Ilkley’s Impressive Streak Ended By Chadderton

On a cold Saturday afternoon, Ilkley Town’s impressive unbeaten streak came to an end as Chadderton FC ran out winners due to two second half goals. George Gomersall’s stunning free kick gave Ilkley the lead at half time, but the momentum was with the visitors in the second half to ensure they took home the three points, writes Matthew Lambe.

 The Baht’atters began the brighter side, as James Hudson burst towards the byline before squaring to Tom Smith, but a late deflection steered the ball out of his reach.

 Sam Dexter’s side sustained pressure on the visitors, with Kevin Gonzalez forcing a fine save out of keeper Lee Mullen, but the linesman deemed him to be offside.

 At the other end of the MPM Stadium, Adam Montague Millar was called into action; a corner was headed goalbound, but he made a fingertip save to limit the visitors to another corner. From the resulting cross, a powerful header was narrowly wide.

 McCauley Smith was tripped on the edge of the box, earning his side a free kick in a perilous position. Gomersall stepped up to take, and his curling effort nestled into the top corner, leaving Mullen no chance.

 On the stroke of half time, Sam Dexter’s side would’ve had a two goal cushion had a goal line clearance not prevented Smith. Gonzalez beat the offside trap and squared up to shoot, but a tackle forced the ball into the path of Smith, whose effort was denied on the line.

 Chadderton looked threatening in the first moments of the second half, giving the hosts a let off after an open goal miss. A low cross was played in towards Jamie Sinnott after Adam Dale let the ball roll through his legs, but his first-time attempt inside the six-yard box flew over the bar.

 In the following chance, Chadderton made no mistakes in scoring; Nathan Hunt was dispossessed on the edge of the box, and Cory Knight slotted into the bottom corner through a crowded penalty box.

 Only 10 minutes later, the visitors had overturned the deficit with a sweet strike from Dominik Williams. From the edge of the box, he found the top corner with a well-executed volley.

 Substitute winger Arron Scholes had the crowd on their toes when he nearly added a third with a speculative lob, but his long range strike smashed directly into the crossbar.

 The Baht’atters pushed for a stoppage-time equaliser, but it was too little too late – although Hunt provided a scare for the opposition as his low header almost wriggled underneath Mullen.

 James Hughes vented his frustration as the full time whistle blew by kicking the ball at a Chadderton player, who responded by jumping on him and shouting, but the captains arrived on the scene to calm tempers.

 This action concluded a nail-biting encounter in which the Baht’atters will feel they should’ve gained a point having lead at the break.

 Next up, Town will look to bounce back to winning ways at Nelson FC on 29th January, before travelling across the Pennines to play Bury AFC in the rearranged fixture on Tuesday 1st February.