ILKLEY Town doomed Salts to relegation after a 2-1 victory in their one and only midweek fixture last Wednesday.

As is usual at this time of year the pitch showed signs of wear and tear, this coupled with a low sun made the conditions challenging for both teams.

Salts came into the game having endured a tough first season in the West Yorkshire League and knowing a win was imperative in their quest to avoid relegation.

The game started at a quick pace, but it was Town who started to move the ball around and control the game.

Toby Harris held the ball up well and brought other players into the game, allowing Town to gain territory and put Salts under pressure.

This pressure brought the opening goal when Matt Whitehead took on the centre half, got to the touchline before pulling the ball back to Tom Smith, who side-footed into the net to make it 1-0.

For the next ten minutes, Salts came back into the game as two short back passes caused chaos in the Town penalty area, both resulting in opportunities.

Ilkley keeper Jake Baguley produced a superb save from the first and Town were fortunate that Salts struck the outside of the post from a fine second effort.

Town then finished the half strongly, as two Harris shots both finished on the wrong side of the post and a Whitehead strike went agonisingly wide.

Town started the second half well, but Salts continued to work hard and carry a threat.

The centre half partnership of Nicc Hewitt and Darren Munday ensured Town were solid defensively and the midfield shield of Richard Bull and James Hudson, making his first start at this level, made it difficult for Salts.

Town should have doubled their advantage as a long ball forward saw Harris roll his marker and find himself in the clear, but once again his effort just missed the far corner.

With 20 minutes remaining, Town finally get a second goal when the ball was played into Harris, who passed into the forward run of Tom Fleming.

Fleming drove with the ball and found Tom Smith who swept the ball into the net to make it 2-0.

At this point, 16-year-old Ed Croft came off the bench to make his second first team appearance and once again showed real composure and quality, gaining some more invaluable experience at this level.

But just when it seemed the game would come to a comfortable conclusion Salts found a lifeline.

A long ball forward wasn't cleared and the Salts' number nine struck a superb looping volley into the net, a wonder strike that gave them a potential platform to get something out of the game.

However, Town saw out the final stages to secure another three points.

Town manager Simon Armstrong said: "Overall I'm delighted to get three points in what was a scrappy encounter. I'm also really pleased to get more minutes for youngsters James Hudson and Ed Croft, both of whom have excelled in the second team and under-21s this season."