07 24






2008/09 NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts
1 Eastwood Town 42 25 12 5 82 37 87
2 ILKESTON TOWN 42 23 13 6 59 34 82
3 Nantwich Town 42 22 10 10 83 41 76
4 Guiseley 42 22 10 10 98 60 76
5 Kendal Town 42 21 11 10 85 63 74
6 FC United of Manchester 42 21 9 12 82 58 72
7 Bradford Park Avenue 42 20 12 10 74 52 72
8 Hednesford Town 42 21 6 15 78 52 69
9 Ashton United 42 16 10 16 71 75 58
10 North Ferriby United 42 16 6 20 67 65 54
11 Frickley Athletic 42 13 15 14 50 58 54
12 Ossett Town 42 15 8 19 71 74 53
13 Marine 42 15 6 21 54 75 51
14 Buxton 42 13 10 19 56 58 49
15 Matlock Town 42 12 13 17 65 74 49
16 Boston United 42 12 13 17 38 52 49
17 Worksop Town 42 12 12 18 48 87 48
18 Cammell Laird 42 12 11 19 58 70 47
19 Whitby Town 42 12 10 20 58 71 46
20 Witton Albion 42 12 6 24 53 73 42
21 Leigh Genesis 42 11 7 24 42 88 40
22 Prescot Cables 42 5 12 25 52 107 27



2008/09 NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS

DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
16 AUG KENDAL TOWN D1-1 393 MORGAN-SMITH
19 AUG Buxton W2-0 372 MORGAN-SMITH 2
23 AUG Leigh Genesis W2-1 101 DOUGLAS, ADAM
25 AUG FRICKLEY ATHLETIC W1-0 495 HOWELL (PEN)
30 AUG NORTH FERRIBY UNITED W1-0 421 MORGAN-SMITH
02 SEP Witton Albion L0-2 271
06 SEP Marine W2-0 293 MORGAN-SMITH 2
20 SEP Bradford Park Avenue W1-0 425 MITCHELL
24 SEP Worksop Town W1-0 332 DOUGLAS
04 OCT GUISELEY L0-1 603
07 OCT OSSETT TOWN W2-1 374 DUNCUM, HOY (OG)
21 OCT BRADFORD PARK AVENUE D0-0 289
25 OCT HEDNESFORD TOWN L0-1 541
29 OCT FC United of Manchester L1-3 1550 GARNER
08 NOV Frickley Athletic D1-1 226 PRINGLE
15 NOV Eastwood Town D2-2 640 CAHILL, COOKE (OG)
29 NOV WITTON ALBION W3-1 361 CAHILL, GARNER, MURPHY
06 DEC Prescot Cables W2-0 175 DOUGLAS, CAHILL
09 DEC BOSTON UNITED D1-1 270 DOUGLAS
20 DEC Ashton United D1-1 130 DOUGLAS
26 DEC MATLOCK TOWN D2-2 779 BRISCOE, DOUGLAS
17 JAN NANTWICH TOWN W3-2 386 CAHILL 2 (1PEN), NEWSHAM
31 JAN ASHTON UNITED W2-1 341 PRINGLE, CAHILL
14 FEB Matlock Town D1-1 415 THOMPSON
21 FEB WORKSOP TOWN D3-3 510 WEAVER, NEWSHAM, DOUGLAS
24 FEB Hednesford Town W1-0 351 CAHILL
28 FEB LEIGH GENESIS W3-1 399 DUNCUM, CAHILL, NEWSHAM
07 MAR Cammell Laird W1-0 122 DOUGLAS
14 MAR BUXTON W1-0 554 WEAVER
17 MAR WHITBY TOWN W1-0 368 NEWSHAM
21 MAR Ossett Town W3-1 154 DOUGLAS, MORGAN-SMITH 2
24 MAR CAMMELL LAIRD W2-1 364 SLEATH, CAHILL
26 MAR Guiseley D1-1 240 HURST
28 MAR PRESCOT CABLES W3-0 465 MCINTOSH (OG), ISTEAD, DOUGLAS
31 MAR North Ferriby United D0-0 198
04 APR Kendal Town D1-1 262 NEWSHAM
10 APR EASTWOOD TOWN W1-0 2288 NEWSHAM
13 APR Boston United D0-0 1270
15 APR Nantwich Town W1-0 537 PRINGLE
18 APR FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER L0-1 1313
21 APR MARINE W5-0 341 DOUGLAS, WILD, CAHILL 3 (1PEN)
25 APR Whitby Town L0-3 504



2008/09 NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY OFF RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
SF 28 APR KENDAL TOWN W4-3aet 653 SLEATH, CAHILL (PEN), NEWSHAM, MURPHY
F 02 MAY NANTWICH TOWN W2-1aet 1794 PRINGLE, WEAVER



2008/09 FA CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
1QR 13 SEP MATLOCK TOWN W4-1 495 HOWELL, DUNCUM, ISTEAD, DOUGLAS
2QR 27 SEP Stewart & Lloyds W3-2 177 DOUGLAS, ADAM, MORGAN-SMITH
3QR 11 OCT Alfreton Town D0-0 820
3QRrep 14 OCT ALFRETON TOWN L1-3 848 GREEN



2008/09 FA TROPHY RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
1QR 18 OCT Eastwood Town W2-0 504 HOWELL, ISTEAD
2QR 01 NOV Ashton United W2-0 142 CAHILL, DOUGLAS
3QR 22 NOV Chasetown W2-1 471 HOWELL, CAHILL
1R 16 DEC OSSETT TOWN W3-2 205 DOUGLAS, ISTEAD, HOWELL
2R 13 JAN KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS L3-5 401 CAHILL 2, NEWSHAM



2008/09 DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
2R 23 DEC Heanor Town W3-1 202 GREEN, DUNCUM, SHAW (PEN)
QF 12 FEB Mickleover Sports L1-2 75 CAHILL

NB. The Mickleover Sports match on 12 Feb was played at Ilkeston.


2008/09 NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE CUP RESULTS

ROUND DATE OPPONENTS RESULT ATT SCORERS
3R 25 NOV Loughborough Dynamo W2-1 92 CHURCH, HOWELL
4R 03 JAN SHEFFIELD W3-0 270 CAHILL 2, PRINGLE
QF 18 FEB Boston United W4-3aet 519 MORGAN-SMITH, WEAVER 2, WILD
SF 11 MAR Whitby Town W5-3aet 183 BURGESS (OG), CAHILL 3, MORGAN-SMITH
F 07 APR Guiseley L2-3aet 227 PRINGLE (PEN), SLEATH

NB. The Final was played at Curzon Ashton.

THAT'S AMARI
16TH AUGUST 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 1 KENDAL TOWN 1
The new season brought an exciting evenly fought opener that both sides felt they had done enough to win. Ilkeston needed a late goal to salvage something from the game, however. They had begun brightly with Chris Adam beating two defenders before shooting wide, and then debutant Amari Morgan-Smith's shot bounced into the arms of visiting 'keeper Newnes. A foul by Tom Jones led to a free kick by Byrne bouncing off the Ilkeston wall, and Hobson soon forced Chris Adamson into a save as Kendal came more into it. Sam Duncum brought excitement at the other end when he beat two challenges before shooting wide, and on a similar run his final shot was saved. Kendal responded with Hobson heading over but The Robins then had a good spell. Anthony Howell's long range shot was saved by Newnes, and when the same player knocked back Lee Thompson's cross Morgan-Smith smashed the ball against the bar. Yet a minute later Kendal took the lead when Kilford latched onto a pass and scored with a low drive inside the area ten minutes before the break. Suddenly the visitors were in the driving seat and when Taylor's flick found Byrne his shot was deflected over the bar.

Newnes made a straightforward save early in the second half when Howell's shot had the sting taken out of it but Kendal continued to look the better side and Kilford forced Adamson into an excellent save. As the game entered the final quarter Ilkeston began to exert some pressure and took hold of the game. Thompson's free kick went narrowly wide, substitute Lee Whittington's header cleared the bar following good link up play between Steve Istead and Duncum, Whittington headed over again from Howell's cross, and Kieran Murphy's volley was saved by Newnes. The Robins' pressure finally paid off in the 84th minute when Whittington's cross was chested down and crashed home by Morgan-Smith. Ilkeston sensed they could end the opener with a win but the closest they came to another goal was when substitute Ben Pringle's cross was headed over by Morgan-Smith.

THE BUCKS STOPPED THERE
19TH AUGUST 2008
BUXTON 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston produced a superb performance to win in style at Buxton. They dominated throughout, looking dangerous on the break whilst defending with great assurance when they needed to. They took the lead on the half hour when Buxton 'keeper Hartley illegally ended Anthony Howell's great run, receiving a booking for his troubles. Although he managed to block Amari Morgan-Smith's penalty the Ilkeston reacted first to fire Ilkeston ahead. Then, on the stroke of half time, Town were awarded another penalty when Morgan-Smith was brought down. Hartley made the save again, this time from Sam Duncum, and this time no one was on hand to score from the rebound.

