Martin Carruthers praises Ilkeston Town team after huge win
Martin Carruthers was a happy man after seeing his Ilkeston Town side win 1-0 at previously unbeaten league leaders Halesowen Town on Saturday – despite having had goalkeeper Ross Durrant sent off.
Zak Goodson’s early goal was enough to secure three points that moved the Robins to within a point of their hosts and fellow joint leader Carlton Town and Chasetown.
Durrant saw red early in the second-half after mis-controlling the ball and bringing down a Halesowen attacker, replacement Bradley Foster standing firm on his debut to help the visitors to the points.
Carruthers said: “It wasn’t good on the old ticker but I’m so proud of the performance.
“We started the game really well and dominated the first 25 minutes – we scored one and could have scored a couple more.
"We said at half-time not to change anything as Halesowen are a really good side, so to then lose Ross with 30 minutes to go meant it was backs to the wall stuff.
"But it was exactly the sort of performance that gets you promoted as we defended magnificently, put our bodies on the line and our new signings [Adam Chapman and Jared Bird] ran themselves into the ground.
"The performance had everything and sometimes you can’t play great football all the time – it’s about heart, desire and to not concede and stay in games and we had that in abundance.”
With new boy Chapman’s debut red card against Soham having been successfully appealed against, he took his place alongside Bird in midfield with both performing well in the absence of James Reid and Aman Verma, the latter facing two to three months on the sidelines with injury.
Carruthers added: “We had to act and credit to the chairman and directors who have backed me to the hilt and have worked hard to get new players in to help the team and the new signings were magnificent along with the established players who now firmly believe we’ve got a chance of getting promoted.”
Ilkeston now prepare to head to Southern Premier League side Bromsgrove Sporting this weekend in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy.