ILKLEY Town picked up their first West Yorkshire League win of October to rise to fourth in the Premier Division with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Horbury.

Horbury started strong but were unable to test keeper Tim Edney in the Ilkley goal.

As the half progressed, Ilkley began to control proceedings and thought they had taken the lead when Matty Whitehead's blistering strike crashed down off the bar.

Ilkley ran away in celebration, but they were cut short as the linesman ruled the ball had not crossed the line.

Ilkley continued to press and got their reward after 41 minutes when Tom Fleming reacted quickest to Whitehead's parried effort to volley into the bottom corner.

It was not until the closing stages that Horbury began to trouble the Ilkley defence in a bid to equalise, and they almost achieved it with Edney diving on a goalmouth scramble which required only the slightest Horbury touch to put them back on terms.

With visions of the Whitkirk game, where Ilkley surrendered their lead in the closing minutes, racing in everyone's heads, Ilkley ensured there would be no repeat as a rapid counter attack allowed debuting duo Benji Claydon and James Hudson to link up, with Hudson sending a thunderous strike into the bottom corner to secure all three points.

Manager Simon Armstrong was full of praise for his side after the game.

He said: "I thought it was a very strong performance. Horbury is a difficult place to come; we have seen good teams come here in the past and struggle and I think Horbury will be a top six team this season.

"We were under no illusions that we would have to work hard, be resilient and choose our moments to play. The pitch was difficult which added to the challenge for both teams.

"Our first goal came through Fleming and we deservedly went in at the break 1-0 up. The resilience of the team then in the second half was fantastic and I'm delighted for Hudson, who combined with another debutant Benji Claydon, whose goal gave us the three points.

"We are on 22 points now which is a good return from 13 games in this league. Bear in mind the run of games we've had. We've played Whitkirk, Hunslet, Leeds City, Beeston, Carlton and Horbury today; these are top six teams and the majority were away games. We have to be realistic knowing it's tough to get points at those places, but we want to be challenging these teams which is why a result like this is so satisfying."

Fleming was delighted with his strike and how the team dug deep to secure the win. He said: "It was high in the air, I thought I may as well have a crack from the edge of the box before the defence got set and thankfully it went in. The keeper almost got to it, but it was a good strike.

"It felt the same as the Whitkirk game near the end as everything got a bit scrappy because they didn't really have any chances until the end. We managed to keep our shape well though and held out, then Hudson grabbed that goal to seal it so it's an improvement."