By Jack Simpson
Ilkley Town stretched their winless run to four games after a 2-1 home defeat to Leeds City.
The visitors began the better of the two teams as Ilkley goalkeeper James Hirst make a terrific block on four minutes to deny Luke Norman, when the winger was through on goal.
On 15 minutes, City striker Norman sent a curling effort that whistled over the bar while Baz Frankland had a tame effort from outside the box which was easily dealt with by Hirst.
Leeds City’s dominance was finally rewarded on the 29th minute. A lovely cross-field pass found it’s way to Sean Fitzpatrick who cut the ball back to Frankland and the striker had the simplest of finishes to put his team in front.
With halftime approaching, Ilkley had their best chance of the game as Lee Spires found time and space to put a low cross into the box. However there was no one there to finish with the goal gaping and the ball was cleared for a corner.
Both sides began the second half strongly, with Ilkley pressing for an equaliser and Leeds City wanting to put daylight between themselves and their opponents.
Ilkley almost equalised on 50 minutes, when Tim Edney headed over after a brilliant corner ball was played into the box.
At the other end, Leeds City almost made it 2-0, when Frankland’s headed effort went over the bar from eight yards.
Spires then had a long range effort that went just wide of Jordan Higgins’ goal six minutes later.
However on 58 minutes, Ilkley had a glorious chance to get themselves level. A freekick was floated into the penalty area, Higgins missed it with the ball going straight through his hands. It then found its way to Edney, who then somehow missed from about one yard out, with his effort going over the bar.
They were left to rue that missed opportunity on 73 minutes though, as Leeds City made it 2-0. A counter attack led by Fitzpatrick found it’s way to Frankland, who then finished it past Hirst into the bottom left corner.
Ilkley pressed to get a consolation and they were nearly rewarded in the dying stages of the game when striker Adam Fowler hit the bar from a corner.
However Ilkley were finally rewarded for their efforts on the 90 minute mark. Neat play between Fowler and substitute Dan Pickels allowed the winger to have time and space to slot the ball past Higgins and into the net.
Despite Ilkley pressing for a equaliser, the visitors managed to hang on and claim three vital points to keep in touch with leaders Carlton Athletic, leaving Ilkley much work to do to secure survival.