Ilkeston players praised by Martin Carruthers after crushing win
Ilkeston Town boss Martin Carruthers revelled in a crucial win over Spalding United on Tuesday night after the Robins put five unanswered goals past their Lincolnshire opponents.
The victory came just three days after a pulsating 4-3 defeat at home to Chasetown, which was watched by nearly 1,800 supporters with the club having offered free entry to all attending the game.
Tuesday saw Billy Bennett score twice along with an Alex Troke penalty, Ollie Brown-Hill and an own goal, and while four of the five goals came due to Spalding errors, Carruthers was more than happy to take the gifts.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the response from Saturday. We’ve said from the start that we want to build on clean sheets and at half-time, when we were 3-0 up, the message to the lads was to keep a clean sheet as that’s so important to build confidence and stop leaking goals, as we know we’re capable of scoring them from anywhere on the park.
"If we can keep those solid foundations and get the clean sheets then we’ll win more games than we lose.”
The much-needed clean sheet left Carruthers’ mood in stark contrast to that on Saturday when Remaye Campbell had put Ilkeston in front before Chasetown raced into a 3-1 lead, and despite Campbell and Charlie Wakefield scoring within a minute of each other to draw Ilkeston level with 15 to go, the visitors netted the winner four minutes later.
Carruthers said afterwards: “We’re pretty shell-shocked. The way we defend – not as a back four or a goalkeeper, but as a unit – has not been good enough all season and that was epitomised in the four conceded this time.
"It was Sunday football stuff and you can’t legislate for that. So we’ve got a lot to work on defensively as the games don’t get any easier.”
Ilkeston now prepare to travel to Carlton Town on Saturday, a side who are currently unbeaten and who on Tuesday night became the first to take points from league leaders Halesowen Town in a 2-2 draw in the West Midlands.
Carruthers said: “We know how tough the Carlton game will be but to win leagues you’ve got to play teams in form and get results.”