Cammell Laird 1907 4

Silsden AFC 1

NINE-MAN Silsden AFC took the Hallmark Security League Division One title race to the final day after they crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Cammell Laird.

Aidan Kirby continued his red-hot scoring form to put Silsden in the lead in the 21st minute, but this would prove to be this side's consolation.

Kirby and Josh Kaine were sent off for the visitors in a poor day on the road on Saturday.

The Cobbydalers' day got worse with title rivals Litherland winning 6-2 at Stockport.

Silsden manager Danny Forest had to make changes to the team with Dan Illingworth suspended. He chose to play left-back Reece Kendal at centre-back and Mark Everingham at left-back.

Craig Bentham, who has partnered Kaine before in Illingworth’s absence, retained his place in midfield.

The visitors started with a sequence of corners and throw-ins but the home defence stood firm and they weathered the initial storm.

On the Laird’s first attack, Kaine cleared for a corner as Ben Holmes broke through. Callum Jakovlevs tipped the dangerous cross over his bar.

Silsden almost opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Kirby held the ball up before finding Barnes, but his shot was marginally wide.

Danny Cross, on the Laird's left, broke through on 20 minutes and laid the ball off to Josh Malden, who shot firmly but Jakovlevs managed to block it. The ball was thrown out to Matty Moses who broke down the right. Exchanging passes, Moses hit a cross to the Laird's far post, Chris Wademan cushioned it and Kirby netted from close range.

The Lairds were creating chances and Maldon was only denied an equaliser by Jakovlevs' outstretched foot. The pressure from the Merseysiders was interrupted when Wademan’s effort was blocked in the goal area.

In the opening half the Lairds had found space easy to find, as Silsden had failed to get a grip of the game.

Finally Holmes got the equaliser not long after the restart. Malkin had broken down the right and crossed into the Silsden box.

Moses headed out but only to the centre-forward, who blasted it home. Four minutes later Holmes hit his second when the Silsden defence lacked protection.

Things got worse, as Kaine and Holmes battled for the ball on the edge of the area. A penalty was given. Kaine was dismissed and Maldon netted.

The 10 men battled on but the Laird’s forwards were always a danger.

Craig Bentham dropped back and the defence held on. Silsden counter-attacked with Wademan and Barnes just off target. Parity was made when Jewell received a red card for a dangerous challenge on Sultan. Forrest came on for Everingham.

Kirby received a second caution for a heavy challenge and was dismissed. The Lairds were still dangerous and after two efforts were cleared off the Silsden goal line, Holmes completed his hat-trick.

Forrest went close late on but his shot was blocked and then Kendal’s low-drive shaved the far post.

Jacovlevs saved from substitute MacInnes to keep the margin at three. Lairds had sealed the final play-off spot.