 70th minutes, the first one being a 30 yard cracker, turned the match on its head. Only then did Ilkeston reawaken and they clawed their way back five minutes from time when Lee Edwards' powerful far post header earned them a point.

HARROGATE DERAILED BY OZZY
29TH AUGUST 1992
ILKESTON TOWN 7 HARROGATE RAILWAY ATHLETIC 0 (FA CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND)
Managerless Ilkeston, whose boss Bill Fossey resigned three days earlier, destroyed their Northern Counties East League Premier Division opponents after struggling to impose themselves during the opening stages. Harrogate enjoyed the better of the play early on, although the best chance fell to Nigel Baily who miskicked after being set up by Steve Aldridge. Harrogate's Atkinson won the ball but his subsequent shot didn't stretch 'keeper Alan Rigby, and then a Jamie Kay header from a Vince Duffy cross went over at the other end. Simon Osborne eluded a defender before shooting wide as Town began to look more threatening. A long range Foster free kick went harmlessly over Rigby's goal before The Robins got into gear and took the lead on 26 minutes. A free kick fell to Osborne who turned and swept the ball home beautifully from 20 yards. Osborne squandered a chance to score again when he missed his kick following good play by Duffy and Kevin Swann, and then Aldridge missed an open goal. However, Osborne soon added a second in the 43rd minute when he made space in the box and fired home. Then, in first half stoppage time, he completed an excellent hat-trick when he shot on the turn from close range.

Ilkeston were in complete control after half time and Swann provided the chance for Kay to blast home the fourth. Osborne grabbed his fourth on 61 minutes and substitute Kevin Cresswell scored the sixth five minutes later. With Harrogate in disarray both Duffy and substitute Lee Edwards hit the bar before Duffy completed the scoring in the last minute.    

ROBINS BOUNCE BACK FROM EARLY SETBACK
5TH SEPTEMBER 1992
WEDNESFIELD 1 ILKESTON TOWN 3
Ilkeston fell behind after just 9 minutes when McKenzie's cross from the left was headed home by Swann but one they equalised on 24 minutes they didn't look back. Town came close to levelling the scores earlier when Scott Brunell's pass played in Simon Osborne whose shot was blocked by 'keeper Lunn. The Robins drew level when Price's back pass was intercepted by Jamie Kay who ran on to drive past Lunn. A minute later Ilkeston took the lead. Vince Duffy's run and perfect cross was headed beautifully into the top corner by Nigel Baily.

Ilkeston made the game safe with a second half goal by Larry Burrell. 

ROBINS SUFFER CUP EXIT
12TH SEPTEMBER 1992
HEANOR TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND)
Ilkeston suffered a shock FA Cup exit at local rivals Heanor Town. They had the better of the first half but found themselves trailing at half time. The first chance fell their way when Vince Duffy's corner was cleared as far as John Humphreys whose 25 yard volley was superbly tipped over by Dudley. Central Midlands League side Heanor responded with a shot by former Ilkeston striker Graham Millington that flashed narrowly wide, but The Robins almost took the lead when a Humphreys shot hit the post. Simon Osborne then fired just over and Scott Brunnell's well struck shot from the edge of the area flew straight to Dudley before, at the other end, Alan Rigby saved well from a Checkley shot following a good run by Millington. Rigby saved again from Millington but Ilkeston had more of the play and Osborne forced a save from Dudley. However, two minute before half time, future Ilkeston player Kevin Marsh headed home from a corner to give Heanor the lead.

Ilkeston came out strongly at the start of the second half and were back on level terms in the 47th minute through Duffy's shot. The game then was played at a tremendous pace as both teams went for the winner. Jamie Kay headed over and Kevin Swann beat two men before shooting straight at Dudley as Ilkeston created the better openings but the winner came Heanor's way on 77 minutes. Bell blasted a shot from 30 yards that was too hot for Rigby to hold and Millington was left with a simple finish. The goal gave Heanor a terrific boost and would have scored again but for a brilliant double save from Rigby to deny Millington.

