Silsden 1 Formby 4 (1-1 AET)
The League Cup brought Silsden a break from League duty but it wasn’t a happy ending for the Cobbydalers who, for the fourth time this season, were knocked out of a cup competition at the first hurdle, albeit after extra time.
The visitors Formby F.C, although from Division One, proved a stern test. Last season the Squirrels finished runners-up in the competition and won the Division One title. They were denied promotion because their ground failed the grading criteria, and they are playing their home games at Burscough this season.
The Cobbydalers might have taken the lead in the opening minutes when Mikey Hall slid the ball through the Squirrels’ defence to Chris Wademan, who was only denied by Tom Simpson gathering the ball at the striker’s feet.
Although the pitch was heavy in places, it was a strong westerly wind which cause more of a problem. The visitors had the wind at their backs in the opening half and after John Prescott had used it to his advantage, he cut in only to shoot into the side netting. A sharp break by the Squirrels ended with Danny Gleave conceding a free kick. The Silsden centre-back redeemed himself by charging down the Marvin Molyneux shot.
At the other end, Wademan, who has begun to shine in recent matches, also struck the side netting from a narrow angle before the Cobbydalers took the lead. It was a classic! Kristian Hargreves pushed the ball up the left where Anthony Lynch curled in an inviting cross for Mikey HALL to head home, with some power.
It gave Silsden some lee-way but the Squirrels gradually began to take control. At the heart of much of their play was journeyman, Luke Holden who had represented all three Merseyside clubs at junior level. When Holden cut past Moses on the left, he was only denied the equaliser by Ed Hall spreading himself at the near post. Midway through the half, he went close with a curling effort from outside the box.
Silsden’s midfielders never really got a grip of the game. Sometimes it was a lack of control and at others a lack of support. Midway through the half, keeper Hall stopped Molyneux’s low free-kick and the Holden shot wide after good work by Mark Kirby. Holden went close with another curling free kick which Hall punched clear.
With goals at a premium for the Cobbydalers, they might have been better sitting back, tempting the visitors to try to break them down, whilst using the pace of Wademan up front. As it was, the midfielders, none of whom could claim to be at their best, were rather sluggish and the Squirrels were able to able to keep possession. Wademan did get through once but Molyneux denied the striker with a fine tackle before Storrie saw his volley dip as it cleared the bar.
Finally, as half time approached, Wademan broke through but Molyneux managed to block one shot and skipper Mikey White, another one. Andy Hill put over a super corner which Gleave managed to head goalwards. Simpson gathered and quickly launched the ball forwards to Prescott but Storrie covered back well to ensure the Cobbydalers held the advantage at the break.
Josh McNulty came on for Storrie and his distribution created some half chances but as the midfielders shunned their defensive duties, the Squirrels were able to break forwards. The equaliser came when Franny Smith slid the ball to PRESCOTT who had time to draw Hall off his line before sliding the ball home. Smith then shot wide as the visitors went for the winner. Danny Fagan denied Smith a goal then Hargreaves made a superb interception to deny Prescott.
James Gill came on for Crabtree to try to stem the tide. It was still anybody’s game but Silsden were unlucky when Wademan broke though, only to be denied by the assistants flag. It was a close call. Egan replaced Mikey and cut in onto his right to put in one last shot but the game ended as draw and extra-time beckoned.
Five minutes later the game was effectively over. It looked as if the heavy pitch had taken its toll on the Cobbydalers. Three minute in, Hill’s underhit pass to Gill was intercepted and slid to PRESCOTT who stroked it past Hall. Two minutes later SMITH hit a screamer from thirty yards out to make three.
At the other McNulty headed a Wademan cross over the bar with the goal at his mercy, before Formby made it four when SMITH connected with Prescott’s cross.
Silsden belief had gone. Moses managed to clear Smith’s next effort off the line and McNulty saw Molyneux do likewise at the other end.
After the game Geary did acknowledge that the changes made after his substitutes came on may have had a negative impact but the basic facts were that too many of the Cobbydalers had an off day.
Silsden 1 Formby 4 (1-1 AET)