On Tuesday night at 19:45pm, Ilkley Town will be hoping to get the local bragging rights when they face Harrogate Railway Athletic at the MPM Stadium in the first round of the West Riding County Cup, writes Evan Seaman.
The West Riding County Cup is a cup competition held between the clubs of the West Riding County Football Association which was first competed in 1927. The most recent winners of the cup are Liversedge when they beat Brighouse Town 3-1 earlier this year.
The visitors are currently flying high in 3rd place in the NCEL Division One, eight points off the summit. They have the best defensive record so far, conceding just seven goals - and Ilkley will need to watch out for joint top goal scorers Oliver Norman and Luke Stewart who are both on four goals.
However, Ilkley are also chasing promotion and curresit 2nd in the NWCFL Division One, so both teams will be full of confidence coming into the game and should be a fascinating game to watch.
The Baht’atters last match was a 1-0 home win against Atherton LR in the league last Saturday, with Kevin Gonzalez grabbing the controversial winner on the stroke of half time. Atherton’s players thought Gonzalez’s attempt at goal bounced off the post and out, but without goal line technology it was hard to tell, and the referee thought otherwise to award the goal to Ilkley.
Gonzalez’s winning goal was his first of the season and will be hoping to get many more as he looks to replicate an impressive 2021/22 campaign when he was Ilkley’s top goal scorer. Ilkley’s other key man could also be Shaban Mehmeti who has picked up three MOTM awards so far for his ability to use his pace and drive at defenders.