ILKLEY Town made the trip to league leaders Carlton Athletic on Saturday and for the second successive weekend against top two opposition failed to return with any points, losing 5-1 at Carlton Athletic.

Town actually made the stronger start to the game and in the first 15 minutes looked a threat with Harry Brown going close after being put through by Matt Whitehead. Carlton then started to get a grip on the game with the pace of the right winger and the skill of the left winger causing real concern.

However, the first goal had an element of luck about it. Carlton won a free-kick on the left side of the penalty area after some quick and incisive build up play.

Carlton's left winger stepped up and shot but a wicked deflection off the unfortunate Richard Bull put the ball into the opposite corner to make it 1-0.

The remainder of the half of was an even contest, but as half-time approached Town were given an opportunity to level after a long clearance saw two Carlton defenders collide and present a clear run at goal for Toby Harris.

However, a slight hesitation led to him trying to square the ball to Whitehead and the danger was cleared.

Almost immediately, Carlton found space on the right and when their winger's cross was diverted by Ilkley keeper Jake Baguley, the Carlton centre forward was on hand to head into the empty net, making it 2-0.

Minutes later, it was three as the Carlton left winger outpaced his marker and struck a sweet shot into the bottom corner.

Just prior to the re-start, an altercation occurred and the Carlton number 10 was given a straight red, giving a slight glimmer of hope for Town.

Town started the second half well, as some nice interplay found Whitehead in on goal, but a fine save denied him.

It wasn't long before Town would enjoy some reward. They were awarded a free-kick on the right, and Joe Garside delivered a wonderful ball into the penalty area and found the run of Nicc Hewitt, who volleyed into the net to cut the lead to 3-1.

Unfortunately, any thoughts of a comeback were short-lived. A long ball and subsequent misplaced back pass led to a Carlton corner.

The ball was swung in and managed to find its way directly into the net. At 4-1, Town's momentum was stifled.

Another Town mistake led to Carlton's fifth and put the game out of reach.

When a another back pass didn't quite have enough on it, Baguley reacted but the Carlton player got there first and a penalty was awarded.

The Carlton left winger made no mistake with the spot-kick, and with the scoreline at 5-1 Carlton wrapped up another three points in their pursuit of a third consecutive league title.

Ilkley manager Simon Armstrong said: "The last two weeks we've played the best two teams in the league and we've come up short. We have work to do in order to improve and become more competitive in these fixtures.

"Carlton however are a very good side and today you really saw why. They were sharp and clinical in front of goal, managed the game when down to ten men and were well worth the three points."