Martin Carruthers praises Ilkeston Town back line after late, late winner at Yaxley

Martin Carruthers praised his Ilkeston Town side’s resilience after a 97th minute winner kept them top of the league on Saturday.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 11:12 am
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 12:00 pm
Ollie Brown-Hill popped up with a stoppage time winner for Ilkeston at Yaxley.

The match at Yaxley had been delayed in its final few minutes due to a power outage in the local area causing the floodlights to fail.

But upon the players’ return, Ollie Brown-Hill headed the winning goal in the closing moments to send the travelling Robins fans into ecstasy and leave Carruthers equally triumphant after the game.

He told Ilkeston Town TV: “I’m absolutely delighted. We said before the game that the conditions would be a real leveller and the wind was horrendous, and it certainly made the game much more even as we couldn’t get a foothold.

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"We had no fluidity and couldn’t string two passes together. In fairness to Yaxley, they were good value and the game could have gone either way, but to win it in the manner that we did and with the floodlights going out was magnificent as it’s a huge three points."

Carruthers also praised his back line after another clean sheet, Ilkeston having only conceded three goals in what is now an eight-game winning streak in the NPL Midlands.

He said: “Our back four and goalkeeper came in for a bit of stick earlier in the season but in the last seven or eight games they’ve been magnificent.

"That was the case again at Yaxley as they were all outstanding and out-performed everybody else.

"Our midfield and attacking threat weren’t great and didn’t give us the quality they normally give us and it was the back four and goalkeeper that kept us in the game – with Ollie Brown-Hill then coming on and scoring the winner with a header that’s not his trademark but we’ll take it all day long.

"It’s a great win but we know we have to be better and away from home teams are going to raise their game and it’s up to us to maintain our high standards as much as possible.”

The Robins now prepare for a run-in to Christmas that will see them play twice at the New Manor Ground, first this weekend against Wisbech Town who currently lie third from bottom in the league, then on December 18 when fellow promotion-hopefuls Stamford are the visitors.

A trip to Sporting Khalsa sits between those games on December 11.