ILKLEY Town crushed a weakened Whitkirk Wanderers by a score of 9-0 on a sunny and warm Saturday at Ben Rhydding.

Whitkirk Wanderers, who midweek had booked their place in the Leeds and District Cup final, arrived with only 12 players, in addition to the manager getting his kit on for the weakened squad.

From the start, Town looked completely different to the week before as they controlled the game with the excellent Harry Brown looking to get on the ball at every opportunity.

In the early stages, Whitkirk dropped deep and were content to try and hit on the break.

Town moved the ball around the pitch, patiently trying to find an opportunity to play forward and fashioned a couple of half chances before the first clear cut opportunity was created in the 15th minute.

Tom Fleming found space in the Whitkirk penalty area before unleashing a left-footed effort which whistled just past the post.

Town didn't have to wait long to take a deserved 1-0 lead as a ball swung in by Joe Garside was bundled home by Dave Hancock.

Town continued to dictate, fashioning chances for Toby Harris and then Tom Fleming.

But the 40th minute, Harris scored his 36th goal of the season when Harry Brown played an quick forward pass into his run. Harris fired into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

In the first few minutes of the second half, Town were sloppy and Whitkirk should have got on the scoresheet but were denied by Tim Edney.

After this initial scare, Town again started to dominate and the third goal followed shortly when Ilkley were awarded a soft penalty.

Harris, who was knocked off balance in the penalty area, stepped up and confidently struck the ball into the corner to make it 3-0.

From here, Town became rampant and in the final 30 minutes score another six.

Some fine interplay and cool finishing saw Tom Smith and man of the match Tom Fleming bag a brace each, scoring their ninth and 17th goals of season, respectively. Teenagers Ed Croft, making his first team debut, and James Hudson entered the fray with 25 minutes to play.

Hudson wasted no time and within five minutes of coming on had also scored a brace with two excellent finishes after two fine late runs.

Credit must go to Whitkirk, who looked exhausted by the end, but kept working and retained their discipline throughout.

Ilkley Town manager Simon Armstrong said: "Last week we were awful, one of our worst performances of the season. Today was in complete contrast to that.

"We controlled the game and its tempo throughout, scored some fine goals, worked hard and were competitive throughout.

"We want to finish in the top four and are still in the latter stages of two cup competitions, so we still have plenty still to play for."