Ilkeston had a scare early in the second half when Hume headed towards goal and Kieran Murphy headed the ball against his own bar before the ball bounced to safety. But The Robins remained dominant and when Howell broke through Hartley made another good save. Howell then headed over a Paul Hurst cross before Town made the game safe in the 68th minute. Buxton failed to clear a corner and Morgan-Smith pounced to score his second of the night. Ilkeston almost scored a third at the death when Howell raced away but his powerful shot struck the bar.

LEIGH HIT BY LATE GOALS
23RD AUGUST 2008
LEIGH GENESIS 1 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston's strong second half showing earned them the points after they had been edged out in the first half. Leigh began brightly with Maylett shooting wide, and then a Watt free kick clipped the post. They took the lead on 28 minutes when Booth headed home a corner at the far post and they went in at half time with a deserved lead.

Town were vastly improved after half time and they pressed Leigh back for almost the entire second half. Lee Thompson's free kick was just too high, Steve Istead went close, and Ben Pringle's 25 yard volley flew just wide. The equaliser finally came five minutes from time through substitute Jon Douglas' header from Pringle's free kick. Town's irresistible force brought a winner three minutes later when fellow substitute Chris Adam shot through a crowded goalmouth. With Leigh totally dispirited Adam had a chance for a third but shot over.

TOWN GRIND OUT WIN
25TH AUGUST 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 1 FRICKLEY ATHLETIC 0
Town won a desperately poor game as they failed to play to their potential against a Frickley team that offered little apart from good organisation and a tight defence. Ilkeston started the game well enough as Tom Jones headed over from Rob Scott's free kick and they took the lead after just 9 minutes. Anthony Howell was brought down in the area and he made no mistake with the resultant penalty. Howell's next shot flew over the bar whilst under pressure but Ilkeston began to struggle to make any headway. Frickley settled and when White's cross was headed by Morris Chris Adamson brilliantly tipped the ball over. Pell then headed over Gowen's free kick, and Morris shot over as half time approached.

Both teams struggled to gain the initiative after half time. Sam Duncum headed over Howell's cross for Ilkeston, and at the other end Adamson made a straightforward save from Jackson's deflected shot before he had to make a brave save at Morris' feet. Scott volleyed over from Duncum's corner as Town tried to make the game safe, and Ilkeston survived Frickley's late pressure without much difficulty. The closest they came to an equaliser was when Adamson caught an overhead kick from substitute Trower.  

FERRIBY MISERY
30TH AUGUST 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 1 NORTH FERRIBY UNITED 0
There wasn't much between the two teams but Ilkeston shaded a keenly contested game. Ferriby were the first to show when Bradshaw's knock down found Fry but he shot straight at Chris Adamson. Town's first serious attempt came when Ben Pringle's pass found Amari Morgan-Smith who cut inside and his shot was well saved by Wilson. The Robins' winner came on 22 minutes. Lee Thompson's free kick was headed back by Tom Jones and Morgan-Smith scored with a fine looping header at the far post. Wilson was called into action again before half time when he made a good save from Jon Douglas who had been picked out by Paul Hurst's cross.

Ilkeston almost added a second early in the second half when Hurst's cross found Anthony Howell who controlled before firing a left foot shot against the bar. But The Robins failed to build on their early attacks and the visitors came more into the game in their quest to salvage a point. Former Ilkeston player Colin Hunter found Bradshaw who laid the ball into the path of Larvin whose close range shot was well stopped by Adamson. Adamson was then equal to a Bradshaw free kick before he made a comfortable save from Russell's bouncing shot. Ilkeston's defence held firm and Town almost added a second towards the end as Sam Duncum's trickery and pull back set up Douglas but his low shot was saved.

NINE MAN ROBINS BRAVE FIGHT ENDS IN DEFEAT
2ND SEPTEMBER 2008
WITTON ALBION 2 ILKESTON TOWN 0
Ilkeston, reduced to nine men after Rob Scott and Amari Morgan-Smith both got red cards, almost came home with an unlikely point but were sunk by two late goals. The Robins had to survive early Witton pressure with Chris Adamson saving a Drew free kick but they gradually settled down. Scott shot wide after being set up by Sam Duncum, before Steve Istead found Morgan-Smith whose volley was held by Smith. The referee had little choice but to issue a red card when Scott retaliated after being fouled on 22 minutes but the home side failed to make the extra man count before half time. The closest they came to a goal was when Burke's shot brought a diving save from Adamson.

Ilkeston began the second half strongly and on the hour Morgan-Smith broke clear only to be brought down in the area whilst about to shoot. Remarkably the referee indicated it was a dive and Morgan-Smith, earlier booked, was sent off. Ilkeston were then forced to defend and they had a narrow escape when Donnelly's shot hit the bar. But just when it seemed as if they might get a point they fell behind eight minutes from time when Donnelly's cross went through a crowd of players and nestled in the net. Witton rubbed salt into Ilkeston's wounds with a second, on 86 minutes, scored by Proffitt.

AMARI AT THE DOUBLE
6TH SEPTEMBER 2008
MARINE 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston won comfortably thanks to two goals from Amari Morgan-Smith and they controlled the game for long periods. Their first attack of note ended with Chris Adam's shot being deflected through to 'keeper Lake. Marine responded with a Kumisky effort that brought a fine save from Chris Adamson but they rarely threatened during the rest of the half. Ilkeston, on the other hand, grew progressively more dangerous and Lake tipped a Ben Pringle 30 yard free kick against the bar. Town took the lead on 23 minutes when Adam was fouled by Hussey following a fine run, and Morgan-Smith curled a splendid free kick into the top corner.

Ilkeston made victory almost a certainty two minutes into the second half when Morgan-Smith struck from 12 yards. Marine began to show some spirit and exerted some pressure and Ilkeston had to be at their very best defensively. In one extraordinary spell of pressure Town cleared three shots off the line within the space of a few seconds. This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side and Ilkeston hung on comfortably for the three points that took them to the top of the table. 

ILKESTON GLORY AGAINST GLADIATORS
13TH SEPTEMBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 4 MATLOCK TOWN 1 (FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND)
Ilkeston provided a feast of sparkling attacking football to destroy their Derbyshire rivals and hit their stride from the off. A Ben Pringle shot from distance went wide before The Robins went ahead on 4 minutes. Amari Morgan-Smith chased a ball into the area and the ball ran loose, as he was challenged by 'keeper Richmond, it fell to Anthony Howell who made no mistake. Ilkeston continued to attack with a Howell overhead kick just missing the target, Richmond produced a superb save to keep out a Morgan-Smith free kick, and then Richmond made a more routine save from a Pringle free kick. Still Ilkeston pushed forward and when Howell's cross eluded Morgan-Smith Sam Duncum's shot brought another good stop. Howell then had a shot blocked before Duncum's effort from Morgan-Smith's low cross cleared the bar. Matlock eventually produced a meaningful attack which led to a corner from future Ilkeston player Simon Harris being met by a header by former Robins defender Lee Featherstone which was cleared. Matlock surprised everyone by drawing level in their next attack. Harrison's speculative drive from 35 yards took a massive deflection off Warne and trickled over the line beyond the desperate Chris Adamson. Ilkeston soon restored their advantage with a 31st minute goal. Paul Hurst found Morgan-Smith whose neat pass inside enabled Duncum to break clear from half way and finish in style by driving low past the advancing Richmond. Matlock tried to find a way back before half time with Warne shooting wide and Cropper lifting a shot over the bar.

The second half, like the first, belonged to Ilkeston. Steve Istead won the ball and found Howell who shot wide, but soon The Robins got a third. On 56 minutes Pringle's fine cross was headed against the post by Howell and the ball ran out to Istead who shot through a crowded area from 18 yards. Substitute Jon Douglas had a shot blocked following Pringle's good ball, and Morgan-Smith's finish was wayward after being set up by Howell's fine burst as Ilkeston looked for a fourth. It duly arrived in stoppage time when substitute Callum Green ran down the wing and crossed for Douglas to score with a fine diving header.

BRADFORD BRUSHED ASIDE
20TH SEPTEMBER 2008
BRADFORD PARK AVENUE 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
An outstanding away performance that blended counter attacking football with solid defending brought another three points. After a quiet opening the home side went close to going ahead when Patterson's effort was brilliantly saved by Chris Adamson after Town failed to clear. But Ilkeston gradually gained the upper hand and when Curtis Shaw sent Jon Douglas away his shot was blocked by 'keeper Worsnop. Rudd's overhead kick at the other end was bravely blocked by Tom Jones yet The Robins continued to impress going forward and a Ben Pringle strike flashed wide.

