Hallmark Security League Division One: Ashton Town 2 Silsden 3

The Cobbydalers climbed back over Stockport Town last night in the race to secure tenth position and ensure entry into next season’s FA Cup.

Silsden's win over relegated Ashton, coupled with Stockport's 3-1 defeat at Alsager, saw the Reds rejoin the top ten with just one game to go.

It wasn’t the sort of match the Cobbydalers must have been expecting as the bottom team of the table twice took the lead in the first half.

Mark Trueman put the Cobbydalers in front early in the second half but from then on the Yorkshiremen failed to test Town’s keeper and only a string of saves from Callum Jakovlevs secured the three points.

Danny Forrest was forced to make a change to his initial team selection with Matty Moses carrying a knock. Dan Illingworth was pulled more to the left with Mark Everingham playing a wing-back role on that side.

Illingworth, so commanding and composed since joining the Cobbydalers, looked uncertain and conceded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area in the opening minute. The resulting set-piece struck the Silsden bar and, after a goalmouth scramble, Jordan Tyrer bundled the ball over the line.

Ashton’s lead only lasted three minutes before Nicky McNally equalised with a low shot. Silsden began to pass the ball about with confidence with Danny Bunch and McNally both sending in dangerous crosses.

Keeper Dougherty denied the Silsden forwards and Town, with five players from their under-18s side, grew in confidence. They retook the lead when Browrigg got down the left and the retreating Illingworth could only divert his low cross into his own goal.

The Cobbydalers played some neat football but couldn’t break down the home defence which was well marshalled by the commanding Marvin Molyneux. McNally was denied by the keeper before Tom Henderson hit a dipping volley from 25 yards which Dougherty had no chance of reaching.

A mazy run by Matt Robinson almost opened up the Silsden defence but he was eventually crowded out and the teams went in all-square at the break.

The Cobbydalers had the slope in the second half and when Trueman curled in the free-kick it looked as if the home side, who had only won four games this season, would collapse.

Nothing could be further from the truth because the youngsters showed no fear and pushed the Cobbydalers back for most of the half. Fortunately Illingworth regained his composure and Jakovlevs made some vital saves when the defence was breached.

Indeed after Molyeneux’s shot had cleared the Silsden bar, Illingworth tested the Town keeper with a rasping drive.

With 20 minutes remaining Adam Campbell was in the clear but a combination of Josh Kaine and Jacovlevs denied Town an equaliser. Twice Alex Foy shot wide. Jakovlevs made his final save on 85 minutes and Silsden played out time.

The Cobbydalers deserved at least a point at Alsager on Saturday but were lucky to get all three against a plucky Ashton team, probably playing their best football this campaign.

The drama moves onto the final matches on Saturday as Stockport, a point below the Cobbydalers, play Sandbach, who have already qualified for the play-offs, while Silsden entertain in-form Cheadle Town, who have won their last five games, scoring 17 and conceding 3. It should be a thrilling finale!

SILSDEN: Jakovlevs, Vincent, Everingham, Kaine, Illingworth, Trueman, Bunch, Eastwood (Cox 68), McNally, Wademan (Moses 80), Henderson (Davis 68).