Ilkley Town breeze to victory

James Winward scored after having his penalty saved

James Winward scored after having his penalty saved

First published in Sport

Ilkley Town 5 Aberford Albion 0

On a bright and blustery day, Ilkley welcomed fifth-placed Aberford to Ben Rhydding, who had won their previous four West Yorkshire League Division One games.

From the off, two contrasting styles of play were on offer, Ilkley moving the ball on the floor and Aberford taking a more direct approach.

Initially the game was incredibly competitive, but fair, controlled very well by the referee.

Ilkley began to dominate with their passing game and found good space in wide areas as they exploited the 3-5-2 formation of the opposition.

They went ahead when Adam Fowler timed his run perfectly and raced clear before attempting to chip the ball over the onrushing keeper who got a hand on the ball and diverted it into the path of Danny Bott who made no mistake.

Moments later goalkeeper James Hirst collected the ball from a corner and rolled it out quickly to Ben Dexter.

He found Fowler who turned inside his marker and played a perfect pass with the outside of his right foot into the path of Bott who raced clear but was off target with his attempted lob.

As half-time approached Ilkley will have felt they should have been more than 1-0 up.

Ilkley were sloppy in the first five minutes of the second half and Aberford began to look dangerous.

It was against the run of play that Ilkley extended their lead after 52 minutes. Damian Smith was upended to earn a penalty.

With Smith receiving treatment, James Winward stepped up and scored after his spot kick was parried.

After a slight scare where Aberford hit the bar, Ilkley dominated and played some outstanding football.

Smith fed Bott on the left and his cross was met by the head of Fowler to make it 3-0.

In the 75th minute another flowing moving saw Ben Greenhow play a first-time pass round the corner of the defender to Sam Dexter who netted with a sweet 20-yard strike.

Finally it was left to Fowler, to cap an outstanding individual display with his second of the game as turned his man on the edge of the area before slipping the ball past the goalkeeper.

Ilkley could have added to their tally if they had been more clinical. It was a small criticism on a day when they boosted their Division One promotion challenge.

Next up is another tough home game against Featherstone on Saturday who can cause any team problems and will be looking to keep their season on track, and upset Ilkley in their own backyard.

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