Preview: Ilkeston v Sporting Khalsa

Some things in football don’t change much. Back in September when Khalsa welcomed league-newcomers Ilkeston to the Aspray Arena, the side sat proudly atop the Midland Football League. Now, nearly six months on, they still remain proudly leading the division.

That game saw Khalsa inflict a 1-0 defeat on the visitors thanks to a goal by Dan Westwood in what is so far the only meeting between the two sides.

It’s fair to say the Ilkeston Town recent history is complex, with various iterations of the club down the decades dying and being resurrected. The most recent version was born last year when Notts County chairman Alan Hardy formed the club to replace Ilkeston FC which had folded under the weight of tax arrears just seven years after the previous Ilkeston Town had endured the same fate.

Effectively dropping several divisions from non-league royalty into the Midland Football League Division One and with a healthy fanbase to support them, the club finished a distant second to champions Walsall Wood but were successful in securing promotion to the MFL Premier for the 2018-19 season.

Remarkably, Ilkeston’s success has been enjoyed while overseeing a turnover of three managers. Just before the September match,  Ilkeston appointed ex-Buxton manager Martin McIntosh as manager following the departure of Steve Chettle. He was replaced just before Christmas by former Coventry City midfielder Lee Fowler.

Like Khalsa, recent form has been varied for the men in red. The most recent league performance saw them fall 2-0 to Quorn, while before that they beat Worcester City, drew with Boldmere, thumped Wolves Sporting and Romulus, drew at Stourport and suffered a 3-0 defeat at South Normanton.

Ilkeston’s front line have not been shy this season – Elliot Reeves has bagged 29 in just 31 starts, ably aided and abetted by Jamie Walker who has 16 goals.

This one should be a cracker and away support is, as always, welcome. Find out more at Ilkeston’s brilliant website or use the map below to find it (you can probably just follow the crowds when you get close….)


Sporting Khalsa fixtures 2018-19