Congleton Town 4
Silsden AFC 2
AHEAD 2-0 approaching half-time, it looked as if Silsden would make it three wins out of three in the North West Counties League Premier Division.
However, Zack Dale was dispossessed after trying to dribble out of trouble, and the referee saw a tug of the opponent's shirt. Paul Hudson's sweet left foot curled the free-kick over the wall into the bottom left-hand corner, and the game changed.
Silsden manager Andy Geary said: "We weren't at our best in the first half but, with a 2-0 lead, we had a chance to win the game. "Probably a lack of experience cost us. The lads have proved they are good enough but they have to make sure they stick to the pass-and-move football.
"Defenders have to get tighter to their men and everyone has to get behind the ball when we lose it.”
In the second minute, Danny Fagan's hard, low shot went just wide of Congleton's far post.
After Dale had also shot wide, the Bears centre backs got in a real tangle and Dale Feather stole the ball, dipped a shoulder and drove the ball wide of Martin Pearson to give the Cobbydalers the lead.
A minute later, the Bears almost equalised, Nick Rogan hitting Phil Rishton's near post from a tight angle.
Although the Cobbydalers were surrendering possession cheaply, they still looked dangerous on the break.
Joe Mitchell, easily Silsden's best player, hounded Ryan Alcock midway in the Bears half and slid the ball out to Nicky McNally, who drove it home from the edge of the box, Pearson making a hash of his attempt to save it.
Then Silsden broke forwards with a three on two, but McNally failed to spot the unmarked Feather on the right.
A minute later, Silsden's 2-0 lead had been halved, and in the second half they failed to settle, errors in defence leading to Lewis Killeen making it 2-2 after Rishton had saved his close-range first effort.
The Cobbydalers were shell-shocked as mistake followed mistake, and only a great tackle by Fagan on substitute Brandon Moores kept it at 2-2.
However, a coming together between Geary and Moores resulted in a Congleton penalty, which Rogan converted in the 70th minute.
The hosts now had too much time and space, and full back Chris Middleton headed a fourth goal ten minutes later.
On Saturday, Silsden have a tough FA Cup fixture when they face Northern League Consett Town at the Angel Telecom Stadium.
CONGLETON TOWN FC: Pearson, Middleton, Haynes, Whiteoak, Alston, Allcock (Moores 75), Kirk, Sephton, Rogan, Killeen(Booth 72), Hudson. Subs. Not used Grant, Jones, Barlow.
SILSDEN AFC: Rishton, Geoghegan (Nicholls 73), Crabtree, Geary, Fagan, Hill, Jalil, Mitchell Feather, Dale, McNulty (Ryan 55) Referee. Mr J Haynes.