Campion Edge Ilkley In Tense Derby

In front of 70 spectators who braved the elements, Ilkley Town AFC lost by a single goal for the fourth consecutive game, this time against a strong Campion side. The wind played a major part in the outcome, but George Gomersall’s second goal in as many games wasn’t enough to earn a point for the Baht’atters, writes Matthew Lambe.

 The visitors were playing against the wind in the first half, to such an extent that a few of Bradley Emmerson’s goal kicks changed direction mid-air.

 Keen to exploit this, the Baht’atters flurried forwards and on several occasions almost grabbed an early goal. Kevin Gonzalez tried his luck from distance, but his powerful effort flew narrowly over the bar, whilst Tom Smith had a goal chalked off as the linesman deemed Gonzalez to have used excessive force in the buildup.

 Sam Dexter’s side continued to pin their opposition into their own half, and they could’ve gained a fortuitous goal when Macauley Smith’s cross had to be tipped over by a sprawling Emmerson.

 Around the half hour mark, the tide began to turn as Campion enjoyed a few chances. Jake Maltby’s  finish whistled just wide, whilst an effort inside the six-yard box from Aidan Kirby soared out of the MPM Stadium.

 In the 43rd minute, Campion broke the deadlock against the run of play. Maltby marauded into shooting distance, and unleashed a strike that floated into the top corner.

 On the stroke of half time, Emmerson produced a double save to deny Gonzalez of an equaliser; he parried away Gonzalez’s first strike before making a reflex save from close range.

 In the first action of the second half – with the Baht’atters now playing into the wind – the visitors added a second. Kirby rose highest from a corner and headed back across goal, leaving Ilkley with work to be done.

 This spurred the Baht’atters on, as against the wind they played neat fluid football, and a trademark passing move resulted in Tom Smith firing an effort destined for the top corner, but Emmerson pulled off another save.

 George Gomersall gave hope to his side as he netted his second set-piece in recent games. This time, his drilled effort sneaked under the wall and into the bottom corner beyond Emmerson’s reach.

 This sparked a period of dominance from the Baht’atters, with Gomersall, Brown and Smith all coming close to finding the all-important goal, but Campion’s defence held out for the remaining 20 minutes.

 Despite having a large proportion of possession and shots on target, Ilkley left empty handed, meaning they stay in 16th position and two points above the relegation zone.

 Next up, Town face fellow West Yorkshire outfit Steeton AFC on the 12th, then travel into Lancashire to play AFC Darwen on the 19th.