Silsden youngsters gain experience securing safety

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ben Crabtree congratulates Zack Dale after his second goal in last week’s victory against Winsford Ben Crabtree congratulates Zack Dale after his second goal in last week’s victory against Winsford

Silsden have struggled this term but they finally secured their top-tier status in the North West Counties League with three games to spare.

The Cobbydalers confirmed their continued stint in the Premier Division with a draw against Abbey Hey followed by a 2-1 win over Winsford United, both at the Angel Telecom Stadium.

They could not follow that up with a third positive result on Wednesday, when they lost 1-0 to high-flying Ashton Athletic. But club secretary Jim Rosser feels that is down to the young group of players in the Silsden squad.

“We’re inconsistent but that’s because we’re up against far more experienced sides almost every week,” he said.

“When we played Winsford, they were physically stronger because they were older and with the old heads comes a bit of nous.

“The average age of the Silsden starting line-up last Saturday was 21 and we had three 22-year-olds in the back four.

“Zack Dale was very good in that game. He played neat football and set the standard and the others followed – but he’s only 19.

“It all counts as experience for these lads, and they will be better players for it, but it has been a bit nervy this season.

“But we’re safe now with 41 points, which will be enough. The only thing left to play for is catching Barnoldswick Town, our long-term rivals.”

Barnoldswick are two points better off at the moment with a game in hand but the clubs clash at the Angel Telecom Stadium on Easter Monday.

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