Ilkeston began the second half well and when Worsnop pushed away a Sam Duncum shot Steve Istead chipped just over the top. Adamson remained defiant at the other end when Bradford were able to get close to goal and he tipped over a good Patterson header before pulling off a great reflex save to keep out a powerful header by former Ilkeston player Chris Bettney. Just when it seemed as if both teams would have to settle for a draw Ilkeston got the winner nine minutes from time. Substitute Chris Adam, making his 100th appearance for Ilkeston, sent over a perfect cross for fellow substitute Jez Mitchell to head home at the far post with his first touch of the ball.

ROBINS GO TO WORK
24TH SEPTEMBER 2008
WORKSOP TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston made the short trip to Hucknall to tackle homeless Worksop and they came away with the points to move four points clear at the top. Worksop began brightly but Ilkeston soon hit their stride and took control. Worksop 'Keeper Hernandez spilled Lee Thompson's cross under pressure from Jon Douglas and Amari Morgan-Smith volleyed over, Thompson's shot inadvertantly found Steve Istead who fired wide from close range, and Morgan-Smith's skill took him past two men before curling a shot wide as Ilkeston began to create chances. Morgan-Smith was then brought down as he tried to break clear and Dawson received a yellow card for the challenge.

The Robins continued to press in search of a winner during the second half. Morgan-Smith saw a header blocked by Dawson, and he then had a shot blocked following a fine run. The goal finally came on 77 minutes when Douglas scored from 8 yards after substitute Sam Duncum's shot came back off the post. Yet Worksop almost scored an unlikely last gasp equaliser. Former Ilkeston player Gary Townsend was denied by a brilliant save from Chris Adamson.

BANANA SKIN AVOIDED
27TH SEPTEMBER 2008
STEWART & LLOYDS CORBY 2 ILKESTON TOWN 3 (FA CUP SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND)
Stewart & Lloyds, heading towards the United Counties League title, may have been two levels below Ilkeston in the Pyramid but they were determined to put on a good show. Up for the challenge the home side went in front after just 6 minutes when Caswell fired home from Byrne's low cross. Ilkeston weren't finding things easy but they began to create chances of their own. Jon Douglas cut inside and shot narrowly wide before being booked for a handball. Then he supplied Curtis Shaw with a neat pass who shot over the top. Stewart & Lloyds reminded The Robins of their threat when Malone's effort went wide after a Docherty free kick. But Ilkeston equalised three minutes before half time. Amari Morgan-Smith's shot was blocked, 'keeper Lavin couldn't hold Shaw's follow up, and Douglas netted from close range. The half ended with the home side's Djeneralovic shooting just off target.

Ilkeston quickly gave themselves some breathing space with two goals early in the second half. Morgan-Smith's clever play and cross found the unmarked Chris Adam whose neat finish gave them the lead on 50 minutes. Two minutes later Douglas' cross was met by a Morgan-Smith header for Town's third. With Ilkeston seemingy in control substitute Anthony Howell's shot brought a good save from Lavin. But Stewart & Lloyds were far from a spent force and they pulled a goal back through Byrne's penalty after Johnson had been brought down. Chances then came and went at both ends. Howell found Adam who lobbed over before Chris Adamson made a great save at the other end in keeping out Logan's fine header. Ilkeston substitute Jez Mitchell headed wide from a Lee Thompson free kick, and he also shot wide late on. Sandwiched between Mitchell's efforts was a Byrne effort that forced another good save from Adamson. Ilkeston did enough to win the game but they were given a stiff test by the home team.  

ROBINS FALL TO FIRST HOME DEFEAT
4TH OCTOBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 0 GUISELEY 1
Ilkeston could take heart from this defeat having more than matched a strong team, and they remained perched at the top of the table. In a strong wind the first half belonged to Ilkeston but they failed to take their chances. Early on Jon Douglas held the ball up well for Ben Pringle to shoot but his effort was blocked. Paul Hurst then ran down the left and crossed to Anthony Howell whose shot on the turn went over the bar, before Amari Morgan-Smith had a shot deflected into the side net. A Lee Thompson free kick was headed out as far as Steve Istead whose shot was saved by Skiba who later saved two further Istead efforts as The Robins continued to press. Guiseley's first effort of note came from former Ilkeston striker Adam Muller who made space before shooting over. But Ilkeston came close to taking the lead before half time when Morgan-Smith went through only for the ball to deflect off Skiba and hit the bar.

Guiseley improved noticeably after half time. Muller beat two defenders and crossed to Bolder who shot over, and although Rob Scott headed wide for Ilkeston, the visitors were much more in it. Guiseley's winner came on 72 minutes when Muller put Burton through to flick the ball home after his initial shot was saved by Chris Adamson. Ilkeston fought hard for an equaliser. Morgan-Smith headed over from a corner and then he put another effort over the bar after being fed by Scott. Guiseley had a great chance to wrap things up when a defensive mistake allowed Ovington to break clear but he pulled his shot wide. The miss wasn't costly, however, although Skiba was forced into an excellent late save when substitute Jez Mitchell found space and shot following a good run down the left by Morgan-Smith.

HAY DISMAY
7TH OCTOBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 2 OSSETT TOWN 1
Organisation and commitment was the order of the day as Ilkeston struggled to overcome difficult opponents on a windy night. Ossett deservedly took the lead on 12 minutes when a mistake allowed O'Brien to angle a dangerous ball into the danger area for Savory to slide home. The goal brought Ilkeston to life and Amari Morgan-Smith shot just over. However, Ilkeston were struggling to take the initiative until Sam Duncum equalised from close range after Anthony Howell's terrific 25 yard shot came back off the bar. On 43 minutes Morgan-Smith broke clear down the right and was brought down by 'keeper Lamb just outside the area. Lamb escaped with a booking but justice prevailed seconds later when Ben Pringle's free kick took a huge deflection off Hay and found the corner.

Ilkeston were in for a rude awakening if they thought they were going to take control in the second half. They were forced to fight every step of the way by their determined opponents. Duncum went close to scoring with a shot but Ilkeston rarely threatened. Indeed, the closest anyone came to a goal was Ossett's Savory who hit the post. However, Ilkeston's well disciplined defence was able to soak up anything else Ossett threw at them.

DERBY DRAW FORCES CUP REPLAY
11TH OCTOBER 2008
ALFRETON TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 0 (FA CUP THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND)
Ilkeston showed up well against their Conference North opponents and both teams could justifiably claim that they could have won. The Robins started brightly with Chris Adamson's long goal kick being flicked on by Jon Douglas to Sam Duncum who headed just wide. Duncum deflected another header wide following a Rob Scott free kick. Then Alfreton began to get a grip. Cusworth headed off target following a neat move involving Bowler and Davidson, Davidson's well struck shot brought a fine save from Adamson, and next Bowler hit the bar after Adamson kept out Fortune-West's effort.

Alfreton began the second half strongly with Muirhead bringing two saves out of Adamson, and Bowler shot over from a Muirhead free kick. Ilkeston responded with a Lee Thompson free kick that found Amari Morgan-Smith and the ball ran to Duncum whose shot was well saved by Evans. Tom Jones then headed over, and Morgan-Smith tapped the ball past the post following Anthony Howell's great run as The Robins exerted some pressure. Ilkeston were robbed of a goal in the closing stages. Duncum's cross found Douglas who hit the bar and Morgan-Smith appeared to force the ball well over the line but play was allowed to continue. Alfreton sought a late winner themselves with McIntosh firing a free kick over and substitute Clayton had a shot saved by Adamson. The last chance fell to Ilkeston as Morgan-Smith cut inside to shoot but it was saved by Evans to leave both sides living to fight another day.

FIRST HALF DISASTER KILLS OFF ROBINS
14TH OCTOBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 1 ALFRETON TOWN 3 (FA CUP THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND REPLAY)
The game was as good as over inside the first two minutes. Alfreton took the lead after just 12 seconds when a quick move down the left ended with Davidson driving home. Ilkeston were all at sea a minute later when Davidson broke clear and was brought down by 'keeper Chris Adamson on the left edge of the area, Law scoring the resultant penalty. Alfreton were in total command and Clayton was unlucky to see his headed effort disallowed. But on 36 minutes he was rewarded with a goal when he turned the ball in after Davidson knocked on Brown's cross. Stunned Ilkeston tried to fight back before half time with Evans being forced to save an Anthony Howell header. He then made an even better stop to keep out Sam Duncum's low shot, and next Howell's thunderous left foot shot screamed past the upright.

