Next season’s North West Counties League Premier Division will have three relegation places.
Silsden will be hoping to be well clear of danger for the new system, which introduces a play-off from Division One for the extra place.
At a Special General Meeting this week, clubs voted in favour of a proposal tabled by Emil Anderson, secretary of Atherton Collieries.
Teams finishing first and second in Division One will go up automatically as now, with the teams finishing in third to sixth places competing against one another in play-offs to decide the third place.
Further details with regard to the format of the play-offs will be announced later.
Silsden 5 Squires Gate 1
Close call: Silsden were denied on this occasion but came good with a five-goal haul against Squires Gate.
Pictures: David S Brett.
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.
Bootle 2 Silsden 0
The Cobbydalers, who had only collected two points from their previous eight encounters with the Bucks, were beaten in the final furlong by Miller’s late burst. Playing in the shadows of the Aintree Stands, the mind went back to 1934. In that year the main stand at Silsden was constructed (from railway sleepers), 8-1 Golden Miller won the Grand National becoming the first horse to win the National and The Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season. Read more
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. Read more
Silsden travel to Stockport Sports tonight hoping to leapfrog them in the North West Counties League table.
Kick-off is at 8pm, to allow the Cobbydalers more time to make the lengthy journey.
Only goal difference separates the two mid-table Premier Division teams, both sharing 18 points.
Stockport will be looking to put Saturday’s defeat to Cheadle Town in the FA Vase behind them.
The Cheshire side haven’t won for five games so Silsden could capitalise on Stockport’s potential lack of confidence.
Silsden had been on a three-match unbeaten run before Saturday’s abandoned match at St Helens. A decision is awaited on whether the 2-0 “victory” for the hosts will stand.
Last season’s corresponding game saw Silsden lose 3-1, drawing the home return 1-1.
The match report from the last meeting between these two teams can be found here: Last time Silsden played Stockport.
Mikey Hall leaves Alsager grounded on his way to a hat-trick.
Pictures: David Brett
Silsden 3 Alsager Town 2
Click here for more pictures on David Brett’s website
Mikey Hall was head and shoulders above the opposition for Silsden on Saturday.
The Cobbydalers completed a successful week with a narrow victory over Alsager Town, which pushed them up four places in the League table. Andy Geary, having seen his side win against second-placed Norton United and draw at lowly Wigan with an unchanged side, made just one change, bringing in Mikey Hall to lead the attack. Although it was a classy team performance, it was Hall who took the headlines for his hat-trick.
Alsager, with five players injured, arrived with two of their first choices lost somewhere in the “Broad Acres”; not an ideal situation, but they still proved a threat on the counter attack.
Action from Silsden’s win over Alsager.
Silsden, full of confidence, started brightly with Andy Hill spreading the ball to the wings where the Cobbydalers hoped to use the pace of Will Storrie and the tight control of Anthony Lynch. A well timed run by Chris Wademan ended with the youngster delaying his shot long enough for it to be cleared. “Box-to-box” man Ben Crabtree, having burst on to a through ball from Lynch, then saw his shot turned for a corner. Both the centre-backs came up. Danny Gleave headed the cross back into the box at the far post but Heeps was able to save Fagan’s follow-up header.
Silsden 2-1 Runcorn Linnets
Andy Geary’s Silsden overcame a strong Runcorn by two goals to one at the Angel Telecom Staudium, as they secured safety by a comfortable nine points. Geary’s team selection consisted of youngsters, combined with a few “old heads”.
The Linnets, fresh from there NWCFL Cup cup victory on Thursday evening, started brightly, and were soon on the attack. The visitors looked dangerous, but any advances were soon quelled by the Silsden back four. Silsden had chances themselves, as Dale Feather’s snap shot from a ball in sailed over the bar, with James Gill also curling a left footed effort just wide of the goal.
The Linnets lack of penetration would prove costly, as Silsden took the lead after 22 minutes. Runcorn keeper Adam Judge picked up what was deemed a Mike Garrod passback, resulting in an indirect free kick for the Cobbydalers from just 13 yards out. The ball was touched to Gill, who curled it round the defensive wall to give the home side the breakthrough.
The visitors responded instantly though, but Michael Burkes header failed to stay on target, as they pressed for the equalizer. Silsden continued to create the clearer chances, Will Stories low crosses caused problems, as Runcorn were lucky not to turn them into their own net.
The visitors fashioned their best chance of the game so far, when Silsden’s Joe Jalil tripped Jamie Campbell on the edge of the area. Martin Crowder’s free kick could only fall straight into the arms of Ed Hall in the Silsden goal.
The Cobbydalers defence had had it fairly easy in the first half, but this wouldn’t be the case in the second period, as the visitors had the wind at their backs. Runcorn showed their intent immeadiately, as Sammon struck a low drive, which forced Hall to save at full stretch. The following corner was headed over.
