Ilkley Town 3 Featherstone 1

Ilkley stepped up their West Yorkshire League Division One promotion push to move within a point of leaders Knaresborough with another victory as the sun made a rare appearance at Ben Rhydding on Satur-day.

Featherstone only arrived 15 minutes before kick-off due to congestion in Headingley, and were without six of their starters from the week before. From the kick off Ilkley moved the ball with confidence utilising the space out wide and really making their opponents work.

Within 15 minutes Ilkley’s early dominance had paid off. Good work down the right-hand side from Ben Greenhow, saw his cut back find Danny Bott in the penalty area, and he found the roof of the net to make it 1-0.

Ilkley continued to dominate, at times fluently passing the ball and spending long periods of play in the opponents’ half.

Featherstone on the other hand were simply happy to clear their lines. It wasn’t until the 30th minute that Ilkley’s dominance reaped further reward. Some fine football on the edge of the Featherstone penalty area saw Ben Greenhow flick the ball goalwards. The goalkeeper made a fine save but fell on the ball as he tried to gather and it deflected into the net.

Ilkley were now in complete control and concentration became a key factor.

The home side continued to dominate after the break but steadily they began to lose their rhythm as sloppiness crept in.

It wasn’t until the 83rd minute that Ilkley managed to finish off the game.

The Featherstone goalkeeper came out to claim the ball, fumbled it and Dave Hancock was on hand to roll it into the empty net.

With the clock ticking down, Ilkley overplayed in their own half, surrend-ered possession and Featherstone put their first shot at goal through the legs of James Hirst to make it 3-1. Needless to say this proved a frustrating end to a positive day.

After such dominance a clean sheet would have been a fitting end. Man of the match Ben Dexter and Ben Greenhow are starting to forge a really strong partnership, completely controlling the right hand side of the pitch.

Bott displayed endless energy and always a willing runner.

Ilkley face another tough home game on Saturday against Wyke Wanderers at Ben Rhydding (2.30pm).