THE New Year couldn’t have started any better for Silsden, who went 1-0 up in the opening minute of their NCEL Premier Division clash at Hemsworth Miners Welfare on Saturday.

But after they missed a hatful of chances to increase their lead, they paid for their profligacy when Andrew Higgins headed home an equaliser midway through the second half to secure a point for the second-bottom hosts.

Mid-table Silsden took the lead in the opening 60 seconds with a fine goal.

A superb ball from Jack Normanton found Brad Riley, who dummied his marker before playing in the overlapping Lewis Gardner.

The youngster picked up the ball and drilled it into the bottom corner of the net from 10 yards out.

Following Silsden’s 8-1 drubbing of Knaresborough Town in their last match, the expectation was that Danny Forrest’s side would capitalise, especially given they were playing against the team lying 19th in the table.

The Cobbydalers certainly dominated possession, and Jos Bradshaw soon had a chance to make it 2-0, but he hit Gardner’s through ball over the bar.

Bradshaw was put through again by Normanton but failed to hit the target.

Riley then fed Khurram Shazad, but his shot was blocked.

The Miners finally broke into the Silsden half, catching out the defence, who were caught too square.

Declan Dawson shot wide of Sammy Lee’s goal but then somewhat theatrically dragged his trailing leg on the Silsden keeper in an attempt to win a penalty.

Fortunately for the visitors, the referee was having none of it, and he waved Dawson’s protests away.

The game flowed from one end to the other, with the Cobbydalers failing to capitalise on some good crosses but Hemsworth nearly equalising 10 minutes before half-time.

Shaun Airey conceded a free-kick right on the edge of the Silsden penalty area, but Ben Walker fired the resulting set-piece over Lee’s crossbar.

Normanton put the ball just wide at the other end and then the home defence cleared in a goalmouth scramble, to ensure they only went into the break 1-0 down.

The second half started with the Cobbydalers dominating play again and a superb effort from Riley only just cleared the crossbar.

Normanton had a shot blocked and then another saved by the Miners’ keeper, Hagie Damba, who was a Silsden player earlier this season.

Twenty minutes into the second half, the inevitable happened.

Kyle Hancock conceded a free-kick, for which he was booked, and the ball from the set-piece was driven in for Higgins to head home the equaliser.

Shazad almost gave the Cobbydalers the three points late on, but his scorching free-kick shaved the far post.

The Cobbydalers entertain Goole this Saturday at 3pm on a “pay what you want day”, as a thank you to all the fans, home and away.