Nelson Defeat Ilkley In High Scoring Affair


Ilkley Town AFC fell to a 2-3 loss at the hands of a physical Nelson FC side in an entertaining encounter at the MPM Stadium. The game was tied 1-1 at the break, before a controversial decision from the referee denied Matt Swift of a header early in the second half. The visitors responded with two goals in five minutes, before a strike from George Pearson gave the Baht’atters a faint hope in injury time, writes Matthew Lambe.


In the 6th minute, Nelson’s Jack Holt steered the ball home from a set-piece, but the linesman deemed him to be in an offside position.


Nathan Hunt almost provided the Baht’atters with an early lead after breaking the offside trap, but goalkeeper George Bristol rushed off his line and blocked the effort.


The game had yet to settle down, and as a result there was an abundance of chances in the first half. This time, Charlie Bell was forced to make a stunning one-handed save from Holt’s stinging attempt.


Swift’s perfectly-timed challenge cut out a threatening attack and started a sequence that won his side a corner. From the set-piece, he headed narrowly over.


Around the half hour mark, Sam Dexter’s side opened the scoring. Tom Smith darted forward, and his low strike forced a save from Bristol. Fortuitously, his save hit a centre back and rolled into the net beyond the reach of Bristol.


The own goal seemed to light a spark within the Admirals, and placed Ilkley under a spell of pressure. Striker Jack Foster hit the post from close range, whilst Bell gathered an inviting cross moments before Foster could latch onto it.


On the stroke of half time, the visitors restored parity. Sam Lloyd was played in by brother Kit Lloyd, and his first time strike from the edge of the box nestled in the bottom corner, ensuring the two sides were level at the break.


Ilkley flew out of the blocks in the second half and were desperately unlucky to not restore their lead. Smith had a shout for a penalty turned down after he was brought to the ground, whilst Ben Clarkson’s header rattled the crossbar.


Swift came the closest, though, as he rose above the Admiral’s defence to score an impressive header from a set-piece. However, the referee controversially claimed he had committed a foul as he jumped.


To add insult to injury, the visitors scored less than two minutes after the disallowed goal. Dylan Meredith dispatched a direct free kick that ricocheted off the post and bounced in.


Only minutes later, Nelson extended their lead, with striker Jack Foster converting from a corner.


The Admirals nearly added a fourth goal, but Swift’s brilliant tackle on Foster kept hopes of a comeback alive.


Josh Parker committed a foul on the edge of the box, and the referee awarded him his second yellow card, reducing the Baht’atters to 10 men for the remainder of the game.


Approaching injury time, George Pearson halved the deficit with an impressive strike. He received the ball following great play from substitute Blake Wood, before cutting inside and finding the top corner.


It proved to be too little too late, however, as referee Kieran Leach indicated full time as soon as play had restarted.


Looking to the future, Town have consecutive away games, travelling across the Pennines to face Ashton Town on 3rdSeptember, then at Daisy Hill on 10th September.