ILKLEY Town could not have wished for a better start to their 2020/21 West Yorkshire League Premier Division campaign as they convincingly beat a solid Huddersfield Amateur side 4-2.

Goals from Darren Munday, Tom Fleming, Harry Brown and Tom Smith ensured Simon Armstrong's men of top spot at this early stage.

There was a a minutes' silence before the game as a mark of respect for former Ilkley Junior player Calum Tong who sadly passed away aged 21.

Despite starting brightly, Huddersfield’s defence remained as a unit and limited the hosts to only long efforts.

This theme continued until the 25th minute when Ilkley bagged their first goal of the season, thanks to centre-back Darren Munday. Joe Garside floated a corner towards the far post, where Munday outpaced his marker to meet it with a bullet header back across goal.

Only five minutes later, Town doubled their lead. Tom Fleming cut in from the left flank before shooting into the far corner, but a deflection wrong-footed the keeper, allowing Fleming’s attempt to bounce in at the near post.

After intercepting a defensive pass, Harry Brown thumped a first-time shot into the roof of the net, giving the Baht’atters a third.

On the cusp of half time, Amateur brought a goal back in the form of a penalty, after keeper Tim Edney received a yellow card for his challenge on the oncoming striker. The visitor’s striker opted for power, and blasted his penalty into the bottom left corner.

Determined to mount a comeback, the away team began the second half with more aggression. Instantly they were through on goal when their right winger made a driving run, but a great save from Edney denied a second goal.

At the other end of the MPM Stadium, Ilkley showed their class with a string of intricate passes, which were almost rounded off with their fourth, had the final shot not been blocked.

In the 65th minute, the visitors added a second after an accurate free-kick dipped just beneath the crossbar.

Ilkley restored their two goal cushion ten minutes later, thanks to a superb goal from Tom Smith. After receiving the ball from Fleming, his ranged effort rocketed above the keeper and into the roof of the net, rounding off a excellent performance.

This game was just the start Ilkley needed, and hopefully a victory that paves the way for the rest of the season.

Matthew Lambe