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U18’s hold their heads high with victory in their final league game

By Tom Cross

The U18s ended their league season (and their last in junior football) with a 3- 0 home win against Kirk Deighton.

The win takes them to the top of the table and extends their unbeaten run to 9 games (8 wins, 1 draw).  All eyes are now on Wetherby who play their final game next Sunday – if they don’t win, Ilkley will win the league.

Town took the lead on 8 minutes when Tom Weir and Tom Cross linked up superbly on the right to release Blake Wood, who drove into the box and drilled the ball across goal, where Dan Pelkowski  pounced at the back post to tuck it away.

On 24 minutes Town doubled their lead when Blake scored direct from a free kick 25 yards out.

For the remainder of the half, Kirk Deighton pressed and after changing formation out numbered Ilkley in midfield but rarely threatened the goal.

At half time, the lads asked for the security of moving to a 4-1-4-1 formation.  This saw Town become more compact, but Kirk Deighton threw players forward and were a constant threat.

However, Jake Wolf was solid again in goal, the defensive line of Alex Simpson, Nathan Spiller, Will Rowe and Louis Alcock were superb in the 2nd half and Tom Parker tidied up in the holding role by breaking up play several times and playing the ball out intelligently.

The midfield and strikers were a constant threat and we were unlucky not to extend the lead further.

However, Town made sure of the points with a 3rd goal on 89 minutes. After Louis Alcock’s shot from distance, Blake was on hand to tap home after a fumble by the keeper.

Overall, a very good result against tough opponents.  Ilkley must hope that Kirk Deighton take their “A Game” to Wetherby next week and cause an upset to wrap up the title for Ilkley.

Whatever happens next Sunday, this has been a super season and the lads have really improved individually and as a team.

In the meantime, Town will prepare for the U18 cup final on May 7th against Nidd.