On a day when Rangers Reserves had hoped to stall leaders Ilkley Town, it was the visitor’s clinical finishing that proved the difference, but had it not been for the crossbar, post and a strong penalty appeal turned down, this could have been a very different game!
With changes made to the line-up following the 3-1 defeat against Rothwell Reserves, Deighton started the brightest, and within five minutes Chris Plews controlled a high pass, lifted his shot over the stranded keeper, but watched in horror as the ball rattled against the crossbar and bounced to safety.
Ilkley showed that they could fashion chances when some flowing football took them down the left side of the pitch. Getting his cross in, it took a dive low down by Lewis Mallinson to stop the danger.
Deighton found themselves being pushed into their own half, but Ilkley lacked any penetration with their final ball, and the game settled into a midfield battle.
In amongst the to-ing and fro-ing, both teams managed the occasional break, but with defences marshalling the forwards well, Phil Turner could only shoot over, following a hooked pass by Plews, and Ilkley suffered a similar outcome as they tried to score down the right.
A failed Deighton attack resulted in a quick counter by Ilkley, and an up and over pass threatened to release their striker. However, the muscular frame of Rich Jenner intervened, guiding the ball out of play.
A spate of needless free-kicks slowed the game down even more, but neither team was able to capitalise, and only achieved several long conversations with the referee.
The 32nd minute saw a strong penalty appeal from Rangers turned down by Mr Murray, after Sam Straker was bundled to the ground as he looked to tap in Brad Spencer’s low cross at the back post.
Ilkley had a good chance to open the scoring in the 35th minute, but as the cross came in from the left, Dan Flynn out jumped his opponent to head the ball over him, and away from goal.
Another foul on Spencer gave Andy Maxted the chance to float in a hanging diagonal ball. Meeting it at the back post, Plews’s volley flashed just wide of the target.
Two minutes before half time, Deighton’s resistance was finally broken when a long pass reached their striker. Twisting and turning to create space, he finished well with a shot that was just beyond Mallinson.’s reach.
Half time: Kirk Deighton Rangers Reserves 0 v 1 Ilkley Town Reserves
Mirroring the beginnings of the contest, Rangers took the game to the visitors, but also like the first half, Ilkley’s defence remained firm to what was thrown at them.
A free-kick in a dangerous position just to the left of Deighton’s area was repelled by the wall. As the ball was shunted across the area, two Rangers players dived in front of the shot to make sure it didn’t trouble Mallinson.
With Rangers showing more endeavour in attack. Spencer was able to have more of a run at the full-back. Beating him for pace, he picked out Flynn arriving at the edge of the area, but his first time volley flew well wide of the mark.
Another decent move by the home side saw Michael McCartney win a fifty/fifty ball before passing to Turner. Ignoring the offside calls, the winger raced into the area but lost his balance at the crucial moment, and his shot crashed into the trees at the allotment end.
Ilkley woke up, and a good run down the left was eventually cleared. The next attack however saw the leaders pull further away in the 58th minute after a clever back heel released the scorer to slip the ball under Mallinson and into the net.
A collision between Ilkley’s keeper and Spencer forced the young forward to leave the field for treatment, however after several minutes on the sidelines, he was able to take his place back on the pitch.
It was the woodwork that rescued the visitors again in the 63rd minute, after Turner had cruised past a defender and sot past the keeper, only for the post to deny him.
Following the introduction of George Thelwell for Jonny Atkinson, Plews was replaced by Will Hodgson as Rangers looked for a way back into the game.
A superb goal-line clearance by Trower stopped the visitors from adding to their score, after an Ilkley player had rounded Mallinson and shot low.
Rangers were under the cosh again as the visitors looked for the third goal. Another darting run, coupled with an untimely slip by a Deighton defender, allowed the striker to shot, but Mallinson produced a good save to his left to smoother the ball.
Ilkley did get their third goal in the 79th minute, although there was an element of good fortune about the finish. A superb high cross caught out Rangers’ defence and although Mallinson was able to get his hand to the original shot, the following moments of pinball saw the ball drop kindly into the Ilkley player’s path and he stabbed it home.
With Rangers throwing on their final substitute, as Alex Wooler replaced Spencer for the final ten minutes. It was the visitors that attacked again. However Mallinson was quickly off his line to clear the danger.
Throughout the game, Rangers had looked dangerous from set pieces and it was this route that nearly brought them a consolation goal right on full time. A corner by Maxted was headed goalwards by Trower, but as Hodson looked to turn and shoot, a diving save by the Ilkley custodian pushed the ball to safety.
Full-Time: Kirk Deighton Rangers Reserves 0 v 3 Ilkley Town Reserves
Report by KDRAFC Media
Team: Mallinson, Atkinson, Flynn, Trower, Jenner, Maxted, McCartney, Straker, Turner, Spencer, Plews. Subs: Therwell (Atkinson 52), Hodson (Plews 65), Wooler (Spencer 80) Unused Sub: John-Paul Williams
Sin-Bin: Rangers (None), Ilkley Town (None)
Yellow Cards: Rangers (None), Ilkley Town (None)
Red Cards: Rangers (None), Ilkley Town (None)
Referee: Mr John Murray
The Bar Three Man of the Match: Rich Jenner