On a cold Saturday afternoon, Ilkley Town held on for a slender 2-1 victory after a tight game against Daisy Hill. Goals were courtesy of Captain Harry Brown and striker Kevin Gonzalez, writes Evan Seaman.
There was a special visitor this week, John Stancombe, who chose to make the MPM Stadium his 1,767th football ground as a groundhopper.
The match sprang into action when Ilkley’s Gonzalez got on the end of a nice through ball in the 5th minute, but his attempt at goal went straight into the gloves of Kier Barry to keep the hosts at bay.
However, the visitors clean sheet did not last for much longer when skipper Brown broke the deadlock five minutes later. The Baht’atters midfielder found some space outside the box before composing himself and rifled the ball into the top left corner.
After about 15 minutes of play Gonzalez was calling for a penalty after what he thought was a handball to try to double the hosts’ lead, but the referee waved away his protests.
By half an hour the game was in full swing and the Ilkley under nine’s were in full voicefrom the stands after leading the team out at the start as mascots.
Just before the break Brown nearly got the second goal of the game as his cross almost fluked in but Daisy Hill’s Barry was there to save the shot.
The second half began lively, and the away side levelled quickly after half-time when Tim Edney failed to clear the ball away from the danger zone and Connor Hughes capitalised to draw level.
However, Ilkley responded immediately when Gonzalez went through on goal before slotting the ball past Barry to put the hosts ahead once again.
With about 15 minutes to go, the game was getting tense as Ilkley tried to cling onto their lead and Daisy Hill were pushing for another equaliser.
But the next chance fell to prolific goal scorer Gonzalez who latched onto a lobbed through ball before going for glory, but his shot was parried away.
The final opportunity fell to the home team again as George Pearson had a chance to put the game to bed but his attempt at goal went straight down the throat of Barry.
So, despite Daisy Hill’s superior possession, Ilkley proved to be the more clinical side on the day and earned the three points.
(Photo Credit: Paul O’Brien)