Silsden faced a tough challenge with a reduced squad but emerged victorious in their opening NCEL Premier Division match, securing a 1-0 win against Rossington on Tuesday.
The first half was full of action, and after 24 minutes, Casey Stewart managed to break the deadlock and put Silsden in the lead. However, just before halftime, the situation became contentious as Dom Craig received a second yellow card and was sent off.
The second half saw Silsden’s defensive strength come to the forefront, as they skillfully thwarted a series of attacks from Rossington to maintain their lead and clinch the three points.
The game started energetically, with both teams coming close to scoring early on. Ross Hannah had a shot that went over the bar from the box’s edge for the hosts, while Silsden’s captain Adam Clayton’s attempt from inside the area was deflected behind for a corner.
It was in the 24th minute that Stewart made his mark, capitalising on a well-executed build-up play led by Jake Maltby. Maltby broke free and delivered a low cross to the back post, where Stewart, the former Liversedge winger, calmly slotted the ball into the net to give Silsden the lead.
Maltby and Stewart continued to put pressure on the host’s defence. Maltby had another opportunity but unfortunately directed his shot wide of the post. Stewart displayed his awareness by attempting a lobbed shot from a distance when he spotted the goalkeeper off his line, narrowly missing the target.
The momentum of the game shifted drastically after Craig’s contentious red card, which came as a result of a debatable decision after a clean challenge in the 39th minute. With only ten players on the field, Silsden had to dig deep to fend off Rossington’s attacks in the second half.
Jacob Smith and Spencer Harris stood out for Silsden’s defence, effectively clearing any crosses into the box, while Kyle Trenerry confidently dealt with crosses and long-range attempts. Despite the defensive pressure, Silsden remained dangerous on the counter, and even though T’Nique Fishley cleared a goal-bound effort, Maltby led a counter-attack that found Price, who unfortunately missed the target.
In the dying moments of added time, Rossington came close to equalising as a header struck the crossbar and went out for a goal kick.
Ultimately, Silsden held onto their lead, securing a hard-fought victory. The strong defensive performance showcased the team’s resilience, which should boost their confidence as they prepare for the Bradford District Derby against Thackley on Tuesday.