SILSDEN manager Danny Forrest has admitted it is a blow, both on and off the pitch, that his side’s season has been abruptly ended by the coronavirus pandemic.

But he insists he is excited by what the Cobbydalers’ young squad could achieve in the coming years and hopes they will stick together to make it a journey to remember.

The FA announced yesterday afternoon that they had expunged all results, and cancelled any promotion or relegation for clubs between steps three and six (Silsden are in step five) in the non-league pyramid.

The Cobbydalers were not affected by promotion or relegation issues, as they sat 10th in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division.

But they were still in the NCEL League Cup and, from a financial standpoint as much as anything else, had at least eight home games left to play.

Forrest said: “I’d been speaking to the staff recently and we all wanted to finish the season.

“We’d hit some form (Silsden were unbeaten in seven) and we had a lot of home games left, which would have given these young lads chance to grow.

“But it’s been frustrating all season, because of the weather conditions. I think we’d had one home game called off in three seasons before this one, but we’ve had four or five this year.

“It affects us holistically too, because we’re not getting people through the gates now for drinks, pies and refreshments.

“It’s been a bit of a struggle month to month to keep up with the running costs of the club. It’s been tough and losing out another eight or nine home games could yet affect us financially.

"I can't say we're really struggling but keeping afloat at this level has provided challenges, as it does for most clubs.

“But the committee boys have stuck together and done a great job. We’ll hope for a fresh start next season and to take the positives out of the situation.”

Forrest felt the decision to end the season was probably the right one, given that “we haven’t got a clue when the pandemic will end”.

Forrest, speaking before the announcement of no promotion or relegation, felt there was a better way to decide the end of the season, saying: “It’s only fair to reward the teams that have been doing well, so I wouldn’t be against using a points per game (PPG) system.

“The likes of Staveley, Liversedge, Penistone and Yorkshire Amateur have all had really good seasons, and if there is to be to be promotions this season, then points per game is the only real solution.

“If you were to null and void the season, that would be disappointing, although selfishly, I suppose it wouldn’t really affect us.

“It does seem unfair to deny some teams the chance of promotion, but then again, there are some clubs who still have 10 or 15 games left to play.”