Silsden 4 Maine Road 2
A new year and a new dawn for the Cobbydalers saw them come from behind twice to shock North West Counties League Premier Division leaders Maine Road.
The new management team of Andy Geary and Paul Schofield – or should it be the ‘golden oldies’ – took over the reins following the departure of Chris Reape.
Both have managed Silsden in the past and what a start this was on their return. The Cobbydalers had lost seven on the spin, while their visitors had won 11 on the bounce.
Having not played since December 15, Silsden had only managed to get in two training sessions due to the state of the pitches.
Without skipper James Nettleton (wedding), Jake McEneaney (ham- string), Danny Bryan and keeper Ed Hall (both suspended) resources were stretched.
The transfer of Andy Lee to Barnoldswick and the departure of Peter Hanson to Steeton left them with few options.
Christian Paulat-Brigg took over between the posts and Joe Gaughan returned, following a brief spell with Brighouse and an appendix operation. The only new face was former Eccleshill midfielder Scott Price.
The omens were not good when the visitors went into a third-minute lead having already hit the bar when Martin Hill outjumped the defence.
Danny Husband was dispossessed in his own area by Tom Bentham. He slid the ball to Tom Bailey, who drove home from close range.
At the other end, Mike Garrod went close with a header, following good work by Elliot Holmes, and Chris Wademan saw his low effort go wide.
Silsden levelled after 28 minutes when Husband converted a corner after Price’s shot was deflected.
Maine Road responded instantly but Paulat-Brigg parried Ben-tham’s sharp volley clear and then Husband cleared Matt Warbur-ton’s flick.
Gradually the Cobbydalers gain-ed in confidence, with Danny McNulty and Matty Moses support ing the attack well and Scott Hanson, playing alongside Hus-band beginning to get the measure of the Sky Blues forwards.
However, just as in the opening period, they conceded early in the second half, Matt Warburton edging Bentham’s cross home.
Silsden almost replied when Gaughan brought a superb full-length save from the keeper.
Gaughan was pulling the strings and, with Price also to the fore, Silsden pushed the vistors back.
When Kevin Ryan fed Garrod on the right, the Silsden marksman rounded Richard Gresty at the by-line to cross for Wademan to thump home.
At the other end, Chappell went close with a powerful header before Silsden were awarded a spot-kick for a push by Andy Thorpe but Elliot Holmes put his effort over the bar.
The Mancunians sought to punish the Cobbydalers but, with ten minutes left, Silsden took the lead. A reverse pass from Ryan split the defence and Garrod made it 3-2.
The celebrations had barely subsided when the visitors were awarded a penalty but Bailey’s weak effort was easily saved by Paulat-Brigg.
Instead, Silsden sealed the points when Ryan found the net after 85 minutes.
What a game and what a start for Silsden’s new management team.
The Cobbydalers travel to promotion hopefuls Runcorn Town on Saturday.