IT has been a tough start to the month for Silsden’s West Yorkshire League side, particularly in the case of talented trio Alex Stewart, Mo Conteh and Callan Parker-Wells.

The pair were in action for the WYL’s representative side on Sunday, May 5, in a match against the Arthurian League.

The winning team had an enormous carrot dangling in front of them, the chance to represent England at the UEFA Regions’ Cup next season.

The game was played at Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank stadium, and after a hard-fought battle, an extra-time winner from Ben Hale saw the Arthurian League team squeak their way to a 1-0 victory.

That means Stewart, Conteh and Parker-Wells won’t be playing for England, nor are they Keighley Cup winners either.

Silsden’s West Yorkshire League side took on Oxenhope Recreation in the final of that competition last Friday and lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Keighley News: Silsden's West Yorkshire League team are a vital part of the club, and they are having to pick themselves up off the canvas now.Silsden's West Yorkshire League team are a vital part of the club, and they are having to pick themselves up off the canvas now. (Image: Linda Gartland.)

The match, played at the Office Interiors Stadium, home of Silsden’s first team, started at a good tempo, with Oxenhope’s Matty Addy striking a good early chance straight at the keeper.

Silsden’s WYL side then had a goal ruled out for offside after 18 minutes, before they were kept out superbly by Recreation stopper Jordan Fletcher a few moments later.

James Wilson almost put Oxenhope in front with a stunning bicycle kick, only for that to hit the post, but it was Silsden who went into the break ahead, scoring a penalty after a shirt-pull in the box.

Silsden’s Ben Clarkson cracked a great chance wide from a great position on the hour mark, then Recreation hit the woodwork for the second time, on this occasion through Jack Lewis.

They finally equalised with six minutes to go, Billy Bailey getting the final touch after a scramble in the box, but Silsden nearly nicked the win at the death, only for Oxenhope’s Keann Shaw to hack the ball off the line.

That meant the game went straight to penalties, with Recreation taking home the cup after winning the shootout 4-2, Leon Drake scoring the decisive spot-kick.