On a cloudy Bank Holiday Monday, Ilkley Town AFC made it three wins on the bounce when they beat Bacup Borough 3-1 on the road after an impressive second half, writes Evan Seaman.
But the victory was hard to come by and had to battle hard in the first half to keep Bacup at bay.
The first chance fell to the hosts when they won a corner, and the ball was whipped in, but the goal bound header was cleared off the line by centre-back Matthew Swift to keep the score goalless for now.
It was a tense start to the match, as The Baht 'atters were struggling to adapt to Bacup’s pitch and kept losing possession.
However, the game suddenly sprang into action at the start of the second half when Kevin Gonzalez laid the ball off to Nathan Hunt who scored a wonder strike from outside the box to put Ilkley in the lead.
But there was an immediate response from the home side when Bradley Hancock pounced on a mistake following some miscommunication from Ilkley’s backline which made the score all square again.
For a while Sam Dexter’s side looked rattled and were beginning to get frustrated before they got a huge slice of luck with about 15 minutes left on the clock.
Not long after Harley Lambert came off the bench, he picked up the ball on the right flank before sprinting past the defender and crossing it into the box, and fortunately for Ilkley Bacup’s centre-back misjudged it and put the ball in his own net which restored Ilkley’s lead.
Then the match got very tense when Ilkley were winding down the clock which aggravated Bacup and fouled Joseph Edmonds near the corner flag.
However, Ilkley settled the game once and for all in added time when Hunt went clean through on goal before he poked home the rebound to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
The result means Ilkley move up one place to third in the table, and just a point off second which means they are in a very healthy position in the league right now.
Their next opponents are Euxton Villa at the MPM Stadium, who also reached the playoff semi-finals last campaign, so hopefully they can keep the winning run going.