Ilkeston Town boss Martin Carruthers excited by title race as Sutton Coldfield come to town

Ilkeston Town boss Martin Carruthers believes the title race in the NPL Midlands is really hotting up as his side prepares to host Sutton Coldfield Town this weekend.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:59 pm
Martin Carruthers' Ilkeston are top of the table on goal difference.

The Robins lead the way but only on goal difference after Halesowen Town won their game in hand last weekend, Carruthers’ men left without a match after their fixture at Histon was called off on Saturday lunchtime.

The current top two are due to face each other at the NMG in a fortnight, but in the meantime Carruthers is keen to focus on maintaining the Robins’ place at the head of the table.

He said: “With us not playing it gave Halesowen the chance to win their game in hand which they did, so it’s kept us on our toes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"All we can do now is win our games against Sutton Coldfield and Soham Town Rangers in the next couple of weeks and see how things are when Halesowen come to us on the 29th. They have some tough games with Stamford and Chasetown to come so it’s important we get wins given some top sides will take points off each other.”

Carruthers felt let down by Saturday’s postponement, with players and staff only 15 minutes from Cambridge before hosts Histon postponed the match due to a waterlogged pitch.

He said: “It was unprofessional from them really as they knew all along it was likely to be in doubt but it took until the match ref arrived for it to be called off.

"It was too late for us to arrange any training sessions too as the players had to get back on the long trip home.

"So we’ll have a couple of good, hard training sessions this week to get ready for the weekend given they’ve ended up having the day off on Saturday.”

Saturday’s visit of Sutton Coldfield could see striker Nathan Caines involved for the first time since his arrival on loan from Mansfield Town.

The teenager will give Carruthers a good option up front, with the Robins boss adding: “He’s fit and ready as he’s been training and playing with Mansfield.

"We’ll see as to whether he starts or not once we’ve had a look at everyone in training but he’s an exciting addition and a hungry young pro who will give us good competition for places.”