Silsden 2 Bacup Borough 1

A LATE goal from Niall Sultan got Silsden back to winning ways on Tuesday night, despite a second successive red card for Joe Gaughan.

The Cobbydalers had been reduced to nine men in their 2-1 defeat to title rivals Whitchurch Alport last weekend when Sultan and Gaughan received their marching orders.

And Gaughan suffered a second dismissal after 26 minutes. The referee had awarded Silsden a free-kick for a foul on the striker, who was judged to have raised a hand after his marker went to ground.

However, Bacup’s Martin Cosgrave was also sent off after 57 minutes.

It was all Silsden for most of the first half. Sultan was denied twice by the Bacup keeper, Nick Sharples, when Craig Bentham had split the defence with a delicate chip.

Mateusz Tomas set up Arley Barnes, who chipped the ball over the bar, before a slick move down the right ended with Sultan crossing low into the area as Chris Wademan just failed to get a touch on the ball.

Tomas, who was halted illegally three times without the offenders being cautioned, hit another powerful shot at the keeper.

Despite Gaughan’s dismissal, Silsden took the lead four minutes later on the half-hour mark.

Wademan slid the ball to Sultan, who broke into the Boro penalty area and was upended. Wademan converted from the spot after his effort went in off the post.

The Cobbydalers created more chances but were hit by a sucker punch after 40 minutes when keeper Callum Jakovlevs made a superb save from a deflected free-kick but failed to stop Marcus Barlow’s header hitting the back of the net.

Silsden returned after the break attacking from the off. Cosgrave was booked after a foul and soon afterwards was given his marching orders after deliberately handling the ball. Ten against ten!

Bacup’s goal led a charmed life although the Cobbydalers were profligate at times with their shooting. Barnes was denied by the keeper’s superb save after Wademan had set him up.

Sultan swung over corner after corner. Sharples cleared two and Illingworth headed a third wide.

Bentham drove the Cobbydalers forwards as Kyle Hancock wasted two good chances, shooting over and then being denied by the keeper’s legs after he had weaved his way into the box.

Finally luck ran out for the Bacup back four. A flick on by Bentham found Sultan and Sharples was beaten with four minutes to go, plus five for stoppage time.

The energy Silsden put into the game, considering they had played a large part of Saturday’s clash with nine men and then with ten men on the night, says much for their resolve, desire and fitness on a heavy pitch. They never gave up and on another day they might have scored a hatful.

They now have three days to recover before facing second-placed Litherland REMYCA without Sultan and Gaughan. It’s up to everyone to pull together as they have done all season.