AFTER a remarkable 28 days without a game, Silsden player-assistant manager Craig Bentham says it will feel weird when they return to action this weekend.

Due to postponements because of the weather and their scheduled opponents being involved in cup competitions, the Cobbydalers have not played since their 4-1 home win over Congleton on February 23. But they return to action at home to 1874 Northwich on Saturday.

With seven games of the season remaining, they are 12th in Hallmark Security League Premier Division on 43 points, part of a congested mid-table which sees them just five points off sixth place.

Midfielder Bentham, who played 30 times for Bradford City between 2004 and 2008, says the last few weeks without a game have felt strange for the squad but they are now fully focused on the run-in.

The 34-year-old says he did not expect to play as much this season due to his added touchline duties, but injuries and suspensions have seen him regularly step in.

He said: "It's crazy how it has fallen with the number of games being called off and blank weekends.

"It's a little bit weird to be back in action. We have had a lot of games called off because of the weather.

"This period where we have not been playing has dragged on forever. We have been training as usual on Tuesday and Thursday nights and on Saturdays as well. We have still been working hard.

"We had put all our preparation work into the Padiham game and then the game was called off.

"The home games have been a bit disappointing for us this season. We have not given our fans much to cheer about at home. Hopefully we can change that on Saturday.

"This year I was looking to wind down playing, but I think I have played the most games due to our injuries and suspensions.

"But I just want to carry on for as long as I can as you're a long time retired."

Bingley-born Bentham added Silsden's season has involved periods of adjustment after their promotion last season.

He said: "We started off the season unbelievably well. We could not have asked for any more.

"We had a period over Christmas where we dropped points and we got ourselves into a rut. We just could not get a run going.

"The highest we have ever finished at this level is ninth, we want to beat that.

"We could have gone up to fifth the other week. The league is still tight and anything can happen. We've got to see what happens, there are seven games to go.

"Last season we could have just turned up and rolled teams over. Even if we went 1-0 down, we could come back and win 3, 4 or 5-1. This year has taken more thinking, more strategy for games.

"There has been a massive step up in standard for us.

"Aidan Kirby has been fantastic for us, but the lads have been chipping in here and there, which is a positive sign if we go down in a game."

Meanwhile, Silsden have bolstered their ranks during their break from action with the signing of attacking midfielder Jordan Townend.

Townend, 24, has previously played for Emley FC where he spent four years. Predominantly a central midfielder, Townend can operate in various attacking positions.

Manager Danny Forrest said: “Jordan has been in with us for a few weeks now and we’re really happy with what we’ve seen in training.

"He’s a technical player with plenty of ability, he likes to get forward and will bring plenty of energy.

"The squad has evolved in the last few months, there’s a great atmosphere in training and we’re very hopeful of having a strong finish to the season.

"We have a brilliant core group who have been here a few years now, and just recently we’ve added some young, hungry players who we feel can have an impact now, but with time can improve and become important players for us."