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Davey fires second hat-trick as Town take over at the top
Ilkley Town 4 Sherburn White Rose 2
Ilkley Town went to the top of Division One for the first time this season after their latest win at Ben Rhydding on Saturday.
With many of their rivals involved in cup combat, Town made the most of the opportunity that presented itself to them.
They may not have been at their best, but they secured the result they need to build on the strong start they have made to the season.
White Rose were no push overs. They are a former Premier League side and battled hard.
Striker Adam Davey scored his second- success-ive hat-trick and Phil Thommesen chipped in with his sixth league goal of the season to secure three points.
The opening exchanges showed that both teams wanted to work the ball through midfield, where Ilkley’s James Winward was in the thick of the action alongside James Wilson and Ross Hutchison.
White Rose were sprightly and forced two early corners as Ilkley players tended to give the ball away needlessly.
Yet it was the home team that took the lead after 25 minutes when Thommesen clipped a pass beyond Sherburn defender Daniel Forsyth for Davey to lob the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Ryan Hudson with the visitors appealing for offside.
Needing to take advantage of the slightly fortunate lead and to settle a patchy performance, Ilkley managed to give hope to Sherburn when within a minute as Danny Henderson tripped Lee Grainger in the penalty-area and Hudson despatched the penalty past James Hirst.
The visitors might have taken the lead after 40 minutes when Grainger’s cross was too high for Kyle Sambrook who was alone on the six-yard box, yet this chance came after Ilkley had retrieved momentum and looked most likely to score a second goal.
A tactical change at half-time and a reminder of the need to move the ball more quickly, saw Ilkley start to dominate midfield and push forward with greater frequency.
Sherburn found it difficult to build attacking moves and resorted increasingly to long balls forward that central defenders Ben Dexter and Darren Munday dealt with effectively.
On the hour, Henderson wriggled into the penalty-area after linking with Dave Hancock and retained his balance despite being tripped before squaring the ball for Davey to sweep it past Hudson.
With Ilkley now domin- ating possession and territory, Davey turned provider when his low cross was side-footed firmly into the net by Thommesen.
With Sherburn wilting, Ilkley managed to bring them back to life Dexter’s attempt to head the ball back to Hirst fell short and Sambrook scored.
Thankfully, a fourth Ilkley goal after 80 minutes quelled any late nerves as Thommesen fed Davey and the in-form striker turned his opponent before sweeping the ball past Hudson.
The Sherburn ‘keeper then made a fine save from Hutchison before the final whistle sounded.
On Saturday, Ilkley visit title challengers Old Modernians.