STOURPORT SWIFTLY BEATEN
19TH SEPTEMBER 1992
STOURPORT SWIFTS 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston controlled the first half and deservedly led at half time, going on to claim a narrow victory. Simon Osborne linked well with Vince Duffy early on to set up John Humphreys but his shot from 18 yards went just wide. But they soon went in front, on 15 minutes, when Duffy tricked his way into the area and crossed for Osborne to head home from 8 yards. Ilkeston kept going forward and both Paul Fletcher and Duffy saw efforts go narrowly wide. Stourport came close to an equaliser when Hancox's misplaced cross almost deceived Alan Rigby who tipped the ball over, and a Marsh shot went just over the bar shortly before half time.

However, The Robins had to endure some heavy pressure after half time. They were reduced to ten men when Jamie Kay was sent off, and but for three brilliant Rigby saves and a goal line clearance by Scott Brunnell they may well have headed home a beaten side. 

ROBINS SHOW THE DUNKIRK SPIRIT
3RD OCTOBER 1992
DUNKIRK 1 ILKESTON TOWN 3 (FA VASE PRELIMINARY ROUND)
Ilkeston recorded an expected victory against their Notts Alliance opponents who nevertheless displayed some neat attacking football. Town took the lead on 7 minutes when Vince Duffy's fine play set up John Humphreys who drove home. However, Dunkirk equalised five minutes later to set up an intriguing match.

Despite Ilkeston's superior quality it needed a moment of brilliance to put them back on course for victory. Kenny Burns picked the ball up in midfield before powering home a shot from 30 yards. This signalled a spell of Dunkirk pressure but The Robins stood firm and made the game safe eight minutes from time. Larry Burrell headed a cross against the bar and Jamie Kay followed up to score from close range.

KAY THE KEY TO ROBINS PROGRESS
6TH OCTOBER 1992
WEDNESFIELD 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (LEAGUE CUP FIRST ROUND)
Report currently unavailable. Jamie Kay scored Ilkeston's winner.

TOWN TAKE ALL AT BLAKENALL
10TH OCTOBER 1992
BLAKENALL 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston came away with the points but the home side were left wondering how they failed to get at least a draw from the game. Town took a 4th minute lead when Kenny Burns put Simon Osborne clear and he fired the ball in for Steve Aldridge to get the decisive touch. Osborne then shot just wide, and when Burns put Jamie Kay clear his cross rebounded to Osborne who shot over from close range. Blakenall then started to get more into the game and a Jones free kick found Lees but his effort was blocked by Paul Fletcher. Osborne had an effort well saved by Pomroy but Ilkeston were now having to spend most of their time defending. Blakenall almost equalised when Cullum's cross found Moore but his shot crashed against the bar. John Humphreys relieved the pressure when he broke from midfield and his shot hit Crook's arm but the referee turned down the penalty appeal, and Humphrey's subsequent cross was headed over by Kay. Blakenall hit the bar again with a Perry shot before Ilkeston almost doubled their lead with a fine volley by Larry Burrell that went just wide.

Blakenall threw everything at the Ilkeston defence after half time but heroic play at the back saw Town clear two efforts off the line. To make matters worse for the home team they spurned a chance to equalise by missing a penalty, and Jamie Kay made them pay when he finished off a fine counter attack to score the killer second goal. 

TOWN SHINE BRIGHT UNDER LIGHTS
13TH OCTOBER 1992
ILKESTON TOWN 2 WILLENHALL TOWN 1
Ilkeston played in their first ever floodlit match on home soil and emeged with a victory. They took the lead on 10 minutes when Simon Osborne got clear to round the 'keeper and slot the ball into the empty net. They made it two in the 25th minute through a Kenny Burns header from Larry Burrell's fine cross.

Ilkeston fell away after half time although they missed a number of chances to kill the game. Instead, Willenhall pulled a goal back through Chapman with a fine strike but Town 'keeper Alan Rigby was rarely troubled.