Alfreton came close to a fourth early in the second half after Ilkeston substitute Amari Morgan-Smith fired a free kick well over. McIntosh showed him how it should be done and he was desperately unlucky to see his free kick strike the bar. Alfreton then seemed content to hold on to their lead and Ilkeston played with great spirit as they tried to claw back something from the game. Morgan-Smith volleyed wide from Duncum's corner, and substitute Ben Pringle's free kick went just wide. In a rare Alfreton break Muirhead went on a long run and shot to bring a save from Adamson before, two minutes into stoppage time, Ilkeston's persistence was rewarded with a consolation goal. Anthony Church found Pringle whose lovely left foot cross was headed home neatly at the far post by fellow substitute Callum Green. 

BADGERS BOW OUT OF TROPHY
18TH OCTOBER 2008
EASTWOOD TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2 (FA TROPHY FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND)
Eastwood's applied plenty of pressure with their long ball aerial assaults but they failed to find a way past Ilkeston's rock solid defence. Ilkeston, meanwhile, were lively and dangerous on the break and they earned their victory with a classic away performance. The game began with Eastwood pushing forward at every opportunity but it was The Robins who took the lead on 19 minutes. Lee Thompson played the ball forward and Anthony Howell, cutting in from the right, scored with a low angled shot. The home side continued to launch crosses into Ilkeston's penalty area throughout the rest of the first half but The Robins soaked up the pressure without undue alarm.

The second half saw Ilkeston happy to sit back and hit Eastwood on the break. During one Robins attack Howell laid the ball back to Amari Morgan-Smith whose shot was deflected for a corner. Former Ilkeston defender Alistair Asher shot wide at the other end whilst Morgan-Smith's effort went over the bar following an Ilkeston corner. Ilkeston's killer second goal came in the 67th minute. Morgan-Smith went down the right and shot low, the ball deflected into the path of Steven Istead and his well struck shot found the target. Eastwood desperately tried to find a way back but Holmes lifted a shot over the top and a shot by substitute Smith was well blocked by Dean Gordon. In between these two efforts an off balance Morgan-Smith shot over for Ilkeston. Eastwood knew it wasn't going to be their day when, late on, Meikle headed to Smith but his effort was kept out by an outstanding save by Dan Haystead.

WORSNOP KEEPS OUT ROBINS, WORST LUCK
21ST OCTOBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 0 BRADFORD PARK AVENUE 0
Both teams placed an emphasis on attack but Ilkeston had the monopoly of the chances. However, they were repeatedly foiled by Bradford 'keeper Worsnop. Ilkeston made most of the early attacks with Tom Cahill and Ben Pringle combining well to give Amari Morgan-Smith a chance for a close range shot which produced the first of several good saves by Worsnop. Bradford's first chance was thwarted by Chris Adamson who dived bravely at the feet of Evans and Hall, but Ilkeston continued to create the better chances. When Morgan-Smith chased a long ball Worsnop kicked clear as far as Steven Istead 40 yards out who lobbed the ball goalwards but the backpedalling Worsnop pulled off a breathtaking save. From the resultant corner, taken by Pringle, Cahill's header was saved. Avenue came close to taking the lead themselves with a Patterson overhead kick that went narrowly wide. Ilkeston's next effort was a Dean Gordon 35 yard free kick that took a deflection on its way through to Worsnop.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Worsnop keeping Ilkeston out and Bradford looking threatening when they ventured forward. The Robins looked certain to score a winner when Cahill pulled the ball back dangerously but Howell's shot was somehow kept out.

LEADERS LAND SUCKER PUNCH
25TH OCTOBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 0 HEDNESFORD TOWN 1
Leaders Hednesford Town scored a late goal to clinch an improbable victory. It was a cruel blow to Ilkeston who did everything but score, particularly after half time. The game began with Steven Istead having a shot blocked following a Ben Pringle free kick. Hednesford's first move of note involved Hall and Sheppard who combined to find Barnett whose shot was blocked. When Sam Duncum threaded the ball through to Tom Cahill his shot on the turn went into the side net whilst at the other end Durnell found Barnett and his shot was comfortably saved by Chris Adamson. The Robins then had a good spell as Amari Morgan-Smith's clever ball from the right ended with Pringle volleying wide, and then Cahill found Duncum whose shot was well saved by Brock. Hednesford ended the half strongly. Although a Barnett shot went well wide they came closer to a goal when Durrell's shot narrowly missed the target after good work by Hall. Maguire then shot over from the left after being set up by Durrell.

Hednesford began the second half with an ambitious 40 yard attempt by Hall but they were forced to defend for long periods. Duncum's cross was met by a Cahill diving header at the near post that went just wide, Morgan-Smith's low left foot shot was saved by Brock who in turn touched an Istead free kick onto the post. Anthony Church then found Morgan-Smith whose volley was saved at the second attempt. In a rare Hednesford attack Briggs' free kick was headed off target by Barnett but Ilkeston continued to create chances. Cahill's shot was stopped by Brock's legs and then an Istead shot was well blocked by Gomes. Marshall headed wide from another Briggs free kick at the other end before The Robins came very close to grabbing the winner. Duncum's pass released substitute Anthony Howell who cut inside before firing just wide with his left foot. Then Duncum's cross was volleyed wide by Istead as time was running out. Then, two minutes from time, Hall's long cross was headed home by Barnett to put the visitors in front. There was still time for Ilkeston to snatch an equaliser and Jon Douglas came desperately close with a shot on the turn that flew wide. But Hednesford hung on to claim three vital points.

TOWN COME UNSTUCK
28TH OCTOBER 2008
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 3 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston got stuck in traffic on the way to the game but became truly unstuck during it. Although Ilkeston had their moments they were beaten by the better side on a cold and windy night. United 'keeper Ashton made an early save from Steven Istead but they soon began to inflict some damage. Roca was just off target after being set up by Wright before they took a 14th minute lead. A defensive error led to Wilson firing home from the edge of the box. Town began to settle and after Lee Thompson went close with a long range shot they equalised four minutes before the break. A Ben Pringle free kick found Istead whose shot was half stopped by Ashton and Scott Garner was on hand to score. United responded with a Turner effort that needed a good save from Chris Adamson.

United controlled much of the second half and regained the lead on 54 minutes. Skidmore's cross caused problems and Roca pounced to score from close range. Ilkeston rallied briefly and Istead was unlucky with an effort that was deflected onto the bar, Tom Cahill headed over, and Pringle's shot hit 'keeper Ashton when Cahill turned provider. But that was Ilkeston's last throw of the dice and United ended the game strongly. They deservedly made the game safe when Roca scored again ten minutes from time.

TOWN WIN BATTLE OF THE ROBINS
1ST NOVEMBER 2008
ASHTON UNITED 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2 (FA TROPHY SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND)
Ilkeston commanded the game for long spells and deservedly progressed into the next round. Despite Ilkeston bossing the first half the teams went in at half time goal-less. Anthony Howell had an early bouncing shot cleared off the line, Jon Douglas' header from Curtis Shaw's cross was saved by 'keeper Smith, and Tom Cahill's cross found Douglas but his header lacked power. Douglas then headed wide, Rob Scott's long throw found Cahill whose shot on the turn was blocked, and as half time approached Ben Pringle's corner found Kieran Murphy but his shot lacked power and the ball was cleared off the line.

The referee had to be replaced at half time after picking up an injury shortly before the break. The change seemed to do Ilkeston good as they took the lead on 48 minutes. Howell got free on the left and found Cahill who found the target from 15 yards with the Ashton manager being ordered to the stands for comments he made following the goal. Talbot fired over the bar from long range in a rare Ashton attack only for Ilkeston to increase their lead on the hour. Howell's fine run and cross was met by Douglas' head at the far post. Neal Hooks then tried to get in on the act but could only direct his header at Smith. Flanagan came close to scoring a consolation goal late on but his header clipped the bar.

PELL FIRE
8TH NOVEMBER 2008
FRICKLEY ATHLETIC 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Ilkeston looked set to claim three points on a windy day at Frickley until the home side struck with a late equaliser. Town had begun brightly and when Neal Hooks' overhead kick found Tom Cahill his effort was scrambled clear. But then Frickley settled and were the better team in the first half. White played in Towler who was denied by an excellent Chris Adamson save and from the resultant corner Ilkeston cleared the ball off the line. Then, on 25 minutes, Frickley were awarded a controversial penalty when the ball brushed against Scott Garner's arm but Robinson wasted the chance by blazing over. Walsh broke from midfield and shot wide before Adamson dived to keep the ball out during a goalmouth scramble as Frickley continued to put on pressure before the break.

Ilkeston improved significantly after half time and took the game to Frickley. Cahill appeared to be brought down but no penalty was awarded, and Amari Morgan-Smith's high cross was met on the volley by Ben Pringle but his shot lacked power and 'keeper Nicklin saved. Then substitute Sam Duncum broke from halfway before shooting wide. However, on 70 minutes, Ilkeston took the lead. Anthony Howell was brought down and Pringle scored with a sweet 20 yard free kick. Ilkeston appeared to be heading for victory as they continued to create the better chances. Garner headed wide from a Pringle free kick, and Jon Douglas went closer still with his header from another Pringle free kick. But two minutes from time Frickley drew level. Morris' shot was turned away to apparent safety by Adamson but the resultant long throw found its way to substitute Pell who converted the chance. Town came close to a last gasp winner when a corner found Pringle but he was unable to direct his header on target.

