On a windy Saturday afternoon, Ilkley Town displayed their class in a comfortable 4-1 win against Boroughbridge, thanks to a quadruple from Tom Smith, writes Matthew Lambe.
Smith’s first of four goals was the result of a drilled cross from Ben Atkinson towards the six yard box. Instead of rushing his shot, the unmarked Smith delicately took the sting out of the ball by deftly controlling it, before blasting it back across goal to open the scoring.
Only two minutes later, Smith doubled the hosts’ lead: James Nightingale threaded a through ball for Smith to receive, who dribbled towards the keeper and then slotted the ball across goal from a tight angle, bouncing off the post and into the net.
Clearly wanting a hat trick, Smith once again was through on goal, following on from a bouncing cross from Alfie Heaton, but his first time shot was fractionally over the bar.
At this point, Boroughbridge were hoping for the half time whistle to blow and, since the second goal, they had done well to shut out a dangerous Ilkley side. However, as Smith proved, one mistake is all it takes for the other team to capitalise on: a loose ball ended up at the feet of the visitors’goalkeeper, who miskicked the ball, to land beside Smith. He made no mistake in calmly placing the ball into the empty net, to complete his hat trick and round off an incredible first half.
However, in the 50th minute, the away side almost pulled a goal back, as their striker was through on goal, only to be denied by an excellent save from Adam Montague Millar.
Debutant Ben Atkinson proved why he deserved to be a first team member, as he showed superb skill to beat two defenders and his resulting curved shot almost nestled into the far corner.
Atkinson continued to cause problems for the Boroughbridge defence, as he was fouled inside the box and subsequently won a penalty for the hosts. Smith was elected to take it, and blasted his penalty into the top left corner, making the score line 4-0, with Smith having scored all four!
A lapse in concentration caused Ilkley to be denied their cleansheet, as Boroughbridge broke the deadlock when a corner was swung in and scored at the far post in the 90th minute.
Despite the late consolation goal for the visitors, Ilkley Town showed a dominant display to return to second in the league, with Smith having now scored 27 goals this season for Ilkley.