ROBINS JUST GR-EIGHT
17TH OCTOBER 1992
ILKESTON TOWN 8 OLDSWINFORD 1
The game kicked off 65 minutes later following the late arrivals of the visitors due to a coach breakdown, but The Robins made up for lost time with a stirring display of committed, attacking football. Town began the game strongly although McLaren almost scored for Oldswinford but he was denied by Alan Rigby's brave save. John Humphreys picked up an early booking as the game had a very competitive edge before Kenny Burns headed over for Ilkeston. Town took an 18th minute lead through Simon Osborne, Burns hit a fine second goal, Humphreys made it three, and Osborne scored twice more to complete a first half hat-trick. Ilkeston's last three goals of the first half came in a four minute spell just before the break.

The Robins had to wait until the 75th minute before they scored again through substitute Lee Edwards, and although Cookson converted a penalty for Oldswinford, goals late on from Vince Duffy and Osborne completed the demolition job.  

ILKESTON WON'T LYE DOWN
24TH OCTOBER 1992
LYE TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 3
Ilkeston continued their unbeaten start to the season in the league and moved to the top of the table with this fine win. The Robins were the better team throughout and Simon Osborne, Kenny Burns and Vince Duffy all went close early on. An error by Burns handed Stokes a chance to put Lye ahead shortly before half time but he shot wide from 12 yards.

The Robins went in front in the 51st minute when Osborne got round the back of Lye's defence to slot home. Ten minutes later Osborne tricked his way into the area and was brought down, John Humphreys scoring the resultant penalty. The unmarked Burns made it three on 75 minutes following a goalmouth scramble as Town eased towards a comfortable victory. The only blot on the copybook was Lye's consolation goal a minute later.

NO WEAK LINCS IN VASE THRILLER
31ST OCTOBER 1992
ILKESTON TOWN 2 LINCOLN UNITED 2 - AFTER EXTRA TIME - FA VASE FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND
Both teams contributed to an exciting game although Ilkeston, with Danny Boyes in permanent charge for the first time, were disappointed at losing a two goal lead against their Northern Counties East League First Division opponents. Their own defensive frailties cost them dear in a match which they had most of the attacking play. Lincoln began the game the stronger, however. Ward, with a deflected shot, and Ranshaw both hit the bar for the visitors. Ilkeston took the lead in the 34th minute with a lovely goal. Paul Fletcher's excellent long pass found Vince Duffy who chipped the ball forward for Simon Osborne to round 'keeper Waby and roll the ball into the empty net. When presented with a similar oppotunity Osborne rounded Waby once more only for Wright to clear before Alan Rigby made a good save at the other end when Dye fed Ward. Kenny Burns came close to doubling the lead shortly before half time when he curled his shot just wide.

Ilkeston doubled the lead with a powerful Osborne header on 55 minutes and looked set for victory. However, a sustained spell of Lincoln pressure during which Rigby tipped the ball over the bar for a corner ended with the unmarked Ranshaw powering in a header past the helpless 'keeper. Osborne had a great chance to seal a victory when he was left with only Waby to beat but he could only scoop the ball into the side net. And Lincoln made Ilkeston pay for the miss by equalising through Ranshaw in the 86th minute when he was left unmarked again to head home. When the game went into extra time Ilkeston had the bulk of the play but couldn't find a winner. Substitute Steve Aldridge twice shot wide from long range, and Osborne was unable to capitalise on another chance that came his way.

TOWN AND OUT
3RD NOVEMBER 1992
LINCOLN UNITED 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (FA VASE FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND REPLAY)
No match report available. John Humphreys scored Ilkeston's goal.

