Martin Carruthers left 'bitterly disappointed' as Ilkeston Town's winning run ends

Ilkeston Town boss Martin Carruthers couldn’t hide his disappointment after his side’s nine-game winning streak was ended by defeat at Sporting Khalsa on Saturday.

By Mark Duffy
Monday, 13th December 2021, 11:53 am
Updated Monday, 13th December 2021, 11:53 am
Martin Carruthers bemoaned his side blowing a two-goal lead at Sporting Khalsa on Saturday.
Martin Carruthers bemoaned his side blowing a two-goal lead at Sporting Khalsa on Saturday.

The Robins led 2-0 before being pegged back by the hosts who went on to win 4-2 – the second time they’ve scored four past Ilkeston this season and completing a league double in the process.

And Carruthers was upset by the manner of the defeat.

He said: “I’m bitterly disappointed the run has come to an end.

"We went 2-0 up and were in total control of the game in the first-half while playing some unbelievable football and there was only one team in it.

"I don’t want to keep speaking about referees but once again the referee has cost us – although we have also cost ourselves – as when I asked him about the foul on Jared Bird in the second minute that should have been a penalty he said he couldn’t give it because it was too early in the game, which doesn’t make any sense.

"So realistically we could have been 3-0 up at half-time, only to concede from a corner with the last kick of the half to give them a sniff.

"In the second-half we said we’ve just got to keep doing the same things and press them to stop them playing as they’re a good side and they did exactly the same to us at home. You can never let teams like this play as they’ve got good movement and pulled us out of shape and we just didn’t press and engage.

"Too many of our players didn’t turn up in the second-half and in the end a free-kick into the box saw Ross make a mistake, which he’s held his hands up to, and they’ve gone in front and it’s killed us.

"Zak Goodson missed a sitter to make it 3-3 and they then go and make it 4-2. So mixed emotions and very disappointing.”

Ilkeston, who remain top of the NPL Midlands thanks to other results going in their favour, now prepare to host fellow hopefuls Stamford on Saturday with free entry being granted to all spectators at the New Manor Ground.

Carruthers said: “We’ve got to pick the players up – we’re not used to losing games of football so it’s about that ‘bouncebackability’ and we’ve got to go again and go on another run.”