LATE GOALS BRING BADGERS BACK FROM THE DEAD
15TH NOVEMBER 2008
EASTWOOD TOWN 2 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Two goals in the last five minutes deprived Ilkeston of a victory at their local rivals and champions to be Eastwood. Ilkeston began the game strongly and a low Anthony Howell shot was saved comfortably by former Ilkeston 'keeper Shane Redmond. Sam Duncum then released Jon Douglas whose shot was cleared, before Tom Cahill shot over. Eastwood's first attack of note ended with a Holmes shot that was well off target after he received a cross from former Ilkeston midfielder Anton Foster. Chris Adamson then saved a header from another ex Ilkeston player, Alistair Asher. Eastwood's Hume was booked for a foul on Douglas shortly before Ilkeston took the lead on 23 minutes. Ben Pringle sent over a corner and Cahill's header squeezed into the net. After going behind Eastwood began to exert some pressure. Dunning fired a free kick over the bar, and when Holmes cut inside and let fly with his left foot Adamson made a brilliant stop.

Ilkeston came close to extending their lead early in the second half when Duncum beat a couple of challenges before firing a cross shot inches wide. But The Robins were soon on the defensive. Shortly after Scott Garner and Sturdy were booked for their part in a shoving match, Foster shot goalwards and Douglas did well to block. Then former Ilkeston forward Andy Todd shot wide while yet another former Ilkeston man, Ross Gardner, saw his shot saved by Adamson. Rhead then had a shot blocked before Ilkeston suddenly went two up in the 63rd minute. Under pressure from Douglas, ex Ilkeston defender Russell Cooke attempted to head back to Redmond but the ball went straight past the 'keeper and rolled into the empty net. Eastwood fought desperately to get back into the game whilst Ilkeston looked dangerous on the break. Foster's free kick went just over and Todd had a goal disallowed whilst at the other end Howell shot wide as did Eastwood substitute Whitman. Amari Morgan-Smith then went on a fine run and sent in a shot that brought a good save from Redmond. Ilkeston's fine defence seemed capable of soaking up Eastwood's pressure but on 85 minutes Holmes scored from close range. Ilkeston suddenly looked shaky and Eastwood equalised in stoppage time when a low ball found Todd who fired home a low shot. There was still time for Eastwood to go in search of an unlikely winner but Cooke fired over the game's final chance. 

TOWN WIN CHASE FOR NEXT ROUND PLACE
22ND NOVEMBER 2008
CHASETOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 2 (FA TROPHY THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND)
Ilkeston controlled the first half and set themselves up for the victory but they were pushed all the way by their spirited Southern League Midland Division opponents. Steve Istead forced Price into an excellent early save, Ben Pringle shot just wide, and Tom Cahill was denied by Price after he had intercepted a pass by former Ilkeston defender Richard Teesdale. Chasetown's first serious effort was a Dyer 20 yard shot that brought a full length save from Chris Adamson. However, Ilkeston deservedly went in front on 26 minutes when Pringle's corner was volleyed home beautifully by Anthony Howell from 15 yards. Two minutes later they scored again. Pringle's free kick found Cahill who scored with a close range header. Another free kick by Pringle led to a penalty appeal when Scott Garner appeared to be held back but no penalty was given.

Chasetown came out fighting in the second half and they pulled a goal back on the hour with a low Birch shot. Birch then shot over as the home side gained belief but Ilkeston's defence held firm. Chasetown's Holland was sent off in the dying minutes for bringing down Sam Duncum when he was bearing down on goal.

NURSE COMES TO LOUGHBOROUGH'S AID
25TH NOVEMBER 2008
LOUGHBOROUGH DYNAMO 1 ILKESTON TOWN 2 (LEAGUE CUP THIRD ROUND)  
Ilkeston were repeatedly denied by their former 'keeper Matt Nurse and they had to wait until stoppage time before sealing victory against their Southern Division opponents. Despite their superiority Ilkeston fell behind in the 32nd minute when Kris Nurse took full advantage of Dean Gordon's poor back pass. However, they were back on level terms five minutes before the break when a Loughborough clearance fell to Anthony Church who scored with a perfect volley.

Town dominated the second half. An Anthony Howell shot hit the bar, and he was then denied by a brave save by Nurse. Substitute Sam Duncum then went close before Loughborough almost regained the lead against the run of play, Kris Nurse's header producing a brilliant save by Dan Haystead. When Zeph Thomas went close for Ilkeston in the dying minutes it seemed as if the game would go into extra time but with seconds of stoppage time remaining Howell burst through and rounded Nurse to score a well deserved late winner.  

WITTON WELL BEATEN
29TH NOVEMBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 3 WITTON ALBION 1
Bottom of the table Witton were no match for Ilkeston who recorded their first league win in six games to get their promotion push back on track. Ilkeston were on top in the early stages although the first save came from Chris Adamson who easily stopped Smythe's weak header. Ilkeston then began to exert some fierce pressure. Rob Scott found Ben Pringle who shot just wide, and Tom Cahill headed over a Pringle free kick before Town went in front in the 18th minute. Steve Istead fed Anthony Howell whose perfect cross was headed home by Cahill. Rooney headed wide from a Black cross, Pringle was booked for a late challenge, Dunn's deflected shot was saved by Adamson, and Booth's header from Smythe's free kick went just off target as Witton responded. But Witton found themselves two goals down on 42 minutes after Ilkeston's sheer persistence. Sam Duncum's corner led to Cahill having a header and a shot blocked before the ball ran to Istead whose cross was driven home by Scott Garner. 

Witton began the second half brightly with Rooney shooting wide after being set up by Dunn. The Robins then began to take control. Howell headed just wide from a Cahill cross, and Duncum broke clear on the left before seeing his shot blocked. At the other end substitute Moseley headed narrowly over from a Smythe free kick before Ilkeston made the game safe on 69 minutes. Pringle's free kick was headed towards goal by Garner and Kieran Murphy made certain from close range. Istead then had a shot blocked but Witton scored a consolation goal in the 78th minute. Olsen's free kick rebounded off the Ilkeston wall and he recovered possession, made space for himself, and slammed the ball home. Ilkeston were in no mood to throw the game away and could have scored more goals in the dying minutes. Cahill's cross from the right found Howell and he was denied by a good save by Smith, Duncum released Amari Morgan-Smith who went on a run before having his shot blocked, and Callum Green pounced on a long ball only for Smith to make another fine save.  

6TH DECEMBER 2008
BOWES' WOES AS TOWN LAND BLOWS
PRESCOT CABLES 0 ILKESTON TOWN 2
Ilkeston deservedly claimed three points to maintain their promotion push. They began strongly and when Prescot 'keeper Jones turned away a Ben Pringle corner Sam Duncum was unlucky with an 18 yard strike that went straight to the 'keeper. Duncum then evaded a challenge and crossed to Tom Cahill whose shot was blocked. Cables' first effort was an O'Donnell shot from 25 yards that went over the bar but it was Ilkeston who took the lead in the 16th minute thanks to a huge mix up. Bowes, attempting to head back to Jones, succeeded only in directing the ball towards his own goal and Jon Douglas nipped in for a simple finish. The Robins continued to look lively and another Duncum cross found Douglas whose low shot hit Jones and went over the top. Ilkeston almost scored again when Rob Scott's free kick was nodded back by Douglas and Bowes almost put it in his own net again, this time his header coming back off the post. Prescot fired a warning shot through a fierce volley by Byers who had pounced onto Jones' long kick but Chris Adamson pulled off a fine save. O'Donnell also fired a fine volley that Adamson saved comfortably after Douglas shot over at the other end.

Prescot began the second half on the attack as Byers tried his luck from the edge of the box. But Ilkeston gave themselves some breathing space by scoring again on 57 minutes. Duncum went on a run and slipped the ball inside to Cahill who took time to pick his spot before lashing the ball high into the net. Douglas fired over as Ilkeston remained in control and although Adamson did well to keep out Taylor's low shot the home side rarely threatened. Ilkeston almost scored a third late on when Duncum pulled the ball back for substitute Amari Morgan-Smith who lifted the ball over from close range.

