Northwich Victoria 2

Silsden 0

SILSDEN finally lost their first Hallmark Security League Premier Division game of the season to sixth-placed Northwich Victoria.

The 10-match unbeaten run came to an end against the Vics in an even game.

The Cheshire side had won five of their six home games only losing to the unbeaten leaders, City of Liverpool, who have only dropped two points.

After their promotion last season, few would have expected Silsden to head the table for most of August and September, especially with the experienced Matty Moses and Chris Wademan ruled out with long-term injuries and Niall Sultan with similar problems.

The Cobbydalers travelled to Wincham Park, the home of Witton United, without skipper Josh Kaine through illness.

Arley Barnes dropped into the back four, also taking over the captaincy. He was superb at the back but his influence and experience in the midfield was missed. Otherwise the team was unchanged following the victory a week ago at Winsford.

Brian Matthews managed to get a shot in after a corner but Sammy Lee saved comfortably. Barnes broke up another attack before Kyle Hancock, Joe Mitchell and Luke Rhodes combined but Hancock’s shot was pushed for a corner by Dan Taberner.

Silsden’s build-up from the back was patient and precise.

Mitchell was feeding the forwards from the midfield and his one-two with Hancock created a chance for Reece Kendall. Taberner saved the left-back low shot.

In the final 10 minutes of the half the Cobbydalers began to take control. A throw-in from Illingworth found Rhodes but the keeper gathered his header. Everingham then played a one–two with Aidan Kirby. Using Mitchell as a decoy, the wing broke through but his shot was wide. A move of eight passes from the back ended with Kendall hitting the side netting.

The second-half started with defences on top. No one worked harder than Kirby but, with two defenders marking him, he needed support.

A series of injuries disrupted the flow of the game before Northwich broke down the left. The ball was crossed over to the near post. There was mix-up in the Silsden defence with Lee catching the ball before it was inadvertently knocked from his grasp in a collision with Illingworth. Billy Whittle managed to scramble it home.

Silsden responded with a powerful run by Reece Lyndon whose powerful shot cleared the bar. Mitchell’s breakaway was halted by a superb tackle by Dominic Craig.

Will Storrie and Niall Sultan came on for Rhodes and Kendall. Forrest was gambling on fresh legs but, at the other end Illingworth, under pressure from Matthews, handled the ball in the attempt to shield it to give away a penalty. Lee dived but Whittle drove it down the middle.

Leading scorer Lee Spires came on for Lyndon to bolster the attack. Mitchell broke through but his cross was behind his forwards.

With the Cobbydalers throwing men forwards, Northwich broke away and Whittle hit the far post before Spires broke through but fired over.

In the dying minutes Lee did well to deny Matthews on the break and at the other end Sultan was crowded out. Kirby saw a header saved for a corner and Hancock’s shot was marginally too high.

Silsden manager Danny Forrest said: “A very even game but we couldn’t quite convert our chances against a good Northwich team.

"It’s been a great start to the season and as usual the lads gave everything but it wasn’t our day.

"If you had asked me on day one of the season, 'What are your expectations?' I doubt if I would have said 'second in the table by the end of September.'"

Northwich Victoria: Taberner, Cammozi, Monson, Craig, Shinks, Barski, Whittle (Clarke 87), Cooke, Matthews, Brownhill (Kenny 80), Connolly (Doran 78). Subs not used. Webb, Pilgrim.

Silsden: Lee, Bentham, Kendall (Storrie 72), Barnes, Illingworth, Lyndon (Spires 79), Mitchell, Hancock, Everingham, Kirby, Rhodes (Sultan 72). Subs not used. Davis, Forrest.