Whitchurch Alport 1

Silsden 2

AN injury-time winner from Kyle Hancock saw Silsden maintain their place at the top of the Hallmark Security League Premier Division against nine-man Whitchurch.

Hancock curled the ball past the full-length dive of Dave Parton into the far corner. The game also marked the return of former skipper Joe Mitchell after a two-year spell at Clitheroe.

It was hard on Alport, who for much of the first-half had dominated possession and territory. However, if truth be told, they were the cause of their own demise having been reduced to nine men with 13 minutes to go.

Alport attacked from the kick-off, when Alex Hughes broke down the right. He was halted by Josh Kaine who then released Mark Everingham on the left but the ball skidded dead. Hancock’s free-kick was then deflected for a corner which was cleared. Arley Barnes, who was stifling any danger in midfield, drove a free-kick into the Whitchurch area but Reece Kendall’s header cleared the bar.

The Shropshire outfit took the lead on 14 minutes when Hughes killed a long ball, skipped inside Kendall and hit a powerful shot which squirmed under Sammy Lee on the greasy surface.

Alport began to dominate with Hughes always menacing when he had the ball. Midway through the half the home side put together a five-man move where the ball was moved from right-back to left wing but the final shot was wide of the mark.

In the dying minutes of the half Silsden began to settle and push the ball about with more intent. Matty Tomas’s tackle led to a half chance before Lyndon headed Illingworth’s throw-in wide.

The second-half started with Silsden hitting too many long balls which were easy for defenders. Kirby went close after receiving a short pass from Everingham.

The game changed in a five-minute spell early in the second-half. An elbow into the face of Barnes saw Howell sent off.

Will Storrie replaced Tomas and two minutes later Silsden were level. Illingworth rose above the defence to head a free-kick to Kirby on the edge of the box. Kirby flicked the ball up and drove a low volley into the bottom corner of the Alport net.

Lyndon headed a Storrie cross wide before he was replaced by Mitchell. Everingham threaded a ball through to Hancock, who was beaten to the ball and Kirby’s next break was halted.

Both sides made changes with leading scorer Lee Spires replacing Everingham and Alport’s Pickerill on for Sanders.

With 15 minutes left the game looked to be heading for a draw but Hughes’ two-footed challenge on Kaine led to a second dismissal for the home side. Silsden weren’t ready to settle for only one point. Mitchell broke through and had a shot blocked, then Storrie cut inside two defenders before his shot was saved.

Campion was booked but Bentham’s free-kick skidded through to the Alport keeper before Spires was closed down. Reece Kendall curled a super ball in in the dying minutes but Nick Marley cleared. Silsden weren’t finished, the winner coming too late for the Salopians to reply.