Silsden 0

1874 Northwich 0

SILSDEN were playing their first game for a month in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division, having had two blank Saturdays on their fixture list and a postponement after the previous Saturday's deluge.

Cobbydalers boss Danny Forrest was able to name an unchanged side, the same side that had beaten third-placed Congleton in their last home game.

Northwich, who had won four of their last five games, started brightly. Michael Koral drove over a testing cross in the fourth minute. Scott McGowan beat Dan Illingworth in the air but Josh Kaine cleared the danger. Callum Gardner set up Pritchard, who shot wide of Callum Jakovlevs but the Silsden keeper made an excellent save.

Gardner whipped in another telling cross before, after 10 minutes, Silsden forced a corner at the other end.

McGowan broke through but was pulled back for an infringement. However, some slick football from the visitors pushed the Reds back.

With the lack of match practice Silsden were a bit rusty but, after they had weathered the initial storm, they began to test the opposition.

Niall Sultan burst up the right and fed the ball back to Arley Barnes, who saw his low drive saved, at full stretch, by Nosakhare Aghayere. Luke Rhodes then hit a low shot from the edge of the area which Aghayere saved at the expense of a corner.

Northwich were patiently moving the ball backwards and forwards but the Cobbydalers were solid at the back, Craig Bentham clearing one effort, Illingworth another before Joe Mitchell cleared from inside the goal area.

Matt Russell was booked for a heavy challenge on Sultan.

McGowan shot wide before Koral set up Jack Irlam but the midfielder curled his effort wide of the far post.

With Mark Everingham sending Sultan up the left, Silsden counter-attacked. A neat drag-back by Kirby almost opened up the visitors' defence before Everingham was caught out at the other end by Koral, who wasted the opportunity.

Having held the visitors in the first-half, Forrest brought on Laurence Sorhaindo after the break for Rhodes.

Within five minutes the striker had almost broken the deadlock. It was a slick move with Mitchell feeding Kirby who set up the substitute. Sorhaindo broke through on the keeper but his shot was inches wide.

Mitchell had an effort cleared at the expense of a corner. Sorhaindo rose above the defence, headed down but the ball bounced up onto the bar.

Sorhaindo went close again before Mark Jones shot wide at the other end. Chris Wademan replaced Sultan before a five-man move saw Moses’ cross cleared for a corner. The ball was driven to Barnes who volleyed the ball against the 1874 keeper who was unsighted.

With 15 minutes left Silsden began to feel the pressure of a month without a game.

Northwich’s Irlam shot weakly before Jacovlevs denied them with a fine save. Sorhaindo had a good run. McGowan shot weakly before volleying over. Silsden held out.

Forrest said: “After such a long lay-off the lads’ response was first class.

"It was even harder than at the start of the season when the pace can be built up with pre-season games.

"It’s frustrating our momentum is disrupted once again as our game against Northwich Victoria next week has been postponed because they have to play their postponed FA Vase semi-final. Good luck to them.

"Its good if a team from our league can reach the final at Wembley.”

What it does mean is a run of four games in eight days at the end of the season for the Cobbydalers. The next game is at home against Padiham on April.