LATE PENALTY STUNS ILKESTON
9TH DECEMBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 1 BOSTON UNITED 1
Ilkeston had enough chances to have won comfortably and still looked set for victory until a last minute penalty by former player Ollie Ryan robbed them of the points. Sam Duncum had the ball in the net during the opening stages when he nodded home from close range following Jon Douglas' header into the danger area but his effort was ruled out for offside. Ilkeston weren't to be denied, however, and on 10 minutes Duncum's run ended with a low cross that Tom Cahill sent against the post before Douglas headed in the rebound. Cahill was unlucky again when he headed a Duncum corner against the bar but for all their pressing Ilkeston couldn't add to their tally. Boston's only effort of note during the first half came as half time approached when Ryan's rising shot was clutched by Chris Adamson.

Ilkeston remained the better side after the break. Cahill shot wide from Duncum's low cross, and when substitute Amari Morgan-Smith found fellow sub Anthony Howell he turned and shot only for Margarson to brilliantly turn the ball over the bar. When Ryan had a late shot blocked for Boston it seemed as if The Robins were home and dry but with a minute to go Lee Thompson handled Farrell's free kick to concede a penalty. Thompson was booked as was Rob Scott for protesting whilst Boston's Nuttell also received a yellow card when he got involved. Ryan despatched the penalty to earn the visitors an unlikely point although Ilkeston almost snatched an injury time winner when Morgan-Smith shot just wide from Cahill's cross.

LATE DRAMA TAKES TOWN THROUGH
16TH DECEMBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 3 OSSETT TOWN 2 (FA TROPHY FIRST ROUND)    
Three goals in the last 23 minutes turned this incident packed match on its head. Ilkeston, disjointed and far from their best, won through sheer will power against an Ossett team who were seemingly on course for a deserved victory. The visitors had taken the lead after just 3 minutes when Chris Adamson's attempted clearance hit Savory who was left with a simple finish. Ilkeston tried to get going and when Sam Duncum's cross picked out Tom Cahill his shot found its way to Anthony Howell whose effort was blocked. Cahill then headed wide from a Ben Pringle free kick but Ossett continued to look dangerous and they doubled their lead in the 16th minute. Adamson was again at fault as he spilled the ball to leave Davidson a gift he accepted. Ossett 'keeper Lamb then emulated his opposite number with a poor clearance straight to Howell but his shot was cleared off the line. 

Ilkeston improved after the break but were still out of sorts. Jon Douglas headed just wide from a free kick but there was little to indicate of what was to come. It was Douglas who gave Ilkeston hope in the 67th minute. He met Pringle's cross from the left with a brilliant flick into the far corner from 15 yards. Ossett still looked capable of winning the tie and they almost made it safe when Savory met a free kick with a fierce shot that Adamson saved brilliantly. But Ilkeston gradually exerted sustained pressure. Amari Morgan-Smith went on a fine run and was unlucky to see his shot deflected for a corner. However, the pressure paid off when The Robins equalised seven minutes from time. Pringle found Howell who cut in and shot and although his effort was blocked it fell to Steve Istead who made himself room before firing in a low shot that found the target via a deflection off former Ilkeston defender Matt Daly. There was more drama to come. On 87 minutes Howell turned in the box and fired home to put Ilkeston ahead for the first time. Yet Howell was soon to leave the pitch to rapturous applause before his colleagues. After fouling an Ossett defender his involvement in a skirmish led to an inevitable red card.

ROBINS RETURN WITH HARD EARNED POINT
20TH DECEMBER 2008
ASHTON UNITED 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Drizzle, a sodden surface, and an impressive home team combined to make life difficult for Ilkeston. Ashton were the better side during a first half, much of which was a scrappy affair. Flanagan headed over from a cross and Smith headed well wide from a corner as Ashton pressed early in the game. Town rarely threatened during the first half although Jon Douglas fired wide after being set up by Tom Cahill. Ashton continued to look the better side before the break and Chris Adamson made a good save to keep out Flanagan's fierce shot.

Ilkeston had to defend well early in the second half and they managed to block a couple of goalbound shots before they began their best spell of the game. Paul Hurst's long shot fell into Tom Cahill's path but his fierce shot was kept out by a superb save. Ilkeston then took the lead on 59 minutes when Ben Pringle's dangerous corner was converted by Douglas. Their lead was short lived, however, and Ashton equalised six minues later. Howard took advantage of a defensive mix up although he still had plenty of work to do before finishing superbly. Ilkeston were then forced to defend desperately at times as Ashton sensed victory but they battled through and created a couple of chances of their own. Substitute Louie Briscoe found Anthony Howell who shot wide, and then Scott Garner had a well struck volley saved. It was Garner who came to Town's rescue in the final minute when he headed off the line to deny Ashton a victory they probably deserved.

ROBINS SEE OFF LIVELY HEANOR
23RD DECEMBER 2008
HEANOR TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 3 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP SECOND ROUND)
East Midlands Counties League side and neighbours Heanor Town gave Ilkeston plenty to think about but The Robins' superior quality took them to the last eight. Ilkeston went in front in the 10th minute when Callum Green controlled a long cross from the left and fired past Fenton from close range. They were pegged back just four minutes later, however, when Wells bundled home following Mason's long throw. Ilkeston were quickly back in front when they scored again on 19 minutes. Sam Duncum went on a lovely run from half way before cutting in to fire in a low shot for a fine individual goal. Ilkeston edged the remainder of the first half by virtue of creating the better openings. Louie Briscoe headed wide from a Curtis Shaw corner, Neal Hooks broke through and shot just wide, and then Hooks and Green combined well for the former to shoot narrowly past the post. As half time approached Shaw found Briscoe who forced a good save from Fenton.

Ilkeston began the second half on top with a Liam Wild volley bringing an excellent save from Fenton, and Anthony Church had a shot blocked following a good run by Duncum. Heanor, however, were still in the game and enjoyed a good spell. Wells had a header saved by Dan Haystead, and further good work by Wells led to Stevenson's volley flying over the bar. Ilkeston then stepped up a gear and Briscoe headed wide from Ben Pringle's cross before Hooks shot over following a Duncum centre. The Robins made certain of victory six minutes from time. Joe Pheasant won the ball in a tackle and found substitute Tom Cahill who was brought down in the area. Shaw found the top corner with his spot kick and there was still time for Ilkeston to try and add to their tally. The best opportunity fell to Hooks but his shot went straight to Fenton.    

DOUGLAS SAVES ROBINS FROM DEFEAT
26TH DECEMBER 2008
ILKESTON TOWN 2 MATLOCK TOWN 2
David Holdsworth's last match in charge of Ilkeston before taking over at Mansfield Town appeared to be ending in defeat against attack minded opponents until Jon Douglas saved the day with a stoppage time equaliser. Ilkeston began well enough with Louie Briscoe providing Tom Cahill with a chance to shoot wide. Matlock began to show their attacking intent as Donnelly-Jackson's cross found former Ilkeston player Paul Riley whose shot was blocked. Then Flint volley from a cross was deflected off target. But it was Ilkeston who went in front on 11 minutes when former Ilkeston 'keeper Paul Pettinger could only punch Ben Pringle's corner to Briscoe who volleyed home from 12 yards. The goal seemed to fire up the visitors who began to take control. Cropper sliced wide from a Warne corner, Hannah netted Donnelly-Jackson's cross but was offside, Chris Adamson held a Hannah shot following Warne's pass, and Scott Garner blocked a Cropper shot. Former Ilkeston defender Lee Featherstone was booked for a poor challenge on Briscoe that led to a melee with Briscoe and Matlock's Laight also entering the referee's notebook and from the resultant free kick Douglas knocked the ball on to Tom Cahill whose shot was deflected off target. Matlock soon regained the initiative and they deservedly equalised on 45 minutes, albeit in controversial circumstances. Hannah went down in the area and the referee awarded a penalty although there had appeared to be no contact. Hannah scored from the spot to see the teams go in at half time all square but not before Ilkeston almost scored with a Cahill header that hit the bar following Pringle's free kick. Adamson was shown a yellow card for arguing with the referee as the players left the pitch.

Matlock continued to impress after the break and took the lead in the 56th minute with another Hannah penalty. This time there was no doubt about the decision, given when Rob Scott brought Hannah down. Adamson got his hand to Hannah's spot kick but couldn't keep it out. Ilkeston were struggling as the visitors were in control, Hannah beating two defenders before shooting wide, and Adamson did well to keep out a Warne header following a free kick. But The Robins managed to build up some late pressure and after Pringle had a shot blocked they drew level two minutes into stoppage time. Matlock allowed Scott's long throw to bounce in the danger area and Douglas headed home. 

