Silsden 1 Ashville 3 - How much last season took out of the Cobbydalers is starting to be revealed - as they start to look as much under pressure as Everton.

They have crashed out of the FA Cup and out of the FA Vase at the first attempt and are lacking in confidence.

Ace marksman Dale Hoyle, who was persuaded to give the club one more season, has decided to hang up his boots after all and his retirement could hardly have come at a worse time for the club, but he has given his all getting Silsden to their present possition.

He will be hard to replace and the team will have to adjust to life without him, but there were sings of promise to come. Although Sam Dowgfill only played for the last 10 minutes he did have an influence on the game. He looked like a ball player they team has been missing, linking the attack and defence and making sure possession wasn't squandered cheaply.

Bentham also looked more compased and Rishton in goal couldn't be falted for any of the goals he conceded.

Without Hoyle, Geary was fortunate to have Tom Appelbee available and he was the main threat early on running at the Ashville defence with menace. A flick from a cross by Packer was cleared before Appelbee burst down the right to set up Martin Bland, Longley having created space by running across the goal. Bland's shot was blocked and Ashville broke forwards. Andy Holden did well to clear from Rowlands and James Nettleton did well to recover after Throup had been beaten by Bennett.

Silsden failed to clear a free kick from the half-way line and McDermott was able to shoot through a ruck of players leaving Rishton unsighted.

Silsden broke away and Barrie White, the Ashville keeper let the ball go through his legs but his defenders recovered the situation. A superbly worked free-kick between Longley and Holden led to the latter driving in a fierce shot from the edge of the box but White managed to finger-tip the ball round the post.

The home side piled the pressure on the visitor's defence forcing a number of corners. Rosser's cross from the left was headed out and Holden's volley was too high.

When a clear opportunity came Martin Bland's way White again managed to divert the ball wide.

Unfortunately Throup, Holden, Rosser and Martin Bland also gave the ball away but Slomka shot wide with one effort and Halligan wasted an opportunity when the Merseysiders broke forward. Silsden did get their passing game together and Appelbee was only narrowly wide.

However, on the stroke of half time the ball was flicked on to Slomka who made it 2-0 to the visitors withn a killer goal.

Silsden responded positively in the second half but were soon put under pressure again when Throup gave the ball away and was booked in his attempt to make amends. Matthew Bland's tackle on the tendon of McDermott inexplicably received no caution from the official.

Silsden were unfortunate not to pull a goal back when Holden crossed into the goal area, only for Hedges to see his header tipped onto the bar. Longley then had a volley over the bar.

Geary brought on Bentham and Michael Rhodes for Throup and Longley. Throup, by his own admission had a 'nightmare' but Longley had some justification in being aggrieved having worked hard in the midfield.

Rhodes conceded a penalty and Bennett sealed Silsden's fate.

Both Packer and Holden volleyed over after the introduction of Dowgill.

Rosser's header in the dying minutes gave the Barmy Army something to cheer, but time had run out.

The side from the Wirrall had made the most of their giant-killing act, the Silsden players knew the feeling, but had previously been doing the giant-killing themselves.