THE omens were not good for Otley Town prior to their fixture with Ilkley Town's seconds in Division One of the West Yorkshire League, but they came up trumps with a fine 2-1 away win.

Otley started the game without four senior players - unavailable for various reasons.

They were also disadvantaged through their unfamiliarity of playing on an all-weather pitch and under floodlights.

As well, the Ilkley teamsheet showed significant changes to the one that started at Shelley in their previous game, with several players with North West Counties League experience being drafted in.

But football is a funny game.

For the first 25 minutes, Otley dominated, making light of the conditions, and should really have been two goals up, with Brandon Hammond and Harry Hawkins going very close.

At this point, Ilkley came to life, with James Nightingale and George Gomersall getting on the ball and spreading play to the wings.

Ilkley normally play through the lines, but their goal, scored on 25 minutes, would come from a 40-yard pass to the left which evaded two Otley players.

Winger Harvey Lambert was on to it in a flash and after steadying himself, he rifled home high into the net.

Otley could feel a little aggrieved to be behind at the break, but they started well in the second period, determined to put pressure on the home side and force mistakes.

Hammond and Hawkins, with back up from a solid midfield of Ryan Cox and stand-in skipper Peter Long, began giving the Ilkley defence a bit of a chasing and when Hammond broke through it looked like a certain equaliser.

His low shot hit both posts before rebounding to safety, but the ball was still in the danger area, and when Cox saw the chance he made the most of it, firing home into the top corner from 20 yards out.

Otley now had the bit between their teeth and were very much in the ascendancy.

Even veteran full-back Tristan Holdsworth got in on the act, dribbling past four Ilkley players, only to pull his shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

However, the pressure was telling on Ilkley, and when Hammond yet again broke through, he was fouled in the area.

His subsequent spot kick gave Montague Miller no chance.

At this point there was still 20 minutes remaining and Otley had to dig deep to protect their lead.

Fortunately, back four Holdsworth, Greig Hudson, Jonathon Unwin and Richard Marshall were in outstanding form, backed up by the talismanic keeper Wayne Mahomet.

A 10-minute cameo from Mitchal Lambert-Tuthill, where he broke up several promising moves by the home team, brought great enjoyment from the numerous away supporters.

In the end, Otley rode out the storm to win 2-1, with Long named Man of the Match for the way he controlled the midfield and led from the front.

Next up for Otley, their firsts travel to Silsden's Under-23s for a league fixture tomorrow (2:30pm kick-off).

Otley's reserves are looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat at Headingley, as they host Robin Hood Athletic Reserves at The Old Showground.

Otley's fourths kick their season off with a home fixture against newcomers FC Keighley United.