In the pouring rain on Monday night, the young Baht’atters gave RIASA Helsinki nightmares on Halloween as they ran out 9-2 winners in what can only be described as a goal-crazy game, writes Evan Seaman.
Ilkley U23s wasted no time settling into the game and won a free kick early on the edge of the box. Kevin Gonzalez went up and took it, but this time his shot fired straight at the visitors’ goalkeeper.
In the 10th minute the deadlock was already broken when Blake Wood squared the ball across the box to James Hudson who was able to tap the ball home to give the hosts the perfect start to the match.
Ilkley U23s were now in full control of the game and James Hughes had a couple of chances in quick succession. The first one was when he went through on goal, but the keeper did well to parry it away. Then Pickles nearly picked out Ilkley’s no 9 with a low cross but he couldn’t quite reach it.
However, it appeared to be a sign of things to come when Hughes found space inside the box before turning and slotting the ball in the bottom corner to double their lead.
Then Alfie Dean picked the ball up and went on an impressive run before beating the keeper and making the score 3-0 to the home side.
But RIASA Helsinki responded immediately when their no 9 caught Sam Blackiston off his line and scored a spectacular long-range goal to get the away side back into the game.
However, their fightback did not last for very long as Ilkley U23s scored a spectacular goal themselves shortly afterwards when Joseph Edmonds hammered the ball into the top corner from 30 yards out to make the score 4-1.
There was time for one more goal from the hosts before the break when Pickles got on the end of a cross in the box before making it 5-1 on the stroke of half time.
Ilkley U23s showed no sign of slowing down in the second half and Gonzalez got in on the act when he pounced on a rebounded shot to make it six.
The visitors quickly got another consolation goal almost straight after kick-off to try to put a bit of respectability on the score line.
The away team’s celebrations were short-lived though when they conceded a penalty. Immanuel Kinuthia made no mistake and dispatched the penalty to make the score 7-2.
Ilkley U23s continued to pile on the pressure and got their reward as Gonzalez bagged himself a brace when his shot from a free kick rifled into the top corner.
RIASA Helsinki could not cope with Ilkley’s set-piece prowess as Hughes got his second goal just before the end of the game to make the final score an incredible 9-2.
The result means that Ilkley U23s get a big three points in what will probably be their highest scoring match of the season.