Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting IGNEWS to 80360, or email
Ilkley Town's comfortable victory
Buy this photo » Danny Henderson takes on a defender
Ilkley Town 4 Swillington Saints 0
Town sent the Saints marching to defeat as they recorded a comfortable Division One win at Ben Rhydding on Saturday.
Goals from Phil Thommesen (2), Danny Henderson and Adam Fowler sealed the victory in a game where Ilkley could have boosted their goals tally still further.
Needing to secure three points to close the gap on the promotion spots in the West Yorkshire League Division One, Ilkley were still without some influential players.
On the plus side they welcomed back Henderson and Damian Smith, while Andy Bloom figured on the subs bench again as he recovers from a long-term injury.
Dominating early possession on a pitch ideally suited to quick passing, Ilkley pressed forwards and Swillington goalie Jonathan Firth did well to tip over a Ross Hutchison shot then parried the ball for a corner after Thommesen was set-free by James Winward.
The pressure paid off after 25 minutes when Thommesen ghosted clear of his marker to head a fine cross from James Wilson past Firth.
He almost created a second when he bustled into the penalty-area and his low cross was deflected inches away from James Hanna who was facing an open goal.
Needing to capitalise on this dominant spell, Ilkley still had some defending to do as the influential Jason Dobson began to hold the ball in attack and James Hirst did well to block a Jamie Scott shot at the front-post before punching clear from the resultant corner.
The Hirst held a Dobson free-kick with confidence before Ilkley added to the score-line minutes before half-time, when Sam Dexter raced on to a Wilson pass and cut the ball back across the goalmouth where Thommesen took his time before pushing the ball past Firth.
A 2-0 lead did not flatter Ilkley but was welcomed after a positive first-half display.
Maintaining a high-tempo passing games was important for Ilkley at the start of the second-half as Swilington struggled to match the movement of the home side.
After a burst of attacking from the visitors, the match settled in to a familiar pattern with Ilkley dominating possession and the clinching third goal was scored on the hour when Hutchison slid the ball inside the Swillington full-back for Henderson to sprint clear and deftly slot the ball past Firth.
It was damage limitation for Swillington in the final half-hour as youngster Fowler was introduced and he tormented the defence with some clever positioning.
He saw a shot across the ‘keeper drift inches wide of the far-post before scoring his first senior goal for Town when Smith’s trickery left him with a tap-in.
Darren Munday leapt well to direct a header goalwards from a Henderson corner and Bloom couldn’t get the ball from beneath his feet close to goal.
Town face a difficult away game against Robin Hood Athletic (KO 2.30pm).