The visitor finally were granted the equalizer they pressed for, as Lomax swung in a fantastic corner, which was headed powerfully past a flailing Hall by Burke. Burke, who has been the clubs centre half all season, was given the opportunity to play up front for the final game of the season, and grasped it with both hands. It would turn out to be a bitter sweet afternoon for Burke however, as he headed into his own net four minutes later to restore Silsden’s lead. After chasing a long ball back in his own area, his header back to his onrushing keeper was misjudged, and trickled into the Runcorn net to take Silsden 2-1 ahead.
Their only threat from then was substitute Lee Maden’s overhead kick thumping the Silsden crossbar.
Silsden held on though to secure victory. Managerial changes, and experienced players leaving has left Geary with a tough job to pick up the pieces at the Angel Telecom Stadium in the second half of the season. However with the development of fresh blood, and some old heads, the team has pulled through to secure their status as a North West Counties League Premier Division side.
Silsden 2-1 Alsager Town
Silsden secured their status in the Premier Division of the North West Counties at the weekend, after coming from behind to defeat Alsager Town.
The game was merely three minutes old when the visitors took the lead. James Gill’s attempted pass was intercepted, with Leigh Skellern taking the advantage and pressing down the right flank. His ball in found Carl McCurrie, who converted to give The Bullits the lead.
Silsden however struck back midway through the first half. A well struck free kick from Gill that dipped over the wall and out of the reach of a despairing dive from Alsager keeper Tony Gandy brought them level.
Despite the occasional venture forward, Alsager had remained on the back-foot for much of the first half. Silsden’s slick passing and intelligent movement led to another chance for Gill, who’s effort was cleared for a corner. Alsager failed to deal with the resulting set play, and Michael Rosser volleyed home from close range to give the Cobbydalers the lead, with just two minutes of the opening half remaining.
The Bullits wouldn’t go into half time without a fight though, and nearly snatched an equalizer. McCurrie connected with a header but his effort sailed wide.
Silsden built on the foundations they had set in the first half as the second period progressed. Joe Jalil and Dale Feather grew in stature as they began to dominate on the flanks, creating more chances for the Cobbydalers. A Garrod shot wide, a Gill effort straight at the keeper, and a looping McEneaney volley came all in quick succession, as Silsden pressed.
Alsager though remained a threat on the counter, and nearly snatched an equalizer with 25 minutes remaining, Skellern’s effort though cleared off the line by McEneany. After conceding so many late goals in recent weeks, Silsden pressed for a third to ease the pressure, as two efforts from James Gill were volleyed wide. Alsager had the last chance of the game in the 83rd minute, but Aspinall’s strike could only find the side netting.
The Cobbydalers hung on to secure their Premier Division status, after a turbulent campaign, in which manager Andy Geary has had to rely on youth on frequent occasions. They have certainly stepped up to the plate, nevertheless some steady heads will be required at the Angel Telecom stadium next season.
Silsden now face a visit from Ruucorn Linnets this Saturday.
Bacup Borough 3-1 Silsden
Silsden still hover teasingly above the Premier Division relegation spots, after succumbing 3-1 to Bacup Borough in their North West Counties League clash earlier this week.
Bacup hit the ground running in a game which started at a fast and furious pace, when Butorins blazed his effort over the bar. Silsden took it in their stride however, and began to get their game together and play some quality football. The pressure finally paid off for the Cobbydaler’s on 16 minutes, where a McNulty free-kick found it’s way to Joe Jalil who was lurking at the edge of the six yard box. Jalil executed a fantastic looping shot to beat the Bacup keeper to give Silsden the lead. They continued to play some great football and take the upper hand, but spurned a myriad of chances to double the lead.
They were left to rue their missed chances when the ever dangerous Butorins received the ball on the edge of the Silsden box, before turning and firing Bacup level again.
The goal only temporarily disorientated Silsden however, as they continued to showcase the excellent football displayed previously. The scores remained level at half time though. The second half continued with much of the same promise from the Silsden side, but it was short-lived. Bacup turned the tables and the game began to become an affair of long balls to either teams forward line. Silsden failed to adapt, and Hall in the Silsden net kept Bacup at bay for the time being with two excellent saves.
The pressure eventually proved too much for Silsden. ‘Boro full back Birtles was allowed far too much time and space to execute a deadly swerving, dipping effort past an unlucky Hall to take Bacup Borough ahead.
The home side continued to exert pressure in an attempt to snatch a third, and did so after catching Silsden on the break in their search for an equalizer. A deflected cross found its way to David Gray on the edge of the Silsden area, who duly dispatched into the bottom corner of the net, consigning Silsden to defeat. The Cobbydalers search for a win continues, having failed to claim three points in their last 6 attempts.
Manager Andy Geary puts it down to youthful inexperience, but couldn’t find fault with his squad.
“We out-passed the ‘Boro side with some slick passing and movement. A second goal would have killed them off. I can’t explain why the lads reverted to the long-ball in the second half. It left us too open and played into their hands. It’s probably down to inexperience, but even Premier League games can suddenly change, following a save or a miss. We are still in trouble but I couldn’t have asked for more from the players”
Next up for Silsden is a home tie with Alsager Town at the Angel Telecom Stadium.
