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  • Writer's pictureHead Scout

Walkers Crisp

Ilkeston Town 4-1 Basford United (Northern Premier League)

It was meant to be York. I’ve dropped the dog off at the mothers-in-law’s for 11am and set off up the M1 and M18 hitting the A1 in the full know that the Minster Men have decided to delay a pitch inspection for their National League game until 12pm, when myself, and more importantly the AFC Fylde players, staff and supporters, have already set off.

It’s non sensical but I understand the clubs urge to leave it as late as possible, surely however a 10am, even 11am pitch inspection could have saved all this trouble? By the time I’m close to an adult store near Pontefract I’m told the match is off and I’m re-routing off the A1 to head back south for another game closer to home.

Initially the bosses gave me Kidderminster v Aldershot which is in actual fact Phil Brown’s first Harriers game in charge, but I wouldn’t be making the West Midlands in time so I’m mildly content when I’m given Ilkeston Town v Basford United instead, a local derby where just six miles separates the two teams, and with all the other postponements today, there might just be a decent crowd in the borough of Erewash to warm up the cockles on a cold winters afternoon.

The Venue

I’ve pulled up outside at 1:30pm having exited the M1 at junction 26 and off the A610 where I’m slowed by some traffic for Ikea, a scout who I was speaking to earlier already had his game called off at Alfreton and was looking for something to do, he said ‘it’ll probably be a trip to IKEA with the Mrs?’ Thankfully my wife is away in Bath and I don’t have that pleasure thanks to the get out of jail card supplied to instead be at the New Manor Ground.

I’ve walked in, paid £12 on the door and grabbed a cuppa (£1.50) and a three pack of mento’s that the kiosk is selling for £1. Before walking around to the ‘famous’ Clock Tower stand which offers an elevated view. There’s a BBC Radio Derby student setting up as I park my bits down, a quaint view of the ground perched high, a bitty, bobby, quirky football venue that really gets the atmosphere going when full, it’s quiet now but soon it won’t be.

The Game

I’m joined by the Basford media team and one of them Louis, is on radio comms today, it’s all a bit toasty as we are packed into one row as the wind chills in from the side, United in all amber have ‘several’ ex Robins in their makeup, Henri Wilder (Chris’s lad), Kieran Fenton, Jack Thomas, Remaye Campbell, Nathan Tyson, all springing to mind having previously worn red pretty recently too.

For that, I wonder if they’ll be up for proving a point? Or will it be Ilkeston who fly out of the traps? Derby days can be unpredictable especially when you have a cross over of players, but it soon becomes apparent, only one team look up for it today.

After just three minutes a partially cleared corner is shot back by Connor Dixon on the edge of the area and takes a nick, or two, one of which is a leg of Jamie Walker who deflects an effort that bobbles over the line, from that moment on it’s Ilkeston’s day, the home side in control are the aggressors, the enforcers, and they dominate a one sided first half.

A succession of corners has them finally score a second when Walker heads home number two. Declan Errat-Thompson then makes it three with a calm touch and finish from outside the box, by half time the match is all but over.

The Score

I’m chatting to Mark who’s leaving the media team at Basford United to take a job at the LMA who are based in St Georges Park, there’s a new lad who’ll replace him, making his debut in the admin team today and he’s already getting the blame for his side being 3-0 down.

No sooner does the second half commence that three ‘we think’ becomes four. Curson is sent through by a Basford player and slides home before celebrating with his team-mates, only for the officials to change their mind on giving the goal to call offside.

It matters not though, Jamie Walker makes it four to round off a good days work for him, he’s subbed having secured the matchball before Nathan Tyson pulls one back late on. The former Forest man who’s off the bench drills in a consolation after another substitute, Matt Thornhill, curls a free kick against the bar. Thornhill returning from injury was one of the few positives on a poor day for the visitors.

That poor day got worse in added time when Owen Betts was sent off for a second booking, a 4-1 thumping in the derby, not one to remember for those travelling back down the A610, nor those who listened in to Louis’s fine commentary.

The Stars

Jamie Walker will rightly take the plaudits and he’s a striker I really like, a number nine with a touch of class, that bit of elegance, I’ve likened him to being van Basten-esque in the past and although that’s exuberant, it’s based on how he plays more to the levels he’s at, but he’s certainly a player, who at the level he’s at, is one of the best at what he does.

Another star shining everytime I watch, Declan Errat-Thompson was superb in midfield and took his goal well. Away from the scorers however we must mention the running and constant workrate of Lindon Miekle, the former Stag signed only a couple of weeks ago for Ilkeston and was apparently superb in the win at Worksop, he was equally as effective verses Basford, and is the sort of player who will instantly boost his sides levels by leading from example whether it be as a forward or from midfield.

L'varn Brandy was a speedy and technical nuisance on the left wing whilst Sam Parker combined with him well from left back, Basford United might not have provided their best performance of the season but I do see things I like in Jack Lewis, Mason Frizelle, Rev James, Remaye Campbell, they’ll have better days to come, today was just not it.

The Verdict

Ilkeston are tenth and I would not write off a late playoff push. They are eight points adrift of the promotion pushing pack though so a lot of work to do, they are well clear of relegation though and with some positive performances of late, could be a dangerous animal playing with freedom under Ian Deakin, a side currently going out each week, with nothing to lose.

Basford are still five clear themselves off the drop zone, they’ll need to keep those below them at arms length, I’m sure they’ll do it, but if they were unlucky to lose in midweek against Radcliffe, they certainly deserved their fate today.

The Teams

Ilkeston Town: Matthew Yates, James Perch, Sam Parker, Declan Errat-Thompson, Tom Marshall, Luke Cox, L'Varn Brandy (Tyrell Waite 88), Connor Dixon (Alex Marshall 58), Tom Curson, Lindon Miekle, Jamie Walker (Larell King 80).

Basford United: Kieran Preston, Dom Roma (Owen Betts 33), Henri Wilder, Jack Lewis, Mason Frizelle, Kieran Fenton, Toby Ritzema (Nathan Tyson 57), Jack Thomas (Matt Thornhill 55), Remaye Campbell, Rev James, Josh Barnes.

3:00pm Kick Off. Saturday 20th January 2024, New Manor Ground, Ilkeston (att 1,360).

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