Robins not too downbeat after losing on the road to United
ILKESTON FC were beaten on the road, but did themselves credit in a 1-0 defeat at FC United of Manchester – and were even given a standing ovation by supporters after the game.
An 82nd-minute header by Adam Jones clinched the victory for high-flying United after the Robins had been reduced to ten men when midfielder Laurie Wilson was sent off after picking up a second booking.
But boss Kevin Wilson was keen to highlight the positives on a day when the Robins showed they are capable of living with the best the Evo-Stik Premier Division has to offer.
He said: "I couldn't defend our performances against Stafford, Stocksbridge and Ashton but we were right back to our best (against FC United of Manchester).
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"I thought we showed tremendous spirit, defended as well as we have for a long time and created more than our share of chances.
"We didn't deserve to lose and Laurie's moment of ill-discipline was very costly for us. We were doing fine but then he got involved in an incident when he didn't need to – ten minutes after he'd already been booked – and the referee sent him off for aggressive behaviour.
"At a time when we were thinking about making positive changes, all of a sudden we needed to have a re-think. It knocked us out of our stride and they scored four minutes after we went down to ten men."
It was United's eighth straight win in the League and with games in hand on North Ferriby and Hednesford, there's every chance they will press ahead and claim the automatic promotion place.
Chris Martin pulled off a string of fine saves in arguably his best game for the Robins but it wasn't enough.
Wilson added: "The players are bitterly disappointed and the play-offs are clearly slipping further away from us. But we need to pick them up quickly because they have nothing to be ashamed about.
"If they had played like that in the last three games we would have got maximum points and we have to make sure we maintain the standard at Grantham next week."
Elsewhere in the top flight, bottom-markers Eastwood Town lost 2-0 to Whitby Town at Coronation Park, with goals from Shane Henry after 25 minutes and Graeme Armstrong just before the hour mark.
Worksop Town's play-off hopes took a blow when they went down to a 2-0 Sandy Lane defeat to mid-table Nantwich Town, while Grantham Town drew 0-0 at Frickley Athletic.