Ilkley Leave It Late to Claim Priceless Victory


After a frantic second half, Ilkley battled from behind to eventually beat Nelson 3-2 at Little Wembley which could prove to be a crucial three points, writes Evan Seaman.

But Ilkley got off to the worst possible start after about 11 minutes when Charles Lunt won the ball in the box before beating Ilkley’s Tim Edney to make it 0-1 to the hosts.

The Baht’atters were now struggling with the intensity of the game and also struggled to adapt to Nelson’s bumpy surface, which made it difficult for them to get any shots off.

After the first half an hour, it was evident that Nelson was trying to use their physicality as their strength and looked in full control.

Sam Dexter’s side had their first real chance of the game when skipper Harry Brown got on the end of a cross from close range but Zachary Biggs was on hand to parry the ball away from danger for now.

However, Ilkley burst onto the scene in the second half and looked much livelier.

And they got their reward when Ilkley won a free kick from about 30 yards out. Alfie Dean whipped the ball into the box and centre back Matthew Swift headed it in to make it all square.

However, Nelson immediately restored their advantage when they capitalized on Ilkley’s mistake and Bobby Carter made no mistake for them to put the hosts back in front.

But Ilkley weren’t quite done yet because with 10 minutes left James Hudson equalized for the visitors when he ran onto the end of a long through ball before poking the ball into the bottom corner past Biggs to make the score 2-2.

After a game of twists and turns, there was still time for one more when Hudson squared the ball across the box before Tom Smith got a very late winner which meant Ilkley won 3-2.

This result delighted the visiting supporters, as this puts them up to fourth on 57 points with just two games remaining.

Next up is the short trip to Steeton on Easter Monday before Ilkley host the final game of the season at the MPM stadium against South Liverpool.