Silsden 5 Squires Gate 1
by Jim Rosser
See more pictures, here.
Silsden ended a seven-match winless run in superb style – chalking up their biggest win of the season.
The Cobbydalers welcomed back skipper Danny Gleave and defensive partner Danny Fagan for this vital game against another team at the wrong end of the table. Only Kristian Hargreaves was unavailable. With his centre backs back in place, Andy Geary pushed James Gill into a defensive midfield role. Gate came into the game following two defeats which were preceded by a two-one victory at Maine Road.
Gate had a chance in the first minute when, following a corner, Dan Penswith saw his header cleared out of a crowded box. Minutes later Andy Hill, back to his best, slid the ball up the right for Chris Wademan to run onto. The striker, looking more like his old-self, cut through the defence to hit a fierce cross-shot which came back off the far post. Josh McNulty hit the rebound goalwards but Andy Collins cleared off the line.
Next it was Hill who hit a curling free-kick round the visitor’s defensive wall. Ben Fletcher, at full stretch, tipped it for a corner.
Silsden might easily have been two up in the opening five minutes before Jack Cook flicked a header wide, following a long throw-in. Next Wademan broke down the middle onto to Gleave’s through ball but Fletcher smothered the shot. Mikey Hall and McNulty combined well on the left for the latter to cross deep into Gate’s penalty area, Fletcher again getting his body behind Wademan’s snapshot.
Midway through the half, Gate managed to push the Cobbydalers back in a sustained spell but Ed Hall only had one save to make, from Ben Proctor’s deep free-kick. Another free-kick was awarded to Silsden on the edge of the Gate area. Hall and McNulty discussed the options before the latter hit his curler over the wall forcing another excellent save from Fletcher.
Riding their good fortune, Gate pushed forwards but Ed Hall was far too alert to let Jack Cook latch onto the through ball. Craig Carney then wasted an opportunity, shooting wide from close range. Finally the Cobbydalers were rewarded for their positive play. Mikey had seen an effort cleared for a corner which was swung in by Hill into a crowded area. GLEAVE stuck a foot out to score from a yard out to give the Cobbydalers the lead in the thirty-third minute. Will Storrie had a superb shot blocked on the stroke of half time as the Cobbydalers ended the half on the attack.
Silsden started off in the second half where they had left off in the first. A through ball from McNulty sent Mikey free but a superb tackle from Penswick denied him a shot before Wademan cut in from the left, tormenting Penswick and Collins with some tight control. He squeezed between them but his final effort was off target. Wademan was on fire. Next he broke onto Hill’s delicate chip but again was denied as Fletcher spread himself.
It was all Silsden. Gill saw a header saved following McNulty’s superb cross.
Ben Crabtree then got in on the act, latching onto another of Hill’s pin-point crosses. A foul provided the chance for another goal opportunity. Gill curled in a right-footer from deep on the left. As Fletcher stood on his line, a statuesque defence allowed GLEAVE to head home his second.
Another Hill free kick gave McNulty a chance but his shot needed more power. Dale Feather replaced Mikey. On sixty-five minutes WADEMAN was tripped in the box. Finally he got his name on the score-sheet from the penalty spot.
There was some controversy or at least a misunderstanding five minutes later. Jamie McQuillan broke up the right cut in to drive a low shot past Hall. The ball hit the fencing at the back of the goal and the assistant, at first, seemed to flag for a goal kick. However, after some discussion, the referee examined the net and it conspired that McQUILLAN’s shot had entered the net legally and broken it on the far side. The game resumed.
Moses was then impeded in the box and the official awarded Silsden another spot kick. It looked soft. (but the referee waved away claims for a more obvious infringement minutes later.) WADEMAN despatched the spot kick as he had done the first. Penswick shot wide at the other end before another ball came through the open Gate, this time from Wademan, gave FEATHER a chance to make it five. Wow!
The Cobbydalers have had several tight games this season, which they have lost narrowly. Despite Gate being wide open, you still have to take the chances. Silsden finally showed a cutting edge. The sunset over the hills was superb…the fans were in heaven!
Next week it’s off to Maine Road. In the last two seasons the Cobbydalers have done the double over the promotion hopefuls. Not this time as Road won three-one at the Angel Telecom Stadium, earlier in the season. But if the team can show the spirit they did in this game, they could make amends for that setback.
See more pictures on David S Brett’s website, here.