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SILSDEN AFC 2016-17 Season's review.
News Article Date: 16th May 17
SILSDEN AFC 2016-17 Season's review.
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SILSDEN AFC 2016-17 Season's review.

          How would 2016-17 pan out after relegation from the Premier League at the end of the previous  season , ending a run of twelve seasons in the top division? It was clear from the start that it would be quite difficult, with the League increasing the number of teams from 18 to 24. The new teams were Prestwich Heys, City of Liverpool F.C., Charnock Richard, Sandbach United, Oswestrry Town and Carlisle City. The re-vamped Widnes from Widnes Vikings, a turn-around by both Litherland REMYCA and Whitchurch Alport has ended with two of these teams winning automatic promotion and four of the rest making the play-offs.      

          Silsden’s pre-season started with a win over Colne, last season’s Premier League winners, followed by five defeats and a draw. The omens were not good but the season started with optimism from James Gill and Danny Forrest

          The Cobbydalers began with an F.A Cup fixture at Bridlington Town.  The Cobbydalers drew 1-1 but lost the replay3-1.  The team for the replay was Jakovlevs, Moses (Gill), McNulty, Kaine (c), Jacomb, Richardson, Forrest, Hancock, Smith (McNally), Wademan, Storrie ((Marshall). Subs not used: Polignone & Cox

          Following a 6-0 victory over (now relegated) Ashton Town, Silsden lost three on the run before beating Holker Old Boys and Daisy Hill. This was followed by a bizarre 6-6 draw at Oswestry when the Cobbydalers recovered from 4-1 down to go 4-6 up, before conceding two goals in stoppage time! Home wins against Carlisle and AFC Blackpool moved the Cobbydalers up the league table to 8th.

          The F.A. Vase came next with Silsden winning 2-1 at Knaresborough Town before losing in extra time to Hall Road Rangers at home. With manager James Gill unavailable, Danny Forest was in charge for a win at Chadderton.

          The results in October saw the Cobbydalers slide down the table. Defeats against City of Liverpool, Sandbach, Oswestry, Carlisle and Whitchurch, a run in which 1 goal was scored and 11 conceded and which saw Silsden slide down the table. Manager James Gill left the club at the end of the run and Danny Forrest took over.

          When Gill was appointed, following the departure of Ryan Haigh, the Silsden committee were hoping his local knowledge of players and the history of the club would have seen a quick return to the Premier League, but it became evident that the team needed a new focus particularly to tighten up defence and discipline. Forrest’s first selection was Jacovlevs, Moses, Paraskeva, Kaine, Jacomb, Erangey, Storrie (Garnett 72), Eastwood, Smith, McNulty (Riley 72), Wilson (McNally 67) in the League cup away at Holker Old Boys. The Reds lost 3-1. A win in the WR County Cup against Armthorpe Welfare was followed by defeats by St. Helens and Daisy Hill! The Cobbydalers had sunk to 17th in the table

          Victories over Halifax Town (WRCC), albeit against a young outfit, and in the Macron Cup against Premier League 1874 Northwich, indicated progress. Mark Trueman was signed for the trip to Blackpool. He scored two in a six-nil victory. Silsden lost one more and won two as 2016 came to an end. Danny Vincent, who had been signed for the abandoned game at Widnes, gradually moved to the full-back position. He settled in quickly and from the New Year never looked back.

          2017 started with a victory over Prestwich Heys before defeats at a strong Tadcaster Albion team in the County Cup and then a five-two defeat at Cheadle indicated the team needed strengthening. Danny had been forced to play a player he had not even seen, from Swindon, a player who had moved to Silsden who had, allegedly, played at a higher level!

          Silsden lost at home to eventual champions, Widnes before Dan Illingworth and Danny Bunch joined the team from Brighouse Town. They made their debuts at Stockport Town.  Both looked good signings.  Stockport were reduced to ten men late in the game but scored on a break-away. Illingworth headed an equaliser, but as happened too often, the Cobbydalers threw caution to the wind in search of the winner. Stockport broke away to notch an injury-time winner. 

          The Cobbydalers then defeated Alsager and a classy Chadderton at home and St Helens away(6-2), although they lost to City of Liverpool 2-1 away and 2-0 at home in the Macron Cup. Litherland REMCA won 1-0 at the Cobbydale Construction Stadium, all narrow defeats against top teams indicating a tightening of the defence or defending. 

          More games against the teams chasing promotion followed. A goalless draw at Charnock Richard, with a penalty saved by Jacovlevs, was followed by a victory at Whitchurch Alport. Unfortunately Stockport scored two on the break to win at Silsden before victories over ( the then) league leaders, Litherland REMCA and Eccleshall (twice) with late goals.

          The season ended with a defeat at Widnes (Champions) by the odd goal, wins over Holker and Atherton LR, a defeat at Alsager and a (late) victory over Ashton Town. A tired Cobbydalers outfit lost their final home game to a “much improved” Cheadle Town.  They finished in 11thposition.

          Serious injuries to Will Storrie (broken leg) and Kyle Hancock disrupted the season’s end, as did the loss of Connor Erangey. Nicky McNally missed a few games.  On a positive note, the defence tightened up and results against the top teams suggested a higher position in the table was possible.

Played 42 W 18 D 2 L 18 GF 83 GA 77 GD 6 Pts. 62  Pos.11th

          A school report might well say “making progress”. This is still a relatively young team with a mixture of local players and off-cumdens. Young keeper Callum Jacovlevs has played in every game ( League 42, Cups 11) and  tops the division table of games played. He has proved himself to be a fantastic shot-stopper. Josh Kaine is third in the league table (L40 C10) and Josh Eastwood 13th (L38 C8). Kaine has proved himself not only an excellent reader of the game but a great skipper. Eastwood has proved an excellent midfield dynamo and Danny Forrest is still expecting much more of these local youngsters.

          Matty Moses has progressed after a levelling off last season. At the back, Dan Illingworth has been a revelation, not only for his physical presence but his charisma and enthusiasm. Making up the back four is Danny Vincent, excellent but possibly a move into midfield may be on the cards.         

          Mark Trueman has added composure to the midfield and Kyle Hancock, after a slow start, began to shine in the middle of the park until he was injured. Storrie’s pace has troubled many a defender and was a real loss when injured. However Mark Everingham stepped up, scoring some vital gaols as the season reached its climax. Nicky McNally was the leading scorer with 17 goals (17th in the Division Table). Chris Wademan with 11 was 50th. Wademan goals dried up towards the end of the season but his pace and vision still created opportunities for other. Tom Henderson chipped in with five late in the season.

          Ben Cox, often a substitute in the early games, slotted into the midfield with ease. Young Aaron Davis got an opportunity late in the season and he made the most of it, showing some deft touches and good vision.

           Danny Forrest has limited his own games but has made cameo appearances. He wants to concentrate on managing. Along with Matt McNeil, the focus has been on both individual fitness and skills and collective teamwork. Speak to Danny about what he expects; total commitment, players to take responsibility for themselves, being prepared but stretching themselves to be better players.

          The mood in the camp was positive at the end of the season but Danny has already started his preparations for next season.

Copyright 2017 Silsden. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to Silsden website as the source.
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