ILKLEY Town lost 4-3 to second placed Leeds City in a seven-goal thriller at Ben Rhydding on Saturday.

The conditions were terrible for both teams as a strong wind brought with it icy rain throughout the 90 minutes.

From the kick-off both teams tactics were clear, Town would like to play their possession based game while City would drop off, be compact and hit their opponents on the break.

Town, due to a combination of sloppy play and Leeds City pressure in the right areas, gave themselves a mountain to climb.

Great work down the right from the City winger saw him evade two challenges and cut the ball back for his centre forward to fire home from six yards, making it 1-0.

City soon doubled their lead as Town were dispossessed in the centre of the park and the ball played to the left hand side. From around 35 yards out, the City striker took a touch and unleashed a thunderbolt into the near post corner of the net to put the visitors up 2-0.

Although City posed a threat every time they broke forward, Town gained more of a foothold in the game, starting to move the ball around with more quality.

Just before half-time Town got the goal they needed as they broke from a Leeds City attack, Harry Brown driving the ball over the halfway line before releasing Toby Harris, who took a touch and hit it low into the corner for his 16th goal of the season, and making 2-1 at the break.

Half-time should have given Town time to re-focus and concentrate, unfortunately more sloppy play in the opening two minutes of the half presented City with an opportunity to restore their two-goal advantage.

City played the ball forward quickly from the Town half and their winger toe poked it passed the on-rushing Jake Baguley.

Town continued to work hard and in the 60th minute they got their reward as Tom Fleming, surrounded by City players, found space on the edge of the penalty area and dispatched the ball into the net to cut the lead to 3-2.

Ten minutes later, Town played centrally through a wall of Leeds City players and Fleming found a half yard of space to put one past the City keeper, levelling the scores at 3-3.

Town continued to keep playing and try and win the game, and Leeds City also stepped it up to try and impose themselves and regain the lead.

With ten minutes to play, Town were once again sloppy in possession as the ball fell to the City striker who made no mistake to put the visitors 4-3 up.

Despite good pressure, Town could not find another equaliser, although Tom Bull was unlucky to see his shot rebound off the post.

Credit to Leeds City who had a clear game plan and executed it to perfection with some clinical finishing.

However, Town showed real character to come back into the game against one of the best teams in the division.