In the first away trip of the season, Ilkley Town AFC fell to Bacup Borough 3-0. After contesting an entertaining opening, an early red card left Boro with an extra man for the majority of the game, writes Matthew Lambe.
The Baht’atters recorded the first shot on target, with Josh Parker thundering a volley from a corner, only to be denied by a one-handed save from Henry Turner.
In the 18th minute, Darren Munday committed a professional foul and was consequently sent off, leaving his side with 10 men for the remaining 70 minutes. To add insult to injury, the resulting free kick was converted, with Michael Gervin netting into the top corner.
Shortly before half time, the hosts doubled their lead. After a low cross was fizzed across the six-yard box, striker Toby Wright smashed the tap in into the roof of the net.
The second half saw a more promising performance from Simon Armstrong’s side, with chances occurring straight from kick off; James Nightingale came close to scoring with a powerful long range attempt, whilst James Hughes blasted a low effort towards goal after smart hold-up play.
George Gomersall nearly sparked a comeback, being only a matter of centimetres away from scoring. He chipped the ball up to himself before unleashing a volley, which bobbled over the six-yard box then struck the inside of the post.
At the other end of the ground, Callum Gladding pulled off a stunning double save to deny two close range attempts, whilst a low shot ricocheted off the post and back into play.
Kevin Gonzalez almost added his name to the scoresheet after his convincing strike on the half volley posed a threat to Bacup’s keeper.
Wright sealed the result in the final minute with another goal. Following a darting run, he slotted the ball into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Gladding.
The match presented a learning curve for the newly-promoted Ilkley, who fought valiantly with a solid second half performance despite having only 10 men.
Next up, the Baht’atters will travel to Ashton Town on Saturday 7th.