Ilkley Town 2 Carlton Athletic 0
Ilkley put their disappointing draw with bottom team Kellingley behind them as they overcame a Carlton side who have climbed the West Yorkshire League Division One table in recent weeks after a slow start to the season.
Town started the game with a real tempo and the visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game.
The positive start was rewarded within ten minutes when Danny Henderson was on hand to turn the ball into the net from eight yards, after the goalkeeper failed to deal with the cross.
For the next 20 minutes Ilkley dominated the game. Henderson raced beyond the right back and surged into the penalty before pulling the ball back for Danny Bryan, who shot over the bar.
Another excellently-timed run saw Bryan race clear and try to round the keeper, only for a defender to just make a challenge and stop him scoring.
Shortly after an Ilkley corner found Ben Greenhow at the near post but his flick hit the outside of the upright.
Carlton started to grow into the game and their influential midfielder Mark Connors found the pockets of space and pick passes.
A combination of both good and at times a little desperate defending, saw Ilkley go into half-time leading 1-0.
After failing to take more advantage of their first half dominance, Ilkley began to look nervous in the second half.
Substitute Adam Turner was intro- duced after 55 minutes and gave Ilkley a stronger aerial presence.
This and the excellent running of Bryan and Bott, combined with the work of Greenhow and Henderson saw Ross Hutchison presented with a clear opportunity 12 yards out which he couldn’t take advantage of.
With 20 minutes to go a Carlton corner was cleared and looked to be going out of play.
Turner had other ideas and worked incredibly hard to get it. With one touch he found Bott who switched the play to James Hanna who picked his spot and rifled the ball into the bottom left corner.
From here it looked comfortable for Ilkley until Turner was sent off for retaliation with 85 minutes gone.
To their credit Ilkley kept a strong shape and were determined as they kept a clean sheet, their third in four games.
James Winward was awarded man of the match for his effective and disciplined performance, with Ben Greenhow running him close with his industry and quality throughout.
This was a good team performance, but Ilkley will know they need to be more clinical when on top and learn to control the game better at key times.