SILSDEN crashed to a 4-2 defeat at Handsworth in their opening game of the season in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division.

The Cobbydalers were still without several players through injury so the team was a mixture of old and new.

The artificial surface at the Express Worktops Stadium in Sheffield did give the Ambers an advantage and they were soon on the attack.

A free-kick on five minutes was blocked by the Silsden defensive wall and then a corner was cleared.

A break forward by Silsden’s Joe Jagger was halted and the Ambers moved the ball quickly to Leon Howarth who was denied by Damba.

Silsden’s first threat came when Harry Parson sent Khurram Shazad away down the left. His superb diagonal cross was cleared for a corner which was headed goalwards by Jagger. The home keeper saved and launched the ball forwards.

On 20 minutes the Silsden keeper brought down a Handsworth forward in the area and Mitch Dunne netted from the penalty spot. Arley Barnes blocked another effort.

Eventually the Cobbydalers settled, Joe Jagger flicking Jack Normanton’s cross just over the bar. Bradley Riley then cut across the box but he was crowded out. Riley then fed Hancock but his shot lacked venom.

Midway through the half, Handsworth’s Howarth cut across the penalty box but shot wide from a promising position.

At the other end, Jagger broke through to the edge of the Ambers’ area. He was upended by left back Richard Toothill. Normanton’s low shot was agonisingly wide.

Handsworth broke forwards and Jagger rose above the defence to head goalwards. Damba tipped it over the bar and then punched the resulting corner clear.

Silsden were holding their own although, with so many new players in the team, there were some misunderstandings. However, on 36 minutes, Handsworth’s skipper Tom Roebuck headed home a corner. Two minutes later the Silsden keeper managed to flick the scorer’s next effort over the bar.

With five minutes of the half remaining, the Cobbydalers began to enjoy some possession.

Mohammed Qasim broke down the right and crossed to Jagger. His shot was flicked over by Townsend.

Again the winger broke down the flank but this time his cross was just behind Jagger who managed to get a shot on target but without the power to beat the home keeper.

Khurram Shazad then hit a shot over the bar before Handsworth broke forwards, but Dunne’s shot was well saved by the Silsden keeper.

The half-time team talk looked to have worked well as the Cobbydalers began the half on the front foot.

Quasim came into his own this half and immediately tested the home keeper with slick build-up play.

Then Bradley Riley had a cross cleared after he had been heavily challenged by Ethan Hobson, who was fortunate not to be cautioned at the least.

Jack Normanton then whipped in the free-kick which Airey just failed to reach.

Normanton was in the action again on 59 minutes when he grabbed Silsden's first goal of the contest.

The home side broke away and Howarth netted a third on the hour mark. Dylan Drovi came on for Mitchell.

Normanton was then dismissed for an accidental collision with the keeper. on 63 minutes. The Cobbydalers were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes to go. Joe Jagger slotted it home to make it 3-2.

The 10 men of Silsden pushed forward, with Quasim causing panic in the home defence.

Damba made two superb saves at the other end and Barnes blocked another effort as Silsden were stretched.

Drovi rounded Handsworth’s left back, got to the byline and cut the ball back inside.

Handsworth managed to clear. A minute later there was superb link-up play which saw Quasin round Hobson, on the edge of the area.

Jagger was looking for a through- ball to give him a one-on-one with the keeper, but the ball was fractionally behind him.

The shot was blocked and the home side broke away and netted a fourth out of nothing, Dunne the scorer.

Silsden manager Danny Forrest said: “I was pleased with the second half performance where we showed fight and played good football, but you can’t start the way we did at this level.

"We gave ourselves too much to do.”

This Saturday, the Cobbydalers entertain Eccleshill in the FA Cup extra-preliminary round.