On a damp Thursday night, Ilkley Town AFC were easily beaten by a strong Silsden side, who ran out 7-2 winners. Despite taking the lead through debutant Blake Wood, the hosts scored five without reply, leaving James Hudson’s powerful finish as little more than a consolation goal, writes Matthew Lambe.
The Baht’atters starting lineup included five players who had all made their first appearance during pre-season, and one of the five, Wood, bagged the opening goal. A looping cross floated over the head of ex-Ilkley keeper George Gregson, allowing Wood to guide his header into an open goal.
Eager to add a second in quick succession, the visitors enjoyed a spell of fluid, attacking football; Fleming’s half volley flashed narrowly wide, whilst Clarkson nearly doubled the advantage following a deft touch from Nightingale.
Ilkley’s lead didn’t last long though, as within 10 minutes the Cobbydalers had found an equaliser. A long throw-in deceived Wade - the goalkeeper – and allowed a tap-in at the far post for Silsden’s Arale Mohammed.
Barely five minutes later, Silsden had turned the game on its head, taking the lead through striker Jos Bradshaw. His low finish found the net after he latched onto a through ball.
Bradshaw bagged his brace before half time, earning his side a two-goal cushion. Once again, he received a through ball, this time chipping his effort over the oncoming Wade.
Things went bad to worse for the Baht’atters, as the Cobbydalers added a fourth early in the second half. Skipper Kyle Hancock curled a free kick around the wall, nestling in the bottom corner.
Silsden further extended their lead moments later, with a classic goalmouth scramble that earned Bradshaw his hat-trick. Elliot Scott blocked a strike on the line, but his clearance fell to Bradshaw, who made no mistake on the rebound.
James Hudson gave the travelling Ilkley faithful a reason to celebrate, as he offered a small hope of a comeback. He beat the left back for pace, before striking into the roof of the net.
Any hopes of a comeback were soon vanquished, as Donovan nutmegged Wade from the edge of the box, before a tap-in provided Silsden’s seventh goal of the night.
To add insult to injury, the Baht’atters had a goal disallowed after the Cobbydalers’ sixth: a cross found Mehmeti at the far post, but his finish was deemed offside by the linesman.
Soon after, the referee blew for full time, in what was certainly a night to forget for Ilkley.
Next up, the Baht’atters travel to Nostell Miners Welfare this Saturday in the final pre-season friendly, then are away to Darwen FC on the first day of the new season on 30th July.