ON a warm summer’s day, Ilkley got their pre-season off to a flyer at Ben Rhydding Sports Ground beating Salts AFC 7-2.

Ilkley raced into a two-goal lead as Tom Smith got on to the end of a corner to break the deadlock not long into the first half.

He doubled his tally shortly after when Dave Hancock dribbled past the last defender before slotting the ball into the path of Smith, who rifled it into the bottom corner with half an hour played.

Salts AFC’s No 15 did briefly get them back into the game when he finished off a nice counter-attacking move, but their fightback did not last very long when Smith completed his hat-trick just before the break which left Salts’ manager having to screw up his half-time team talk notes.

Ilkley continued to dominate in the second half, and Joe Hendrie quickly made it 4-1 when he went around the keeper for a tap-in.

Hendrie bagged a brace in style as he chipped the goalkeeper from 20 yards out to make the score 5-1 to Ilkley.

Guiseley academy product George Gomersall also got on the scoresheet for Ilkley when he smashed the ball home from close range in the latter stages of the game to make it 6-1 to the hosts.

Centre-midfielder James Nightingale rounded off the scoring for the home side when he got Ilkley’s seventh goal of the game.

Just before the full-time whistle, Salts did manage to get their second consolation of the match as Ilkley scored an unfortunate own goal, but it was still the home side who went home the happier as they start pre-season full of optimism.

"It was a good start to the pre-season," said manager Simon Armstrong. "We've got some new faces in. They are very talented players who have adapted quickly. They move the ball around well, quickly and decisively, but they also need to be bit quicker and show more quality in certain moments.

"For the first game of the pre-season, it was a good performance."