Huddersfield Amateur 3 Ilkley Town 0

WITH first team players still at a premium for Town, Huddersfield Amateur took advantage to run out 3-0 winners in an uninspiring Premier Division contest.

Both sides struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the opening stages before Huddersfield took the lead 20 minutes in, as Joe Bedford launched a towering header past James Hirst from a corner.

Ilkley almost equalised as Blake Wood's outstretcthed boot narrowly missed Tom Archer's cross but Huddersfield would quickly double their lead after through Slater Barnes, as he unleashed a ferocious strike into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Lee Spires would hit the bar for Ilkley just before the break, but Huddersfield would hang on to lead 2-0 at half-time.

In a second-half of limited action Huddersfield bided their time in search for a third but almost found it when a goalmouth scramble saw the ball strike the post twice, before Ilkley eventually cleared.

The third would arrive shortly before the end in style, as Barnes netted his second of the game, curling a peach of a free-kick into the top corner for 3-0.

Ilkley manager Simon Armstrong insisted that the past few weeks have a been a tough introduction to the first team for the academy players who have been rushed into the line-up following the injury crisis.

"Well done to the four or five teenagers who came into the side today and showed plenty of effort" he said.

"They probably aren't ready for this level of football on a weekly basis just yet however, the experience isn't going to do them any harm.

"In terms of the performance overall, we were off the pace in the first 45 minutes. We were timid and just didn't compete, there wasn't enough character.

"Credit to Huddersfield they played to their strengths and scored two quality goals. We were much better after the break, the lads did what was asked of them but overall not a great performance".

With Horbury Town picking up a point at Pool they moved ahead of Ilkley in the table to fourth, something which Armstrong hopes the side can put right in their last two games against high flyers Beeston St Anthony's and Carlton Athletic.

"We just need one point to get back into fourth because Horbury's season is over now" he said.

"It's an away game at Beeston and home against Carlton which are not easy fixtures but, at some point this team is good enough to react to what is our worst run of the season.

"I'm hoping a few players will be back since we have been very depleted recently".

Captain Tim Edney also believes the squad need to step it up in the last two games to finish on a high.

"It's been a long season so that's starting to show. There are a lot of injuries so the young lads who are playing have done well, but it's a steep learning curve.

"We just need one more point to get fourth, so this form is just disappointing more than anything, thankfully Pool did us a favour, so we only need one rather than three.

"It's important to remember we have exceeded expectations for sure this season".