Town grind out hard-fought win against Ashton Athletic

Ilkley Town 2 - 1 Ashton Athletic

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, goals from Alfie Dean and Matthew Swift gave Ilkley the three points which keeps their fantastic run of form going, writes Evan Seaman.

Sam Dexter’s side started brightly and were dominant in possession, which put them in a strong position for the rest of the match.

Then just before the half an hour mark, attacking midfielder Dean scored a stunning free kick after his curling effort rifled into the top left corner to break the deadlock.

However, some sloppy defending by the Baht ’tatters shortly afterwards allowed Ashton Athletic to counterattack and Reece Carrington scored a long-range effort to put the visitors back in with a shout just in time for half time.

There was a chance for Ilkley just before the break though when skipper Harry Brown’s shot rattled the crossbar but unfortunately for him his effort went over the bar.

The second half began slowly as the game was stuck in the middle of the pitch but then Ilkley gradually improved as it went on, which made it tense for the supporters watching on.

Then with not long left on the clock, big centre-half Swift got on the end of a whipped cross and his powerful header hit the back of the net to put them in the lead late in the day.

This result means Ilkley have leapfrogged Route One Rovers into the playoff places which will surely be a confidence booster as they head into the final few games of the campaign.

Whereas for Ashton Athletic, they are stuck in mid-table mediocrity, so they have little to play for despite being in good form themselves before this weekend.

Next up for Ilkley is a trip to bottom of the table Nelson on Easter Monday, so they will be hoping this will be another opportunity to keep moving up the table.

Next home match: Saturday 6 April (3pm) v Darwen FC