ECCLESHILL United took a giant stride in their battle to avoid the drop on Wednesday night.

The Bradford side were in Northern Counties East League Premier Division action at home to their fellow strugglers Maltby Main, and moved seven points clear of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win.

The visitors started the brighter of the two sides in appalling wet and cold conditions, but Eccleshill took the lead against the run of play midway through the first half courtesy of Zack Sangster.

Crucially, Lee Elam’s side managed to score a second goal just before the break through Brice Ghussein, giving them some breathing space in this tense encounter.

And the hosts took advantage of a mistake at the back from Maltby on the hour mark, with Ghussein netting his second to put the Eagles out of sight.

Eccleshill saw out the victory with relative ease thereafter, moving up two places in the table to 16th in the process.

But Silsden lost further ground in the NCEL Premier Division promotion race on Tuesday night, suffering a bruising 3-0 defeat at Hallam, which left them two points and two places outside of the play-offs.

The two sides directly above them, Garforth Town and Frickley Athletic, both have a game in hand too.

Hallam hit the front after only two minutes in midweek, Nathan Cartman turning home a corner.

Harry Thompson struck a shot just wide as Silsden came close to equalising, but more sloppy defending from a set-piece allowed Daniel Burns to put Hallam 2-0 up after only a quarter of an hour.

Cobbydalers keeper Kyle Trennery had to tip away a cross that looked to be floating in, before Kayle Price was denied in a one-on-one with Hallam stopper Hugo Warhurst after a great flick on by Jake Cassidy.

Casey Stewart and Price then both had shots bravely blocked while Warhurst pulled off a sensational double save just before the break.

On the stroke of half-time, Price flicked on Liam Hudson’s volley, only for the ball to drop agonisingly past the post.

Trennery made a great save two minutes after the interval, after Hallam got in from a long ball over the top, but he was beaten soon after.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Silsden goalkeeper Kyle Trennery helped keep the score down in his side's defeat to Hallam.Silsden goalkeeper Kyle Trennery helped keep the score down in his side's defeat to Hallam. (Image: Linda Gartland.)

As Silsden appealed for a foul on Lewis Gardner, which soon forced the youngster off injured, the referee waved play on, and Hallam ran through to score courtesy of Calum Ward.

Price had another shot blocked, Cassidy’s long-range effort floated just wide, then Reece Webb-Foster’s free-kick just cleared the crossbar, as Silsden desperately pushed for a goal back.

But Trennery had to be at his best to keep out a free-kick from former Sheffield Wednesday man Daniel Pudil with 15 minutes to go.

And it was a buoyant Hallam who ended the stronger of the two sides, with Stewart’s goal line clearance in second-half stoppage-time denying the hosts a fourth goal.

Elsewhere, Farsley Celtic secured a battling 1-1 draw at Southport in National League North, with Ben Atkinson’s goal ensuring the point that moved the visitors up to 13th in the table.

West Riding County Cup holders Campion have not yet started their title defence, with their second-round tie at Brighouse Town on Monday night called off due to bad weather.

Guiseley’s game in the competition at Garforth Town on Tuesday suffered the same fate.