Ilkley Fall to Droylsden in Cup Thriller

Ilkley Town AFC 3 – 4 Droylsden FC

Ilkley Town AFC exited the Edward Case Cup at the hands of an organised Droylsden side, meaning the Baht’atters are no longer in three of the four cups of the season. After an energetic first half performance in which Kevin Gonzalez secured a 16-minute hat trick, Ilkley conceded two without reply in the final 45 to eventually lose 3-4, writes Matt Lambe.

Sam Dexter’s side had to weather an early storm as Droylsden played with intent from the first minute. West was through on goal several times in the opening period, but he failed to score because of an excellent save from goalkeeper Isaac Khan and a couple of well-timed challenges by Nicc Hewitt and Josh Parker. 

Ilkley caused the Droylsden defence several problems in the first half: Takuo Jitsukawa almost scored with a strong slide tackle on Droylsden’s goalkeeper Morgan Piper, while Joe Edmonds forced a corner from Piper with a swerving free kick.  

Nevertheless, the visitors took the lead from a set-piece through Harrison Cunningham. A low free kick wasn’t dealt with, and Cunningham reacted quickest to the loose ball to score from a yard out.

Their lead was short lived though, as the Baht’atters were level within a minute. Gonzalez was on the receiving end of a through ball before finishing convincingly in the bottom corner.

Gonzalez doubled both his and his teams tally for the night within 10 minutes, rounding off an excellent team attack. The hosts had controlled possession for minutes, before a display of one touch football brought Ilkley to the byline, where Gonzalez converted with a towering header to the near post.

The talisman added a third to place Ilkley in a commanding position before the break, which completed his 16-minute hat trick. This was arguably the most impressive finish of the lot, with a powerful strike which nestled in the bottom corner from distance.

However, the Bloods halved the deficit in the sixth minute of injury time. Ilkley were unable to clear their lines from another set-piece and a goalmouth scramble saw an Ilkley man turn the ball over his own line.

This left the cup clash finely poised at the interval, with the Baht’atters leading the Bloods 3-2.

Shortly into the second half, Droylsden were awarded a penalty after Harry Brown fouled their winger on the edge of the box. West converted the penalty, finding the bottom corner.

The visitors then retook the lead through full back Shipton, who rose highest from a corner to complete their turnaround from 3-1 down to 3-4 ahead.

In the final moments, Ilkley pushed for an equaliser which would’ve sent the tie to penalties, but an excellent performance by centre half Elvis Amoakwa silenced the Baht’atters front line for much of the second half.

This means Ilkley narrowly bow out of the Edward Case Cup after an exciting fixture under the floodlights at the MPM Stadium, so attention returns to the league.

Next up, Town welcome high-flying Holker Old Boys to the MPM Stadium on Saturday 14th October before playing Shelley away in a White Rose classic in the Macron Cup on Tuesday 17th October.