SILSDEN boss Danny Forrest has praised Liam Hudson for bouncing back from being left out, with the midfielder netting twice in a fine 2-2 draw on Boxing Day at high-flying AFC Mansfield.

The point means Silsden stay in the bottom six in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, but after two away games post-lockdown, that draw and a defeat at Goole, they are now set for four home games in a row.

The first of those is against a bit of an unknown quantity, in Grimsby Borough, this Saturday.

Addressing the Boxing Day draw, Forrest said: “Mansfield have some good players and have made some good signings.

“They have a few ex-pros there and have a good set-up and resources.

“They should be pushing for promotion this season, so for us to go there on Boxing Day, with the attitude we showed, I thought we were spot on.

“We were disappointed not to edge it in the end, but we’d have certainly taken a point before kick-off.”

It was a nightmare festive trip, especially in a pandemic-ravaged year like this one.

Discussing whether he felt the lengthy journey was fair, Forrest said: “Personally, football has always been a big part of my Boxing Day, so I had no real issue with us having the game.

“But in the circumstances, maybe a bit of common sense could have prevailed.

“I know the league are doing the best they can with the fixtures, but it would have been good to have something more local, or they could have even just knocked the game on the head, meaning more time with our families.

“It wouldn’t have been a bad idea to have the time off, but there were no real grumbles from our players, and we’ve put on a show in the game.”

No-one more so than Hudson. He is not known for scoring, but his brace was key to the Cobbydalers picking up a point.

Forrest said: “It’s not really something we’ve asked of him, to get forward and score, but he’s produced two great finishes in and around the box.

“He wasn’t getting much game time earlier in the season, but we weren’t showing enough steel, so I put him in central midfield to give us a solid base.

“I’ve known Liam for a long time. I can trust him and he has a big heart. He wants to win and he gets the club and what I want.

“He’s quite defensive-minded, and we’ve put him in the back four in the past.

“But he’s done brilliantly in the last three or four games in central midfield and made the spot his own.”

It was not all good news for the Sils on Boxing Day though, with reliable defender Dan Illingworth picking up a nasty injury.

Forrest said: “He could be out for a while, maybe a good month or so.

“He dislocated his shoulder at Mansfield and had to go to hospital with it on Sunday.

“He had a little break, but joined up with us in September after pre-season.

“He then had a little niggle but he’d come back flying after this latest lockdown.

“He was immense at Goole, despite us losing 2-1, and he even played a big part at Mansfield in the short time he was on.

“He’s a fit lad and we hope he’ll come back firing soon.”

Silsden will certainly be without him for this weekend’s clash at home to Grimsby.

Asked what the Cobbydalers can expect from Saturday’s visitors, Forrest admitted: “They’re not a team we’ve come across, as we didn’t get to play them last season.

“I do like analysis and taking a look at the opposition, so we will do a bit of homework.

“But we have to look at ourselves, try and build on the Boxing Day result, and get into our own rhythm.

“We need to show our own strengths first and foremost.”