ROBINS PROGRESS TO THE LAST EIGHT
3RD JANUARY 2009
ILKESTON TOWN 3 SHEFFIELD 0 (LEAGUE CUP FOURTH ROUND)
Ilkeston, under the leadership of new management duo Paul Hurst and Rob Scott, eventually won comfortably but they were made to work hard by the world's oldest club, who played in the First Division South. Chris Adamson was forced to make a fine early save from Powell who had been set up by former Ilkeston striker Mick Goddard. Ilkeston responded through Sam Duncum who provided an opportunity for Tom Cahill whose shot was blocked whilst at the other end Powell's cross found Muldoon but he was denied by another excellent Adamson save. Paul Hurst got Town going with a good run down the left and his pass inside to Steve Istead led to Jon Douglas pulling his shot wide. Former Ilkeston winger Chris Dolby then crossed to Marc Newsham, soon to join Ilkeston on loan, but his towering header was saved. Newsham then missed a great chance before half time when he lifted the ball over the bar after Muldoon slipped the ball forward.

Ilkeston came out after half time looking far more dangerous and they took the lead on 48 minutes. Hurst fed Ben Pringle who sent over a low cross to Duncum, and although his shot was blocked the ball fell to Cahill who turned and fired home. Douglas then had a header blocked but Sheffield were still very much in it. Powell headed Muldoon's ball wide but came much closer to a goal when he broke through the middle to fire a fine shot against the angle of the woodwork. The narrow escape brought Ilkeston to life and Scott Garner bundled Pringle's corner wide of the post. The Robins scored the all important next goal in the 72nd minute when Pringle swept home Duncum's low cross with his left foot. A minute later the tie was settled when a nice move involving Cahill and Callum Green ended with a precise finish by the former. Town were now firmly in control and Istead fired a shot wide from Hurst's pass, and Walker made his best save of the afternoon from a Neal Hooks shot following Duncum's corner.

TOWN GO SO CLOSE IN CLASSIC
13TH JANUARY 2009
ILKESTON TOWN 3 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 5 (FA TROPHY SECOND ROUND)
The two teams served up a feast of attacking football in a game played in fantastic spirit. Apart from the superior finishing by the Conference side there was very little to choose between the teams and with luck Ilkeston could have forced a replay. Play went from end to end after Town began strongly with Tom Cahill having a shot blocked and Steve Istead shot wide. Kidderminster took the lead they never relinquished on 18 minutes when Richards' deceptive lob from 20 yards beat the despairing Chris Adamson. Two minutes later Smirkle and Richards combined well for Smirkle to score the second with a low shot. Town appeared to be in trouble but they responded well and pulled a goal back in the 26th minute, Cahill neatly turning in Duncum's low cross from the right. Moore came close to restoring Kidderminster's two goal advantage before half time but he was denied by an excellent save by Adamson.

Kidderminster's third goal came seven minutes into the second half. Richards was fouled 25 yards out and Brittain scored with a cracking free kick past the wall and into the corner. But Ilkeston refused to lie down and got themselves back within touching distance on the hour. Neal Hooks' perfect pass released Marc Newsham who scored with a glorious volley into the corner. It seemed as if Ilkeston were finally going to be crushed in the 68th minute when Penn burst through the middle and although Adamson did well to block the shot Penn was quick to fire home the rebound. Yet Ilkeston were far from downhearted and they scored a third with a lovely Cahill header from Paul Hurst's cross. Ilkeston suddenly looked more than capable of earning a replay and Cahill forced a good save. The game was finally decided in an extraordinary passage of play seven minutes from time. Ilkeston came desperately close to an equaliser when Anthony Howell's deflected cross from the left hit the far post, rolled along the line and bounced back into play via the opposite post with Ben Pringle just unable to force home the loose ball. Kidderminster then quickly broke up to the other end for Moore to score the decisive fifth goal with a looping shot. There was to be no more drama and a few minutes later both teams left the pitch to tremendous applause. 

KISS OFF
17TH JANUARY 2009
ILKESTON TOWN 3 NANTWICH TOWN 2
On a grey and windy day and a heavy pitch Ilkeston defeated promotion rivals Nantwich but it needed a much improved second half performance to see them through. Nantwich launched a series of early attacks and Chris Adamson made a brilliant save to keep out Beeston's header from a Kiss cross. MacPherson then headed over following a corner before Ilkeston finally got forward, Sam Duncum ending a fine run with a shot into the side net. Marc Newsham then fired over from a Duncum cross before the game became littered with stoppages. Ilkeston's Liam Wild had already been booked for holding back Lennon, Kiss was booked for a foul on Tom Cahill, and Steve Istead also saw yellow for a foul on Gibson. But Nantwich continued to look the better side and they deservedly went in front in the 38th minute. Carter fed Walker whose cross from the right was left by Lennon for MacPherson to score with a flying header. Yet, against the run of play, Ilkeston drew level two minutes before the break. Duncum found Ben Pringle and he crossed to Cahill whose first attempt struck 'keeper Jones, but he made no mistake from the rebound.

Ilkeston raised their game after half time. Cahill's shot on the turn went wide, and when Duncum cut inside and found Neal Hooks his low shot went wide of the post. The game's defining moment came in the 66th minute. Pringle released Istead who burst into the area and was brought down by Kiss. The Nantwich player received a second yellow card and Cahill duly despatched his low penalty into the net to give Ilkeston the lead. Ten man Nantwich tried to find a way back with substitute Griggs firing a shot off target, but Ilkeston scored a third on 76 minutes, Newsham evading a couple of challenges before finishing well with a low shot. The Robins were now well in control. Pringle's header from an Istead cross was saved by Jones, whilst Pringle's flick to Duncum ended with a shot off target. The visitors ensured that Ilkeston could not afford to be complacent when Parkinson freed Lennon who fired past the advancing Adamson for a consolation goal seven minutes from time. But Ilkeston held on comfortably for a valuable three points. 

ROBINS HOLD ON 
31ST JANUARY 2009
ILKESTON TOWN 2 ASHTON UNITED 1
Ilkeston played some excellent football during the first half and held a commanding two goal lead at the break but the visitors fought back well. The Robins were grateful to hold out for a well earned victory. Town took control from the start but they had to wait until the 16th minute before going in front with a well worked goal. A lovely four player move down the right ended with Ben Pringle volleying home. Eight minutes later Kearney brought down Tom Cahill who picked himself to score with an excellent 22 yard free kick. Marc Newsham had a chance to put the game out of Ashton's reach before half time when he went clear on goal only to put his shot wide.

The second half was a vastly different affair as Ashton took the game to Ilkeston and they finally got the goal they deserved on 67 minutes when Bennett curled in a free kick from fully 30 yards. Town were forced to show all their defensive prowess as the visitors went in search of an equaliser although Sam Duncum clearly thought that he should have had a penalty when he went down in the area and was booked for complaining too vociferously. Ashton, too, had a penalty claim turned down when Richards went down as Adamson dived at his feet. But Ilkeston negotiated Ashton's attacks and it was they who managed to put the ball in the net. However, Jon Douglas' effort was ruled out for offside. 

MICKLEOVER BOOK PLACE IN LAST FOUR
12TH FEBRUARY 2009
MICKLEOVER SPORTS 2 ILKESTON TOWN 1 (DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP QUARTER FINAL)
This tie was switched to the New Manor Ground because Mickleover's pitch had not been playable for some time. On a bitterly cold night and a treacherous, icy pitch Mickleover belied their Northern Counties East League status with a determined, if occasionally over zealous, performance that unsettled Ilkeston. However, Sports also showed plenty of skill and pace up front that added to Ilkeston's problems. Ashton gave Mickleover the lead on 15 minutes during a first half they edged.

Ilkeston began to show their true form after the break and it was no surprise when Tom Cahill equalised with a low shot from 8 yards in the 67th minute. With Mickleover visibly tiring Ilkeston looked set for victory but they squandered a series of golden opportunities. Then, with the game looking set to go to extra time, O'Connell stunned The Robins when he raced clear into the area to fire home a last minute winner to send Mickleover into the semi finals. 

A MATCH OF TWO LEES
14TH FEBRUARY 2009
MATLOCK TOWN 1 ILKESTON TOWN 1
A draw was probably the fairest result for a game played out on a heavy pitch. Matlock were the better team in the first half without question whilst Ilkeston dominated after the break. Matlock broke the deadlock after just 8 minutes when King and Benger linked cleverly for King to cross. The ball fell nicely to former Ilkeston defender Lee Featherstone who slotted home. The home team were well on top at this stage with Ilkeston's only real effort coming from Tom Cahill who shot well wide after picking up Chris Wood's long pass. As Matlock continued to press King sent a long ball to Benger whose shot was saved by Chris Adamson, and when Kieran Murphy slipped Cropper shot well wide. Ilkeston equalised out of the blue in the 38th minute when Lee Thompson collected a throw in and sent over a misdirected cross that deceived former Ilkeston 'keeper Paul Pettinger and went into the net off the far post. The goal lifted The Robins and Sam Duncum went on a run before sending over a cross to Ben Pringle whose header lacked power.

