Hallmark Security League Division One: Daisy Hill 0 Silsden 3

A THREE-GOAL blitz either side of half-time saw Silsden get their away form back on track.

The Cobbydalers still have a 100 per cent record at home but had suffered two successive defeats on the road.

A goal just before the break from Niall Sultan followed by two just after from the prolific Joe Gaughan was enough to seal a comfortable victory and keep Silsden 12 points clear at the top.

Right winger Sultan was presented with the Player of the Month award for November before the game while Mike Gervin received the December prize for Daisy Hill, who were also awarded the team of the month.

Wth only one victory by the end of November, the hosts notched three wins at St Helens, New Mills and Atherton LR in December to gain the accolade.

Silsden's Will Storrie made his first start since breaking his ankle last season and Josh Kaine returned to skipper the side.

The Cobbydalers nearly took the lead in the fourth minute with a flowing move down the right. Matty Moses broke free down the right to cross into the box. Chris Wademan flicked the ball to Joe Gaughan, who set up Storrie for a shot which Craig Haynes saved low to his right.

Gaughan went closest to opening the scoring when his header from Sultan’s cross cleared the bar. A mazy run by Mo Samha was halted by Dan Illingworth, who was a tower at the heart of the Silsden defence, before Storrie threaded a pass to Gaughan. The division’s top scorer fired a shot from the edge of the area but Haynes twisted in mid-air to tip the ball onto the bar.

On 26 minutes Gaughan hit the posts after a one-two with Arley Barnes. The pressure never let up, with Haynes making another save from the league's leading scorer after smart work from Sultan.

He produced another fantastic save from a Reece Kendall header before the visitors took the lead on 43 minutes. Barnes set Sultan free on the right and the wingman cut in on the by-line and hammered the ball past Haynes at the near post.

Sultan was soon on the move again at the start of second half. He picked up the ball on the half-way line and sped down the right, leaving Samha in his wake. He crossed into the box but a stray hand from a Daisy defender gave the referee no choice but to award a penalty.

Gaughan made it 2-0 from the spot despite the efforts of Haynes. Two minutes later Sultan repeated the mazy run, this time cutting in on the byline to set up Gaughan for a tap in to make it 28 goals for the season.

Gaughan then volleyed over the bar before Storrie was replaced by Mateusz Tomas. Sultan made another telling run before Kendall hit a super ball to Gaughan, who rifled just wide.

Silsden might have had a penalty for hand ball but a corner was given. Bentham rose above the defence and Haynes tipped his header over the bar.

Interplay between Barnes and Gaughan saw the latter hit a weak shot before Illingworth headed a corner inches over. Gaughan was still searching for his hat-trick but his audacious dipping volley again cleared the bar.

With Bentham patrolling the middle of the park, Daisy were restricted to a few breaks, with Kaine and Illingworth superb for Silsden. Daisy Hill might have scored with one slick passing move but normal service was soon resumed.

In the dying minutes, Gaughan saw another effort tipped over by Haynes and Wademan shook the bar with a screamer.

As the final whistle went, Gaughan went to congratulate Haynes on his performance. The keeper acknowledged he had been up against a super striker.

Silsden boss Danny Forrest was delighted with the performance as much as the result, especially as the top five all won.

He said: “We seem back to our best with some slick football and solid defending.”

Silsden are now looking forward to three home games in a week, starting with promotion rivals Whitchurch Alport at home on Saturday.

The visits of Bacup Borough on Tuesday, January 23 and second-placed Litherland a week on Saturday follow.

Litherland had a lucky escape in midweek against Cammell Laird, when they were 3-0 down at half time, only for the game to be abandoned due to fog.

Forrest said: “We have three games coming up and they may all be vital but we are just focused, as usual, on the next game.

"The injury list has shortened and our midweek under-21 game (with Thackley on Tuesday) should give us a chance to test people out. Then we can think about Saturday.”

SILSDEN: Jakovlevs, Moses, Kendall, Kaine, Illingworth, Bentham (Rhodes 67), Barnes, Storrie (Tomas 57), Wademan, Gaughan, Sultan (Trueman 66).