Bradford Park Avenue 4
Silsden Juniors u13A 3
A terrific second-half comeback so nearly earned a draw that Silsden’s efforts thoroughly deserved.
Playing against a strong wind in the first half, Silsden comfortably played the better football, getting the ball on the deck and passing it around.
The defence, well marshalled by Joe Fisher, featuring an outstanding Amaan Arif at centre-back, and exceptional shot-stopping from keeper Ed Washington, dealt relatively easily with BPA’s long ball tactics and came close to breaking the deadlock thanks to some attractive build-up play through midfield.
Owen Jacobs and influential midfielder Will Shaw both went close, but Silsden went one down to a contentious goal that could easily have been ruled out for offside 10 minutes before half-time.
Disaster struck with a second, quickly followed by a third thanks a superb strike from BPA just before half-time.
Heads refused to drop and Silsden came out for the second half with serious intent to get back into the game.
A sublime strike from Will Nelson from 30 yards clawed one back, before BPA’s centre-back saw red for hauling down the dangerous Reagan Atkinson with just the keeper to beat.
A second quick break and another debatable offside goal saw Silsden go 4-1 down, but heads refused to drop with captain Mikey Tennant keeping the lads going.
A neat finish from Atkinson after determined work from Liam Vinter reduced the arrears to 4-2; followed by Shaw claiming his second goal with a tap in after BPA’s keeper had parried a shot.
A change in formation and positive contributions down the left from Jack Brockbank and Jerome De Kamps helped Silsden continue to pile on the pressure.
Luca Marchini continued a sensational season, marauding down the right and the midfield trio of Tennant, Shaw and Harry Richardson completely controlled the game in the last 10 minutes.
The deserved equaliser just didn’t arrive, with the post being hit twice and BPA’s defenders making some crucial last ditch interceptions, despite the best efforts of Vintner and Atkinson, supplemented by Will Procter.
However, the Under 13s can take great credit from a performance full of heart and desire, that should stand them in good stead for the rest of the season.
Bradford Park Avenue 4