Daisy Hill turned in one of their best performances of the season on Saturday, when they defeated promotion chasing Ilkley Town 3-1 in their North West Counties League First Division North encounter at the Plumb Factory Stadium.

A delightful free-kick from Jack Iley gave Daisy the lead at half time, and although Kevin Gonzalez Mele levelled for Ilkley 12 minutes into the second half, the hosts hit back with two goals in the space of nine minutes from Sam Twist and Ryan Talbot to seal victory.

It was Talbot’s 11th goal of the season, his first in four games, and Daisy’s leading scorer admitted afterwards he could have scored more in what was an outstanding team display.

“That performance has been a long time coming. We’ve got quality in the team, and it’s just not been happening for us at times recently, but today it did,” said Talbot.

“It was a game where we worked hard, and I think we wanted it a bit more than they did.

“They are a good side, they’ve got some good players and they play the ball around well, but I think on the day we just out-battled them and outworked them.

“We played some good football, showed a lot of character, dug in deep and scored outstanding goals and have come up with a good win.

“For me personally, It’s good to be back in among the goals.

“I’ve been on a bit of a drought recently, and the ball just hasn’t been dropping for me for one reason or another.

“But it was good to end that in today’s game, and I could probably could have had four or five today, but I’ll settle for one.

“Hopefully, now I can start scoring again like I was at the start of the season.”

Daisy got off to a great start with a fine opening goal after just six minutes.

Alex Dodd’s strong run towards goal was ended when he was tripped on the edge of the penalty area, and from the resulting free-kick Iley curled a terrific shot into the corner of the net.

The boost of an early goal lifted the home side and they dominated the next few minutes, with Talbot just failing to connect with Ben Unsworth’s cut-back and Iley having a shot blocked from Jake O’Brien’s corner.

Just after the half-hour mark, another surging run forward from right-back Unsworth saw him drive through the Ilkley defence and drill a cross into the six-yard box which just evaded the incoming Ramwell at full stretch.

Although Ilkley had enjoyed their share of possession, Daisy keeper Morgan Newns was rarely threatened and the closest the visitors came in the first half was when a header from central defender Matthew Swift cleared the bar.

However, 12 minutes into the second half the Yorkshire side drew level when a left-wing cross to the far side of the box found Gonzales Mele with time and space to pick his spot, with a well-struck shot from 12 yards.

But Daisy’s response was immediate, and the lead was restored within a minute when Ramwell’s high cross to the far post was superbly tucked away by Twist with a first-time volley into the top corner.

Within two minutes, Talbot came desperately close to adding a third goal when he rattled the bar with a cracking shot from the edge of the box.

But Daisy were in control, and the third goal arrived at the midway point in the second half, when Harvey Roberts stormed down the right wing and delivered a delightful cross on to the head of Talbot, whose header into the top corner gave Ilkley keeper Jordan Moorhouse no chance.

With Ilkley committing players forward looking to get a foothold back in the game, they were always susceptible to the counter attack, and Talbot came close to adding a fourth when he outpaced the defence to collect a Roberts pass and take the ball round the keeper, but his shot was cleared off the line by a covering defender.

Six minutes from time, the ever lively Talbot was in on goal once more, but this time his low shot past the keeper slipped just wide of the far post.

But although Ilkley kept up the pressure in search of a late goal, Daisy comfortably saw the remainder of the game out to collect the points.

Daisy have no game this Saturday, but are back in action on Boxing Day when they make the short trip to Crilly Park for the derby clash against Atherton LR.