DE-LYE-TFUL ROBINS ROMP HOME
7TH NOVEMBER 1992
ILKESTON TOWN 5 LYE TOWN 1
Apart from a brief spell shortly before half time when Lye got themselves back on level terms the result was never in doubt. Ilkeston began well with Kevin Swann shooting wide and Simon Osborne having a shot saved by McDonnell following Kenny Burns' pass. The inevitable goal came on 20 minutes when John Humphreys' corner was hooked home by Osborne from close range. Yet Lye drew level in the 38th minute through Gore with a low shot past Alan Rigby after a cross from the right dropped in his path. However, Ilkeston regained the lead a minute before half time when a lovely move ended with Osborne providing Steve Aldridge with the chance to drive hom low from close range.

It was important for Ilkeston to get a third goal to kill off any hopes Lye had of getting anything from the game and Rigby had to pull off several important stops. The Robins duly got a third when a Burns shot fell kindly to Osborne to thump into the net, and Burns provided Osborne with the pass that led to his third and Town's fourth. Five minutes from time Jason Campbell crossed for Burns to poke in number five to complete a comprehensive win.

RANGERS ROMP
14TH NOVEMBER 1992
PAGET RANGERS 5 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston crashed to a heavy defeat thus losing their unbeaten start to the season. Paget scored 4 times in the opening half hour as Town fell to pieces, unable to cope against a well organised team.

Ilkeston improved after the break and the home side had their work cut out to prevent The Robins from scoring, but Paget still managed to add a fifth before full time.

RUSHALL HELD AT BAY BY RIGBY
28TH NOVEMBER 1992
RUSHALL OLYMPIC 0 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Superb goalkeeping by Alan Rigby ensured that The Robins returned home with a point. Town were on the defensive for much of a scrappy game played on a poor pitch although they had three good chances to win themselves, most notably when Jamie Kay fired straight at 'keeper Gibbs during a frantic finale.

TOWN TOPPLE UNHAPPY HARRIERS
28TH DECEMBER 1992
ILKESTON TOWN 2 HALESOWEN HARRIERS 0
No report available. John Humphreys and Simon Osborne scored Ilkeston's goals.

ROBINS SLIDE TO DEFEAT
2ND JANUARY 1993
WILLENHALL TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 0
A bone hard, icy pitch made good football an impossibility and there was a strong case for the match to not go ahead. Nevertheless, Ilkeston seemed to be coping better with the conditions until the last half hour. Willenhall's winner came when Peter Whitehurst slipped whilst trying to clear and the home side scored at the third attempt after Alan Rigby had managed to save the first two efforts.

TOWN BURIED
16TH JANUARY 1993
ILKESTON TOWN 1 OLDBURY UNITED 3
Oldbury's flying start was enough to earn them the points but Ilkeston could feel aggrieved at not picking up a point. East put Oldbury in front on 8 minutes when he received the ball from a throw and curled in an unlikely wind assisted shot past Alan Rigby. Rigby then did well to save a 20 yard strike from East before Town almost equalised. Simon Osborne worked his way past 'keeper Johnson but his close range shot was deflected behind. Wakefield picked up a yellow card for a foul on John Humphreys but Oldbury soon had something to cheer about when they added a second in the 20th minute, Pound using the wind to chip Rigby perfectly. Ilkeston came close to a goal when Graham Harrod hit the bar with a fierce shot, and Osborne twice went close before he turned provider on 40 minutes. He beat a defender to send in a shot that Johnson parried and Jamie Kay pounced to score from the rebound.

Ilkeston strove for an equaliser after half time but the goal wouldn't come for them. Instead it was Oldbury who scored again when East beat a static defence to fire home. Town kept plugging away and Kay crashed a shot against the post but the visitors hung on to claim the points.  

ROCESTER ROASTED
19TH JANUARY 1993
ILKESTON TOWN 3 ROCESTER 1 (LEAGUE CUP SECOND ROUND)
No report available. Jason Campbell, Vince Duffy and Simon Osborne scored Ilkeston's goals.

