By Jamie Woodhouse.
Ilkley Town are through to the next round of the Wharefdale District Cup after defeating Otley Town 3-0 in freezing conditions.
In a quiet first half, visitors Ilkley came closest to the breakthrough after Gareth Pickup broke through the Otley defence, but the centre mid stabbed the ball narrowly wide.
Against the flow Otley nearly took the lead on the stroke of half time. A penalty box collision between Ilkley keeper James Hirst and defender Darren Munday causing the ball to spill to the feet of Eric Artr who couldn’t react quick enough to convert.
Ilkley almost went ahead on the 53rd minute. Danny Bott’s free kick looked destined for the net, but was fabulously tipped wide by Otley keeper Fletcher Payley.
As weather conditions worsened, Ilkley finally took the lead after Payley spilled a low cross from Dan Chadwick, Danny Henderson was there to fire home from close range and make it 1-0.
The visitors doubled their lead on the 75th minute, Bott’s pass finding Jack Murray who coolly slotted the ball under Payley.
A second goal in two minutes followed. Richard Schofield cushioned the ball down to Adam Fowler, who drove the ball into the back of the net from six yards, rounding off a comfortable 3-0 victory for Ilkley.
Speaking after the match, joint first team manager Greg Beswick said: “A convincing win but up to half time it was a well contested game. They were set up to defend and quite difficult to break through.
The things we spoke about at half time we really put that together and turned it on in the second half. We were a lot better.”
Looking forward to Ilkley’s next match against Carlton Athletic, Beswick said: “It’s going to be a very tough game. I think they have played 11 games, scored 56 and only let 10 in unbeaten. You can tell I’ve done my homework.
But we are going to prepare Wednesday make sure we are right and ready to go and like I said last week we are always confident at home that we can pick up a result whether that be three points or a draw.”