by Jamie Woodhouse and Jack Simpson
West Yorkshire Premier League: Ilkley Town 2 Oxenhope Recreation 1
Goals from Adam Davey and Adam Fowler allowed Ilkley to come from behind to record a vital 2-1 victory over fellow relegation candidates Oxenhope Recreation.
Ilkley had the first major chance of the game, a ball over the top of the Oxenhope defence putting captain Daniel Bott one-on-one with the keeper, but he fired his effort well over the bar.
Lee Spires came close just a minute later. His free kick into the box going through everyone, forcing an excellent fingertip save on the line from goalkeeper Eddie Jackson.
As weather conditioned worsened, the wind became a real problem and almost gifted Ilkley the opening goal on the 23rd minute. Fowler’s ball into the box carried by a strong gust all the way to the Oxenhope goal, forcing Jackson to punch the ball out from under the bar. Joe Hendrie was there to meet the ball but his volley looped just over the bar.
Just minutes later, Bott’s ball into the box also caught a strong gust, but the ball cannoned back off the crossbar, much to the relief of Jackson.
Oxenhope then took the lead completely against the run of play. Dan Scott’s powerful header from a corner deflecting into the net.
It took only four minutes for Ilkley to find the equaliser. A stunning solo run from man of the match Jack Murray down the left flank cutt through the Oxenhope defence. His pull-back found Davey unmarked in the box who tapped the ball into the net.
After a much less lively start to the second half, Ilkley took the lead on the 67th minute. After a goalmouth scramble, the ball broke free straight to the feet of Fowler, who neatly placed the ball past Jackson.
Oxenhope struggled to threaten the Ilkley goal in search for an equaliser, as Ilkley held out to record a solid 2-1 victory.
After the match, joint first team manager Greg Beswick said: “It was a good performance. We didn’t start well in the game, it was a little bit tired and we kept giving the ball away, but as the match went on we grew into the game.
“As we scored that equaliser before half time I thought that was our best period within the 90 minutes.
“We came in at half-time and had a good chat as a group and we went out in the second half and got the winner.
“We are really pleased as a group it’s a big three points for us.”
Man of the match Jack Murray has now claimed three assists in his last three games and believes he has worked hard for his achievements. He said: “I’m working hard on an off the pitch. Today was all about taking the three points so you just have to take the responsibility as a team and give it all you’ve got.
“The players that i’m playing with they know where I like the ball.
“Players like Lee Spires and Danny Bott know exactly where to put it.”