Ilkeston bossed the second half and created enough chances to have won the game. Pettinger tipped over an Anthony Church header from Pringle's free kick, Pringle had a shot cleared when a Cahill cross caused confusion, a Cahill effort was turned over by Pettinger from a Duncum corner, and when Marc Newsham went down in the area no penalty was forthcoming. Matlock responded with Jackson and Benger combining to find King whose effort was comfortably saved by Adamson, but The Robins continued to search for a winner. Thompson's free kick found Cahill who forced Pettinger into a fine save, and then Thompson's clever play led to Newsham having a shot blocked. Cahill cut in from the left and fired into the side net before heading over from a Duncum corner, and then his free kick produced a good save from Pettinger. Ilkeston almost scored when a corner found Church but his effort was brilliantly cleared off the line by Flint. In the dying minutes Jon Douglas reached a long ball and when his shot was beaten away Church's follow up was also saved by Pettinger, and Ilkeston had to settle for a point.

SIMON WEAVES HIS MAGIC
18TH FEBRUARY 2009
BOSTON UNITED 3 ILKESTON TOWN 4 - AFTER EXTRA TIME - (LEAGUE CUP QUARTER FINAL)
Ilkeston somehow came back to win a game that looked beyond them as they were rocked by Boston's dazzling first half show. Boston took the lead after 3 minutes with a Rowan strike from the edge of the area. Their lead didn't last long as a Ben Pringle cross found Amari Morgan-Smith who shot high into the net, but Boston regained their compsure to pose all sorts of problems. They regained the lead in the 23rd minute when former Ilkeston player Ollie Ryan forced the ball home in a scramble. Ryan's pace was too much for The Robins on 41 minutes as he burst through to shoot home Boston's third.

Ilkeston looked a different team after half time and pulled a goal back on 53 minutes when Pringle's corner was headed home by Simon Weaver. Town's onslaught continued as Morgan-Smith had a shot blocked, and then he headed over in the next attack. Jon Douglas had a shot blocked on the line, and then a powerful Liam Wild header struck the bar. It was no surprise when Weaver headed Ilkeston back on level terms in the 64th minute. The Robins came close to snatching a late winner in normal time but Douglas' goalbound shot struck a team mate. However, Town persisted and scored the winning goal three minutes into the second period of extra time through a Wild effort from close range.

ROBINS MAKE HARD WORK OF IT
21ST FEBRUARY 2009
ILKESTON TOWN 3 WORKSOP TOWN 3   
Ilkeston were not at their best and had to dig deep to get anything out of the game as the visitors came with plenty of attacking ambition. The Robins had the better of the opening stages. A Steven Istead shot was sliced over his own bar by former Ilkeston player Gary Townsend, and when Tom Cahill cut in from the left his shot was saved by Ogden. Then Chris Wood found Anthony Church who clipped the ball over the bar before Ogden used his feet to save from Sam Duncum. When Duncum got free he supplied Marc Newsham on the right whose shot went just over. But it was Worksop who took the lead on 21 minutes. Former Ilkeston player Alex Callery's neat pass found Glass who was clattered into by Ilkeston 'keeper Dan Haystead just after he fired a shot past the post. The referee awarded a penalty which Glass duly despatched low into the net. Ilkeston responded with a Paul Hurst cross from the left but Cahill's header was cleared before Worksop had a chance but White's shot lacked power after he received a poor clearance from Haystead. An Istead cross found Ben Pringle who shot over, but Pringle turned provider in Ilkeston's 34th minute equaliser. His free kick was met by a fine header from Simon Weaver. As half time approached Duncum's ball was met by a Newsham header but Boyce was able to clear.

Worksop began the second half well and when a corner was only partly cleared Callery shot wide. Glass then hit the side net after reaching Galloway's long pass, but it was Ilkeston who took the lead on 56 minutes. Lowe slipped whilst trying tocut out a long ball and Newsham took full advantage to score from close range. A Duncum pass then released Istead on the right and his fierce shot was saved by Ogden, but the visitors were far from being out of the contest. Haystead saved an effort from White, and Glass shot over from a White cross before they deservedly equalised in the 72nd minute. White made no mistake when he got on the end of a deep ball into the heart of the Ilkeston defence. Worksop were now on top and three minutes later they regained the lead. Substitute Tomlinson had a shot blocked and Townsend went down as he sought to pounce on the loose ball. Glass scored his second penalty of the afternoon and Ilkeston looked in danger of defeat. However, their refusal to give up led to them equalising again ten minutes from time through substitute Jon Douglas who scored from point blank range following an Istead cross. Haystead saved Ilkeston with a fine stop from a Townsend shot as both teams looked for a killer fourth goal. Ilkeston's best two late attempts came to nothing with Weaver having a shot blocked after being fed by Douglas, and Simon Harrison fired a free kick over the bar.             

HEDNESFORD IN PIT OF DESPAIR
24TH FEBRUARY 2009
HEDNESFORD TOWN 0 ILKESTON TOWN 1
Promotion hopefuls Hednesford were well beaten by an Ilkeston team that showed great discipline and who could have won by a much bigger margin. Ilkeston began the better of the two teams although Hednesford came closest to opening the scoring with a Durrell header that hit the bar. Ilkeston almost took the lead themselves when Marc Newsham's cut back found Ben Pringle whose shot from 8 yards was blocked on the line. At the other end Dyer found Barnett whose shot was blocked before the turning point of the game arrived on 41 minutes. Hednesford's Cowley was sent off for an awful challenge on Steve Istead who had to be carried off and required stitches.

Ilkeston took control after the break and won more comfortably than the final score suggests. The winning goal came five minutes into the second half through a superb effort from Tom Cahill. He robbed Gomes and ran clear for a full 40 yards before rounding 'keeper Brock and coolly shooting home from an acute angle. The result took The Robins back into the play off places and maintained their unbeaten run in the league dating back to October.




2008/09 MIDLANDS REGIONAL ALLIANCE PREMIER DIVISION FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts H A
1 Rowsley 86 38 29 4 5 94 35 91 2-3 2-1
2 Melbourne Dynamo 38 26 7 5 103 53 85 5-1 2-1
3 ILKESTON TOWN RESERVES 38 25 6 7 106 40 81 X X
4 Wirksworth Town 38 23 10 5 88 39 78 0-2 0-2
5 Dronfield Town 38 22 6 10 77 49 72 1-2 1-0
6 Eastwood Town Reserves 38 23 3 12 104 61 69 1-1 2-3
7 Willington 38 22 3 13 81 72 69 0-1 5-0
8 Derby Rolls Royce Leisure 38 17 6 15 82 75 57 3-2 5-2
9 Castle Donington Town 38 18 5 15 94 71 53 3-3 1-2
10 Holbrook St Michaels 38 13 12 13 82 72 51 4-1 0-0
11 Matlock Town Reserves 38 15 9 14 64 56 50 5-1 1-0
12 Ashover 38 15 2 21 66 83 44 2-1 4-0
13 Ripley 38 13 5 20 57 78 44 8-0 2-2
14 Borrowash Victoria Reserves 38 12 6 20 48 74 42 2-2 2-0
15 Long Eaton United Reserves 38 13 2 23 77 77 38 4-1 2-0
16 Allestree 38 10 3 25 44 110 33 1-1 5-0
17 Cromford 38 9 5 24 53 115 32 5-1 2-0
18 Newmount 38 7 8 23 48 84 29 3-2 1-0
19 Sandiacre Town 38 8 3 27 57 107 27 6-0 2-1
20 Belper United 38 5 5 28 39 113 20 10-0 2-1

NB. Wirksworth Town, Eastwood Town Reserves, Castle Donington Town, Ashover and Long Eaton United Reserves had points deducted.

MIDLANDS REGIONAL ALLIANCE CUP FINAL @ LONG EATON UNITED
ILKESTON TOWN RESERVES 1 ALLENTON UNITED 1 (ILKESTON TOWN RESERVES WON 4-2 ON PENS)

DERBYSHIRE DIVISIONAL CUP FINAL @ LONG EATON UNITED
ILKESTON TOWN RESERVES 4 CHELLASTON 1

2008/09 NORTH MIDLANDS UNDER 19s FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION THREE FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts H A
1 ILKESTON TOWN U19 14 10 3 1 30 11 33 X X
2 West Bridgford Colts 14 9 3 2 38 17 30 1-1 3-1
3 Rainworth Miners Welfare U19 14 9 3 2 38 19 30 2-1 1-1
4 Dinnington Town U19 14 8 1 5 38 20 25 2-0 1-0
5 Southwell City U19 14 6 3 5 29 18 21 2-2 2-1
6 Rolls Royce Leisure U19 14 5 1 8 23 26 16 2-0 1-2
7 Harworth Colliery Institute U19 14 2 0 12 10 49 6 w/o 4-1
8 Forest Town U19 14 0 0 14 9 55 0 4-1 5-0

NB. The home match with Harworth Colliery Institute U19 was not played. Ilkeston were awarded a victory but the goals for and against columns remained unchanged.