ILKESTON CLAIM WELCOME AWAY WIN
30TH JANUARY 1993
OLDSWINFORD 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston stepped up a gear after half time to pick up their first away win since October and keep their title hopes alive. The first half was a drab, midfield battle which Ilkeston just about edged. The best chances came their way with Simon Osborne's 25 yard shot bringing a fine save from Fletcher, and a nice move involving Steve McLoughlin, Nigel Baily and Phil Towle ended with Vince Duffy slicing wide from 18 yards. The best chance fell to Osborne who was put clear by Baily but his shot struck Fletcher's legs.

Ilkeston dominated after the break without creating many clear chances. However, they took the lead in the 65th minute when Jason Campbell's cross from the right was met by a fine diving header by Jamie Kay from 15 yards. Oldswinford hit the bar as they tried to get back into the game but Ilkeston sealed the victory with ten minutes left. Osborne turned past a defender and blasted high into the net from just inside the area. Alan Rigby produced an excellent save late in the game to ensure that Town returned home with a clean sheet.

LEADERS BEAT LACK LUSTRE ROBINS
6TH FEBRUARY 1993
OLDBURY UNITED 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston began brightly but tossed the game away with some poor defending. However, the team lacked spark and Oldbury deserved their victory. Town's good start saw Steve McLoughlin cross for Jamie Kay to head only for Johnson to tip the ball over. Oldbury reponded with Evans shooting high and wide, and then Jones shot over from 30 yards. Jones then sent a header just wide from an East cross before Ilkeston got going again with neat play between Phil Towle ans Simon Osborne that led to the former sending in a shot that Johnson saved without difficulty. Oldbury took the lead when Henley's corner was flicked on by Jones to the unmarked Evans who fired into the top corner on 29 minutes. Alan Rigby made a brilliant save before half time to keep out Henley's free kick.

Oldbury doubled the lead in the second half when Rigby and Paul Fletcher failed to deal with a cross and when Jonathan Lockwood tried to clear the danger an Oldbury forward nipped in to score a simple goal. All Ilkeston had to show for a disappointing performance was a late consolation goal from Kay.

TOWN GO SHOPPING FOR GOALS AT WESTFIELDS
13TH FEBRUARY 1993
WESTFIELDS 2 ILKESTON TOWN 3
Ilkeston scored three second half goals to seal an away victory after having the better of the first half without reward. Simon Osborne headed a good chance over, and then shot tamely from 10 yards when given another opportunity. When Osborne put Jason Campbell clear the resultant shot high and wide. Westfields had a sniff of a goal when 'keeper Alan Rigby misjudged the bounce of a through ball and headed it straight to Wallace but he managed to recover and palm the ball to safety. As half time approached Jamie Kay headed the ball down to Osborne whose 25 yard volley brushed the bar.

All five goals came after half time. John Humphreys scored twice and Campbell grabbed the other Ilkeston goal.

ROBINS VICTORS AT VILLA
15TH FEBRUARY 1993
PELSALL VILLA 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
No report available. John Humphreys scored the winning goal.

TOWN GIVE CHASE TO LEADERS
20TH FEBRUARY 1993
CHASETOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston came away with a creditable point from league leaders Chasetown thanks to a solid defensive performance. The first chance fell to Chasetown when Shelton's free kick picked out Smith whose shot was well saved by Alan Rigby. Kevin Cresswell tried his luck for Ilkeston with a dangerous well struck shot that was headed to safety by Cox, and Jason Campbell headed over following a Steve McLoughlin corner. Campbell then struck a volley from 20 yards that Withington tipped over. The Robins continued to impress and a mistake by Cox allowed Simon Osborne to break clear but his shot was easily saved, before Campbell headed wide from a McLoughlin corner. Chasetown came close to taking the lead shortly before half time when Ansell's close range shot was well saved by Rigby.

With Chasetown making little headway against Ilkeston's tight defence The Robins looked the likelier winners. Osborne, Jamie Kay and John Humphreys all got close to scoring but in the end Ilkeston had to settle for a well deserved point.