Silsden 1

Squires Gate 1

SILSDEN player/manager Danny Forrest came off the bench late in this season opener to equalise against Squires Gate, mid-table finishers in last season’s Premier League.

It was no more than the home side deserved after a second half fightback which might have seen them win had it not been for the efforts of Gate keeper Ben Fletcher.

Silsden had new signings Reece Lyndon and Lee Spires in their squad, while Gate saw the return of striker Lee Seear after a two-year spell in the Evo-Stik League, plus three other new recruits.

The Yorkshire men were without Josh Kaine, Dan Illingworth and Aidan Kirby, all suspended, and the injured Chris Wademan.

Gate made a lively start to the game with Silsden struggling to cope with their movement in the first 20 minutes.

Arley Barnes broke up one dangerous attack and keeper Callum Jakovlevs made two fine saves before he made an error on 21 minutes and Seear walked the ball into the net.

The keeper recovered his composure to deny Seear a second four minutes later, pushing his volley for a corner. The keeper then saved from Booth.

Silsden came close to equalising midway through the half. Kyle Hancock hit a free-kick goalwards. It took a bobble in front of keeper Ben Fletcher, who pushed the ball away. Striker Gary Pett cleared the ball off the line. Hancock then forced an even better save from the keeper.

Silsden were turning the screw but, on the stroke of half time, Gate came close to doubling the lead in strange fashion.

A Gate free-kick came back out to Adam Sumner who sent a cross back into the box that went narrowly wide, almost creeping in at the back post.

The Cobbydalers upped their game in the second half, although it wasn’t until the 65th minute that things changed, Arron Davis coming on for Tomas Mateusz.

Davis, picking the ball up in midfield, broke forwards and hit a screamer. Fletcher was beaten but the ball rattled the crossbar.

Seear wasted a chance to put gate two up on the break and Gary Pett headed wide but it was Silsden who looked most likely to score but Fletcher was in top form, denying the Reds with another superb save from Luke Rhodes.

Finally, Danny Forrest came on for Barnes. Forrest’s experience showed in the right place at the right time, when he fired past Fletcher to earn a well-deserved draw for the Cobbydalers.