ON their first ever visit to Sheerien Park on Saturday, Silsden thumped NCEL Premier Division basement dwellers Athersley Recreation 4-0, with attackers Jack Normanton and Mo Qasim both helping themselves to braces.

Athersley had only one victory and two draws to their name going into this one, and Silsden were soon on the attack, with Normanton testing their 18-year-old keeper Ellis Pickard, who pushed the ball out for a corner.

He then made a good stop to deny Cobbydalers defender Shaun Airey, before making a brilliant save from Craig Billington.

In fact, it was only Pickard's first half heroics, as well as the visitors hitting the woodwork on more than one occasion, that kept things level at the break.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic however.

Athersley right-winger Muhamet Gashi put in a series of dangerous crosses from the right wing, while Josh Brown caught Airey out, but saw his effort go wide of the far post.

The only moment of real danger from the hosts though came 10 minutes before the break, when Dan Illingworth headed off his own goal line.

Silsden’s half-time team talk must have been interesting, as the forwards stepped things up a gear after the restart.

A minute into the half, Billington fired over the crossbar, before Arley Barnes' superb ball was headed by Qasim into the path of Normanton, who slammed the ball home to make it 1-0.

Qasim himself hit another shot over the bar after some slick one-touch football from the Cobbydalers.

After some substitutions and a tactical rejig from Silsden boss Danny Forest, Barnes dropped back into a deeper role, and the midfield immediately became more controlled, precise and inventive.

Substitute Ben Clarkson had a shot cleared for a corner, and from that, a pass was slid in to Airey, who deceived the defence by stepping over the ball for Qasim to rifle it home on 68 minutes.

Normanton’s pace was causing all sorts of problems for the home defence. Twice, he broke down the left and crossed from the byline with pinpoint accuracy, but there were no takers on either occasion.

So he decided to do it himself in the end. On 75 minutes, a great piece of trickery from young Harry Parsons set up Normanton for his second.

Qasim made it four on 84 minutes after a mazy run and he was only denied a hat-trick when he rattled Pickard’s left hand post.

Mitchell gave Qasim another chance with a top class through ball, but his shot went just wide of the far post.

In the dying minutes, Airey headed Barnes’ corner over the bar, as Silsden only just missed out on making it five.

After that fine win on the road for the Cobbydalers, which took them up to ninth, this coming Saturday they entertain Penistone Church, who currently sit 15th in the table.