ILKLEY Town were unable to continue their undefeated start to pre-season after they suffered a 3-1 home defeat against Silsden.

Simon Armstrong's men came into the game off the back of victories over Horsforth St Margarets and Step Six side Steeton. The latter a solid 1-0 win, thanks to a neat Tom Smith finish.

Against Silsden, Ilkley came out of the blocks playing their regular attacking style, but were met by a tough defence, who were not prepared to let them have a clear-cut chance.

The away side had a couple of opportunities themselves. Their striker played the ball through Tom Bull’s legs before firing over.

Shortly after, the Cobbydalers almost scored directly from a corner, as the cross was dangerously close to curling in.

With the game opening up, it felt certain that a goal was coming, and in the 38th minute, James Turland gave Ilkley the lead.

A superb run from Joe Chilaka opened up space at the edge of the box, where the ball landed to Turland.

His first effort was blocked, but on his second attempt he made no mistake as his shot across goal nestled in the back of the net.

However, their lead was short lived. Less than five minutes later, the visitors equalised. Khurram Shazad dribbled into the box, evading an Ilkley challenge, before blasting the ball into the bottom left corner.

Not resting on their laurels, Silsden overturned their deficit when a sloppy back pass from Tim Edney was capitalised on. Shazad chipping into the empty net to register his second goal of the game.

The Baht’atters had conceded two goals in quick succession, giving themselves a mountain to climb in the second half.

Ilkley’s Joe Chilaka had a great game, as his pace and strength proved troublesome for the opposition’s defence. This was the case when he set up Tom Fleming on the edge of the box.

From range, Fleming delicately struck a looping shot destined for the far corner, only for it to be saved by the Silsden keeper.

At the other end, Antony Brown broke the offside trap to find himself one on one.

He attempted to round Adam Montague Millar, but the substitute keeper kept his cool and wasn’t fooled. He dived down low to collect, preventing the striker from slotting the ball into an empty net.

Despite, Town creating numerous chances, with less than five minutes to go, the visitors put the game to bed.

Substitute Chris Wademan won the ball near the corner flag and dribbled his way to the edge of the box, before shooting across goal into the far corner, making hopes of an Ilkley comeback almost impossible.

Town should not be disheartened by this result though, as they battled hard and held their own against a team two divisions higher.

The experience should hold them in good stead for this season's West Yorkshire League Premier Division campaign.