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Ilkley Town hit back from two down to win with six-goal blast
10:53am Thursday 17th October 2013 in Sport
Ilkley Town 6 Stanley United 2
Ilkley moved into second place in Division One with an impressive win over a Stanley United side still handily placed to challenge for promotion.
Ilkley started much the brighter of the teams on the slick surface. A diagonal pass from Danny Bryan found Danny Bott, who beat the keeper to the ball and lifted it over him but saw his effort drift wide.
This was a recurring theme during the first ten minutes as Ilkley found success with the angled through ball to the willing runners Damien Smith, Danny Henderson and Bott.
On numerous occasions a wrong decision, or not hitting the ball cleanly meant Ilkley failed to take a deserved lead.
In the 13th minute Stanley delivered a sucker punch. Out of nowhere a bouncing ball in the midfield was struck on the volley and into the top corner of James Hirst’s net.
Ilkley attempted to rally and continued to play their passing game with a high intensity.
They carved out opportunities but failed to take any of them.
Stanley nearly extended their lead after 35 minutes. Only the combined effort of James Hanna and James Hirst kept Town’s goal intact.
Stanley were always a danger from set pieces and after 42 minutes scored their second. Their central defender was allowed space in the penalty area to pick his spot with a header.
At this point it was difficult to see how Ilkley would get back into the match.
Two minutes later Ilkley got the break their performance deserved as Henderson chased down a bouncing ball with the Stanley centre half who kicked it straight against him. The ball rebounded over the Stanley keeper into the net.
Right at the start of the second half Smith found himself one on one with the goalkeeper, taking his time he picked his spot to make it 2-2.
Ilkley had raised their game and the opposition were struggling to cope. In the 52nd minute good work from Smith down the left saw his cross reach Hanna who made it 3-2 with the simples of finishes.
With this slender lead Stanley still had a chance of getting something out of the game, despite Ilkley’s dominance.
It wasn’t until the final 15 minutes when the points were all sewn up.
Adam Turner scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season with two outstanding finishes, and Smith capped his fine performance with his second of the match.
The 6-2 scoreline really emphasised Ilkleys dominance on the day, with Bryan, crowning an excellent individual performance by winning the man of the match award.
There is still room for improvement but if Ilkley can play consistently with this level of energy and intensity, they will be very difficult to beat as they pursue leaders Robin Hood.
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