Promising signs in defeat for Silsden

Zack Dale put Silsden in front

Zack Dale put Silsden in front

First published in Sport
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Silsden AFC 1, Albion Sports 2

ALBION Sports, who finished sixth in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division last season, provided a good test for Silsden in their third pre-season game.

The Cobbydalers had all of their players available, apart from keeper Phil Rishton, and Andy Geary started with a strong 11.

Despite Rishton's absence, both Danny Thorpe and Wayne Mahomet performed well between the sticks.

The opening half was pacy, with both teams displaying good ball retention and movement. Albion were the first to show but Alex Cusack wasted a chance to give them the lead.

A perceptive ball from Silsden's Danny Fagan split the visitors' defence and Craig Nicholls was on it in a flash, but Arron Bryan advanced off his line, he chipped the keeper, only to see his effort bounce beyond the far post

Albion's main threat came from Danny Facey, last season's top scorer with over 30 goals, who was halted by a block tackle from Ben Crabtree and glanced a header wide from a corner.

Joe Mitchell and Zack Dale then combined well on the right for Silsden before Dale went on a mazy run which ended with him sliding the ball home to put the Cobbydalers in the lead.

When Brice Tiani stole the ball off Crabtree, he looked certain to equalise but the Silsden full back recovered to force Tiani's shot onto a post.

Matty Moses then broke forwards in a flowing Silsden move and crossed to the far post, where Mitchell headed agonisingly over. Andy Hill was wide with a free-kick before Thorpe made another fine save from Facey. The Albion marksman wasn't to be denied, however, and, after intercepting Hill's misplaced pass, he slid the ball home on 34 minutes.

A superb tackle by Danny Gleave on former Cobbydaler Elliot Holmes prevented a second goal at the expense of a corner, and Facey rose above the defence to head goalwards but Thorpe managed to tip it over the bar.

With both managers making several changes after half-time, there was no shot in anger for 20 minutes.

Josh McNulty's free-kick sailed over the bar, and when Declan Consoli and Mitchell created a chance in the Albion box, McNulty went even closer, his delicate slice just grazing the bar.

One or two heavy challenges might have resulted in bookings in a league game. For example, Moses was upended when he broke through late in the game and, with ten minutes left, Nicky McNally was brought down by Matty Morgan on the edge of the Albion area when he looked certain to score.

Inevitably Albion broke forwards and the experienced Lee Elam snatched a breakaway goal with seven minutes left. However, there were many positives from Silsden's performance.

Tonight, they entertain Field, from the West Yorkshire League Premier Division.

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