A FINE second half performance saw Ilkley Town win 5-2 in a pre-Christmas encounter at Robin Hood.

The first 45 minutes was incredibly sloppy from Town as they would give the ball away cheaply on more than one occasion.

However within ten minutes Town should have been ahead.

A long ball forward skimmed off the centre half's head and Toby Harris was on to in a flash and clear of the Robin Hood back line.

If anything he had too much time to make his decision and did not strike the ball cleanly, scuffing it wide.

Soon after, Town scored after some neat interplay between Harris, Harry Brown and Matt Whitehead, who got in behind the defence and coolly slotted into the net. Unfortunately, he strayed off-side and the goal was ruled out.

But it did not take Town long to gain the lead as more fine work from Whitehead on the right led to a pull back for Harris, who swept the ball into the top corner to make it 1-0.

Town then became sloppy in possession, and a misplaced pass from goalkeeper Jake Baguley presented the ball to the Robin Hood centre forward who took full advantage, drove into the space and slotted into the corner to equalise.

Things got worse for Town as they found themselves behind on 35 minutes when Robin Hood won the ball from Joe Garside. One pass later and the Hood centre forward slotted into the corner to make it 2-1.

Town required a reaction before half-time and they got it with two minutes remaining when the ball was worked to Whitehead on the right. He ran at the full back and played a perfect pass to Garside, who equalised with a sweet strike into the bottom corner.

After some stern words at half-time the players responded and in the 55th minute Harris restored Town's lead after excellent work by Tom Fleming and Brown.

They played Harris in on the right hand side and he held off the defender and slot the ball under the goalkeeper from the tightest of angles, putting Ilkley up 3-2.

From here, Town looked dominant and Hood played the majority of the second period in their own half.

Town then went 4-2 in the 65th minute when Fleming squared the ball to Harris, who made no mistake hitting the top corner and completing his hat-trick.

Hood did have a pair of great opportunities to score, but two excellent saves by 18-year-old Baguley ensured the two-goal lead remained intact.

Then in the 75th minute, Fleming went past two defenders, cut the ball back to Whitehead, who unselfishly played the pass to the feet of Harris, who passed the ball into the bottom corner to make it 5-2.

The away win sees Town consolidate their top four position over the Christmas period.