Match Preview: Ilkeston (A)

Hednesford Town’s title quest enters its final three matches on Saturday as a Pitmen side who have showed superb form, winning six from eight since losing to rivals North Ferriby five weeks ago, travel to mid-table Ilkeston.

Wednesday’s solid 2-0 victory away to Buxton put Hednesford back level on points with North Ferriby after The Villagers had won by the same score at Matlock 24 hours previously and Rob Smith’s side have now gone four games without conceding a goal, a fact the manager has put down to the focus of his defence and added belief throughout the squad.

‘The area we needed to improve on was not letting in cheap goals and we have talked about it a lot. All of the back four plus Dan Crane have really knuckled down and put in very strong performances.

‘We always believe we will win if we can keep a clean sheet with the attacking talent we have in the squad.’

Alex Melbourne is now fit after recovering from a badly gashed ankle picked up against Coventry Sphinx four weeks ago and, with a clean bill of health throughout the squad, The Pitmen will be at full strength.

The Hednesford faithful, planning to travel in large numbers again following Wednesday’s superb turn out at Buxton, will know that if the professional and dominant way their team have won the last three games is repeated on Saturday, North Ferriby will be sent a strong message that this Pitmen team mean business at the tail end of a brilliant campaign.

Ilkeston Form – WWDDDL
Previous Result – Kendal Town 3 Ilkeston 2 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 13th April 2013
Next Fixture – Whitby Town (A) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Wednesday 24th April 2013
League Position – 13th

Pitmen Form – DWDWWW
Previous Result – Buxton 0 Hednesford Town 2 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Wednesday 16th April 2013
Next Fixture – Rushall Olympic (N) – Staffordshire Senior Cup Final– Wednesday 23rd April 2013
League Position – 2nd

KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – New Manor Ground, Awsworth Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 8JF

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