On a warm summer’s evening, two second half goals from Ilkley sealed the victory for the U23s against Harrogate Railway Athletic despite an impressive long-range goal from the away side at the start of the game, writes Evan Seaman.
Ilkley started the brighter team after some nice link up play from their first team players, Shaban Mehmeti and James Hughes. Mehmeti dribbled down the left flank before laying the ball off to Hughes who goes for glory, but the keeper saves well to keep them at bay.
After about half an hour, Ilkley finally broke the deadlock when Kinuthia went one on one with the keeper before slotting home to make it 1-0 to Joe Garside’s side.
However, Ilkley’s lead did not last long as there was an immediate response from Harrogate Railway. Their no 2 scored a spectacular long-range goal which caught Ilkley off guard which meant the score was now all square again.
But on the stroke of half time, Ilkley scored a beauty themselves when Charlie George, on the edge of the box, curled it into the bottom right corner to make the score 2-1 to the hosts.
After about 15 minutes into the second half, The Baht’atters doubled their lead when Blake Wood went on a menacing run before squaring it to Hughes inside the box who taps it in to make the score 3-1 now.
Shortly afterwards, Wood came close to getting Ilkley’s fourth goal as he rattled the woodwork but bounced back into play before Harrogate Railway managed to clear their lines to keep the score 3-1.
For Ilkley’s U23’s it was a good solid night as they looked comfortable in the second half and didn’t allow the visitors many chances and manager Joe Garside will be looking to build on this good start.