Ilkley Town Juniors u-16s 7 Pool Juniors u-16s 2
A hat-trick from Benji Claydon helped Ilkley beat Pool 7-2 in a lively match on a blustery Sunday mor-ning.
Ilkley captain Tristan Fripp won the toss and chose to play uphill and into the wind in the first half – not that this held them back.
They dominated the opening phase of the game and Matt Miller claimed the first goal after only four minutes from a Will Giles corner that floated across the goal.
Pool responded by attacking, forcing two corners in quick succession, and only a superb save from keeper Alex McPherson (standing in for the injured James Webb) prevented Pool from drawing level. Ilkley’s second goal after 20 minutes was scored by Claydon from a beautiful lobbed through ball from defender Jamie Stones.
Pool again stepped up the pressure and, with a powerfully-hit volley, beat the Ilkley keeper to put them back in the game.
Ilkley responded, Claydon heading home his second from another Giles corner. Pool had a further chance before half-time from a free-kick from just outside the box but McPherson parried it and then held it.But there was still time for Ilkley to score again before the interval.
Another fine corner from Giles was headed home by Oscar Turnbull to make it 4-1.During half-time team changes, Turnbull took over as keeper, and Tom Stephens, Ben Cheetham and Ryan Croft replaced Tom Kerr, Ben O’Connor and Jack Jones.
These switches didn’t stop Ilkley from again dominating, however, Alex Henney scoring in the first minute.Shortly afterwards Ilkley earned a free-kick, and McPherson’s 25-yard drive from an acute angle found a path through the Pool defence and past the keeper to make it 6-1.
Nevertheless, Pool continued to press, Turnbull making a couple of good saves, but he couldn’t prevent Pool pulling one back ten minutes from time.Ilkley continued to drive forward and, in the last minute, Claydon took the ball from halfway down the right-hand side, through the defence and past the Pool keeper.