A BUMPER crowd were at the Cobbydale Construction Stadium on Saturday to celebrate all the work done for the club by John McNulty, a Silsden stalwart who passed away on Christmas Eve.

The programme had memories about John, a Liverpool fan, and the players came on to the field to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” before a minute’s applause took place.

Sadly, his beloved Silsden could not mark the occasion with victory. They were without key players and once more failed to score against a team below them in the table, slipping to a 2-0 defeat against Knaresborough Town.

The Cobbydalers' home record in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division now reads three wins, one draw and five defeats, with 14 goals scored (seven of which were in one game) and 19 conceded.

Knaresborough were soon on the attack, breaking down the left and Silsden, on the back foot, conceded three free kicks in the opening five minutes.

Jack Carr wasted one but Rob Youhill then hit a dangerous dead-ball delivery across the Silsden goal area. Unfortunately for the visitors, none of their attackers could get a touch on it.

Youhill was a constant threat down the right, sending over another dangerous cross before Silsden’s first attack.

Luke Hudson hit a ball up the left to Matthias Britton, who cut across the goal before seeing his shot blocked. Back came Knaresborough, with Dan Illingworth having to head clear at the expense of a corner.

Some neat football between Town's Jack Powis, Youhill and Carr led to nought before Colin Heath had a shot blocked.

Danny Riley shot over the bar for Silsden as he slipped, after good work from Britton, but Knaresborough again broke down the left and Hudson was fortunate not to receive a caution for his fourth foul in the opening quarter.

However, Youhill swung over the free-kick and Gregg Anderson headed in the opener.

Knaresborough’s defence were not averse to breaking up play with some heavy tackles, which went unpunished. Riley came in for most of the physical treatment.

Home keeper Ben Higginson then parried Carr’s effort, before Silsden’s Britton cut in and forced a fine save from Dom Smith with five minutes left of the half. Joe Mitchell soon set him up again but he was closed down.

As the half came to an end, Laurence Sorhaindo slid the ball into Riley, who brought a great save from Smith.

Chances came at both ends after the break too. Illingworth and Daniel Hill struggled to clear a cross but Knaresborough failed to take advantage, while at the other end, Riley shot wide stretching to reach Britton’s cross.

It was easy to see why both sides are struggling near the bottom of the table, as too many passes went astray and half chances were squandered. Mitchell set up Britton for a header but the keeper gathered easily.

Player-manager Danny Forrest came on to try and add a spark to proceedings but Town’s back five were quick to close down.

They almost netted a second but Carr's free-kick bounced off the crossbar. Four minutes later though, the visitors took control as Heath powerfully headed home from Youhill’s free-kick.

There was a late response from the Cobbydalers, with Forrest setting up Hudson, whose shot hit the side netting.

Arley Barnes and Illingworth, up for a corner, were denied by Smith, before Hudson hit the side netting in stoppage time.

With games coming thick and fast, Forrest will be praying for the speedy recovery of his injured players but also a response from the rest of the squad, who are lacking in confidence and need to be more proactive in both defence and attack.