Silsden 1-0 St Helens Town

St Helens Star: Ciaran Gibson had a fine game. (PictureDavid S. Brett) Ciaran Gibson had a fine game. (PictureDavid S. Brett)

St. Helens Town lost a second consecutive game by the only goal at Silsden on Saturday, but had plenty of chances to take the points themselves. Equally, they might have gone down to a heavier defeat, so wasteful was the home side’s attack.

Town opened well and dominated the opening exchanges, Ste Milne having the best chance to score in the fifth minute, when he let fly from the right side, but his shot skimmed across the face of the unguarded goal.

Silsden pressed forward in the 14th minute and took the lead. From a break up the right wing, Deakin-Pickard’s cross found town defender Sam Pullinger, who attempted to play the ball back to ‘keeper Gibson but Josh McNulty pounced on the loose ball and fired home.

Town responded with a wave of attacks, Nathan Parish and Danny Owens both having good headed efforts saved by Silsden keeper Ed Hall, before Richardson shot from 25 yards, just past the post. As the half wore on, Town might have found themselves two down.

Town ‘keeper Gibson dived to smother the ball at the feet of Deakin-Pickard and referee Foster unaccountably awarded the penalty, but justice prevailed as Gibson turned the spot kick wide of his right-hand post. Silsden’s Dale Feather spurned a couple of gilt-edged chances in the run-up to half-time, which arrived with Town still in with a chance at only 0-1 behind.

The second-half was much more of a midfield stalemate - largely due to the strengthening wind and driving rain. About 10 minutes in, Town’s Mason Ryan carved out a great position from near the centre circle. He burst up the left wing, rounded the full-back but hit his shot straight at Hall, who turned it round his near post.

The next chance took another 25 minutes to arise, Gibson saving at the other end in spectacular fashion. Town, of course, were still trying to salvage the game and Andy Gillespie hit a drive just wide of the post with six minutes left.

At the other end, giant striker Michael Hall, just on as substitute, took the ball up 30 yards out and looked certain to score Silsden’s second, but Town skipper Lee Crompton pulled off a last-ditch tackle. In stoppage time Milne had a great chance to poke one in at the near post when he was taken out by a reckless challenge that should have produced a penalty award and ‘keeper Hall was grateful to make the save and confirm a third straight win for the home side.

A home game against Winsford United is scheduled for this Saturday 21st December before the Boxing Day landlord v tenant clash with Ashton Athletic at Brocstedes Park, both games kicking off at 3pm.

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