Super-sub Russell bags brace in Robins win
Bermuda striker Antwan Russell jumped off the bench to grab a brace in Ilkeston FC’s 4-0 drubbing of Whitby Town on Wednesday.
It was the Robins’ biggest away win of the season and most significant for the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier League club in recent memory.
The grandson of Hall of Fame footballer Earl Townsey Russell and his teammates secured maximum points after scoring four unanswered goals in the space of 16 minutes in the second half.
Robins skipper Laurie Wilson also netted a brace in his team’s lopsided win on the road.
Naturally, Ilkeston manager Kevin Wilson was delighted with his team’s dominant display.
“The events of last night confirm very clearly to us that we are working along the right lines," he stated on his club’s website. “As I told the players in the dressing room afterwards, there are times as a manager when you feel immensely proud of your players and that was certainly one of those occasions.”
He added: “If ever there were any doubts about whether we are building this football club the right way, they have now been completely removed. We are still at the 'tip of the iceberg' stage but the skill and spirit they showed on the night were absolutely fantastic.
“We have to be very, very careful about keeping things in perspective. But it is hard not to get carried away after a performance like that.”
Perhaps making the Robins’ victory all the more sweeter was the fact Wilson fielded a vastly inexperienced team.
“You are always taking a chance when you play so many youngsters at the same time,” he said. “But I had faith in them to make the step up and they didn't let me down."
Russell’s brace increased his overall tally to three since joining the Robins late last month for the remainder of the season.
He opened his scoring account in only his second appearance coming off the bench as a sub in his club’s 2-2 draw with league leaders North Ferribly United earlier this month.
The only low point during the Robins’ recent dazzling display against Whitby was the loss of goalkeeper Scott Low who required hospital treatment for a nasty blow to the head.
Low was detained overnight at Scarborough Hospital but has since been discharged.
The loss of their keeper seemed to jolt the Robins as they gradually took the match by the scruff of the neck and never let up.
Earlier this week Russell’s Bermuda Hogges teammate Bermuda’s Lejuan Simmons struck a hat-trick to help Ilkeston FC’s reserves reach the Central Conference Cup final with a 4-0 win over Burton Albion.
Former Devonshire Cougars striker, Simmons, recently joined Ilkeston as part of an official partnership between the non-league club and Bermuda Hogges.
The mutually beneficial agreement between Ilkeston and Hogges could see as many as five young Bermuda players join the club’s fully-fledged Academy each season.
Ilkeston’s commercial director Nigel Harrop is a former Bermuda resident, while their manager Wilson was a striker partner of ex-Hogges coach Kyle Lightbourne’s at Walsall.
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