Holders Ilkley Town reach final again with extra time win over Ventus

Ilkley Gazette: Darren Munday scored Town's first goal Darren Munday scored Town's first goal

Ventus/Yeadon Celtic 0 Ilkley Town 2

Holders Ilkley Town clin- ched their place in this season’s final with a hard-earned win over a Ventus side that currently tops the West Riding County Ama- teur League Division One.

After the recent wet weather the Ventus pitch was heavy and as the game progressed, it would prove a difficult surface to play on.

Both teams started the game incredibly committed, with a high intensity and tempo but there were no goals in the first half.

Ventus looked to bring their speedy front line into play whenever possible while Ilkley’s attempts to probe for an opening failed.

Ilkley had the advantage of the slight slope for the second half and began to take control of the game.

Unfortunately that final quality end product was missing and a lot of Ilkley’s positive play came to nothing.

Ventus had, what would prove to be there clearest sight of goal all afternoon.

A long ball was played through to one of the Yeadon strikers who raced clear of Ilkley’s offside trap and saw his shot fingertipped round a post by James Hirst.

From this point on it was all Ilkley with the impressive Danny Bott really starting to dominate the game.

Adam Turner and Damien Smith were guilty of over- playing when both had a good sight of goal. Smith then hit the post with a header and Sam Dexter saw his follow up cleared off the line.

Some great interplay saw Ben Dexter find some space in the Ventus penalty area, and although he hit his shot sweetly, it lacked direction.

For all Ilkley's domination it was looking increasingly likely that a lack of quality in the final third might cost them as the game finished 0-0 and headed into extra time.

As players tired so the game became stretched. Substitutes Ross Hutchison and Richard Schofield were both intro- duced by Ilkley to add a new impetus to the game and freshen things up.

Finally in the second period of extra time the break- through came. Ilkley deliv- ered a corner from the right which was half cleared by Ventus and fell to Ben Dexter.

He produced a fine cross which was met by Darren Munday who headed home.

Two minutes later the ball broke to Smith on the left and he delivered another quality cross which Schofield controlled on his chest and volleyed into the top corner with six minutes remaining.

As they had done all game the team were determined, committed and hardworking to secure a final spot.

Their fitness levels and quality finally seeing them home against determined opponents.

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