GOALS from Jordan Boxhall-James and Tom Archer were not enough for Ilkley Town as they slipped to a 4-2 home defeat against a slightly fortuitous Carlton Athletic.

Ilkley made a lightning start and were 1-0 up after three minutes. Archer fizzed the ball to Boxhall-James, who turned and found the bottom corner with precision.

A loss for Carlton would put a huge dent in their title aspirations and this fact was not lost on the visitors.

They went after Ilkley and almost levelled quickly when they saw a header hit the underside of the bar before being cleared.

Carlton eventually breached the Ilkley defence 21 minutes in, as a free-kick found Liam Moore at the back post to nod in for 1-1.

The away side's momentum was quickly halted when Reece Fennell saw red after clattering Archer with both feet, but they still took the lead soon after.

Scott Hargreaves' effort struck the leg of Joe Garside, sending the ball looping over the head of Harry Higgins and into the net cruelly.

On the stroke of half-time, Anees Younis' cross found Hargreaves in the box. Higgins produced a strong save but his parry was straight into the stomach of Moore and the striker watched the ball luckily cannon into the net for 1-3.

Ilkley grabbed one back in the 47th minute, as Archer capped a fantastic solo run with a lofted finish over Jonathan Gardiner for 2-3 and they were unlucky not to go level soon after.

Archer showed great control to pick the ball out of the air and send Matty Whitehead one-on-one with Gardiner. His thunderous effort beat the keeper but it hit the upright before rolling clear of danger.

Carlton made Ilkley pay as they made it 2-4 with minutes remaining. Younis twisted and turned to make space in the box before picking out the bottom corner.

Ilkley manager Simon Armstrong believed his side needed a calmer approach, saying: "I was disappointed with the first half goals.

"I felt we rushed a little bit and didn't make the most of Carlton being down to ten men by using the full length and width of the pitch.

"Then in the second-half, we set up a little differently and asked the lads to do specific tasks and we really competed.

"To put the game into perspective, we had seven U21 players in the side today which is massive for us as a club, looking at next season and beyond."