Silsden 1-2 Winsford
Two first half goals from Winsford’s Ben Hurst and Brian Matthew’s proved to be enough to undo the Cobbydaler’s, in very windy conditions at the Angel Telecom Stadium. James Gill got Silsden back into the game in the 65th minute, but it wasn’t to be for the home side, who find themselves only five points above relegation placed Squires Gate, who have a game in hand on Silsden.
Next up for Silsden is a home tie with mid-table Blackpool AFC this coming Saturday, at the Angel Telecom Stadium.
Ashton Athletic 2-2 Silsden
Silsden played out a tough 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Ashton Athletic tonight, in the foot of the table Premier Division clash of the North West Counties League.
After a stalemate in the first half, Silsden took the lead in the 60th minute thanks to a Kev Ryan effort. Things were to get worse for the Cobbydalers however, as a Martin Bland challenge led to a debatable red card. Ashton scored from the free kick that followed to level the score line. Super sub Joe Jalil then converted to give the Silsden a 2-1 lead, after only being on the field a matter of minutes.
But they were denied victory by a late goal for the second week running, as Ashton snatched an equaliser four minutes from time.
Silsden have a game in hand on the teams in the bottom two, a must win as the Cobbydalers find themselves just five points away from the relegation places. They travel to fifth placed Winsford United this coming Saturday.
Silsden feature in new statistics released about the North West Counties League.
Congleton Town’s Kevin Lawton has been busy compiling all the facts and figures to show how the season is panning out.
Crowds at the Angel Telecom Stadium are the fourth best in the Premier Division, averaging 136 with a best of 208 for the visit of Barnoldswick Town.
Top are Runcorn Linnets with an average of 253. Their smallest gate has been 195, bigger than any other club’s highest. The division’s best attendance of the season was the 488 who attended the clash between Linnets and local rivals Runcorn Town.
But Silsden have not proved a big attraction on their trips. The Cobbydalers are averaging just 85 for away games. Only Colne have a lower figure.
The season’s lowest ‘crowd’ was for Stone Dominoes’ meeting with AFC Blackpool, when the fans equalled the number of players – just 22 paying to watch.
Silsden’s 2012/13 opponents have been confirmed with the newly-named Stockport Sports dropping down from the Northern Premier (Evostik) League (where they played as Woodley Sports).
Premier Division Flixton have resigned from the league so it means a reprieve from relegation for St Helens Town.
Promoted from Division One are Wigan Robin Park and Norton United with only Atherton LR now moving in the opposite direction.
New to the league are West Didsbury & Chorlton, who join Division One from the Manchester League.
Also decided at yesterday’s league AGM in Blackpool was the draw for the League Challenge Cup.
Silsden do not enter until the second round, when they face a trip to First Division Cheadle Town or Ashton Town on Saturday, October 27.
The third round will be on February 16, 2013.
Silsden will have one new opponent next season, on top of the teams expected to be promoted from the First Division of the North West Counties League.
Woodley Sports’ relegation from the Evo-Stik First Division North has been confirmed by the FA, with Ramsbottom United going in the opposite direction.
An application from West Didsbury & Chorlton to join the league will be heard by clubs at the AGM next month.
The promotion to the Premier Division for Wigan Robin Park and Norton United will also be decided, as will the relegation of St Helens Town and Atherton LR to Division One.
Silsden bring their North West Counties League Premier Division season to a close this evening.
Maine Road are the visitors to Keighley Road, 8pm, and after the match the club will be holding their presentation evening.
It is the fourth time of asking for the match, having suffered postponements on December 10, April 18 and April 26.
Goals from John Douglas and Steve Palfrey gave Silsden a 2-0 win in the reverse fixture in March.
Victory tonight would see Chris Reape’s side move up to 12th place in the table, five points clear of Bacup, who still have three games to fit in.
Fifteen different players have featured on the Cobbydalers’ scoring charts this season, rattling in 58 goals.
So far, Silsden have won 15 times, losing 17 and drawing nine times with a goal difference of minus one.
Leading the way is Joe Gaughan, with 11, just ahead of Andy Lee’s 10 (including two in cups)
Silsden Reserves finish their season tomorrow with a home game against Cheadle Town, 3pm.
Reserve Division Cup final: Padiham 2 Silsden 0 (after extra time)
Read a report on the North West Counties League website, here.
Both Silsden teams might have finished midway in their league tables but there is still some silverware up for grabs this evening.
The Reserves have excelled in the North West Counties League Reserve Division Cup with a series of victories over the division’s top teams and they travel to Padiham tonight to take on the hosts in the final of the Reserve Cup, 7.45pm.
The Cobbydalers’ route to the final has seen them beat champions Wigan Robin Park Reserves away (2-1), third-placed New Mills (1-0) and runners-up Ashton Athletic (2-0).
Victory over Padiham tonight will mean Silsden have beaten all the division’s top four team to win the cup.
Padiham hold the upper hand in league meetings this season, having won 3-2 at home and 4-1 at Keighley Road last month.