Brighouse Town earned an historic first ever victory in the FA Cup, but they did it the hard way coming from two goals down at half time to reply with three unanswered second half goals, the winner being scored by Town's current longest serving player Ben Charlesworth with only five minutes of the game remaining.
Silsden made their intentions clear from the kick-off, adopting a very direct approach hitting long balls into the channels whenever they could. This made for a fairly shaky opening five minutes from Town, but they soon settled down and forced a corner, a free kick and a long throw in quick succession; the latter being volleyed wide by Joe Mitchell. On 12mins, good work from Tom Brown and Leon Henry released Ernest Boafa to smash a shot into the side netting. Town were well on top with Danny Naidole having a shot turned away for a corner by Christian Paulet-Brigg in the Silsden goal. From the resulting corner Naidole's cross was headed towards goal by Charlesworth and when the ball broke to Tom Matthews, his shot was blocked on the line.
On 24mins, Silsden hit Town on the break but Charlesworth made an important block on Joe Gaughan's goalbound shot. Matthew had a 25yd snap shot saved by Paulet-Brigg, Mitchell fired a dangerous low cross into the six yard box that was hacked away, and Porter set up Boafa to hit a cross-shot that was tipped over as Town looked to make the breakthrough. Town had a massive let off on 33mins when Lee broke down the left wing and squared the ball into the box to present Mick Garrod with a fantastic chance with only Taylor to beat. However, the Town keeper pulled off a brilliant save rushing off his line to smother his low shot. Town immediately moved the ball forward for Matthews to have a shot on the turn saved, then within 30 seconds found themselves a goal behind. Frustratingly, Town were guilty of giving the ball away in their own half and a through ball saw Garrod outpace the defence, take the ball round Taylor and slot home from an acute angle.
The goal rocked Town and Silsden had their best spell of the game, culminating in them scoring a second goal on 44 mins when the Town defence were guilty of over playing on the edge of their own box, allowing Lee to gain possession and square the ball for Guaghan to side foot into the empty net. It could have been worse for Town seconds before the break when Garrod was clean through on goal but missed the target.
Being two goals down in the FA Cup away from home and conceding goals in the manner they were, presented Town with a massive second half challenge, but this side has superb team spirit and one thing they were never going to do was exit this competition without a fight. Mark Booth and Mark Brady lifted the player during half time and within the first minute Tom Matthews had pulled a goal back for Town from the penalty spot after Ernest Boafa had been pulled back inside the box when through. For some inexplicable reason, the Referee chose to ignore the rule were the defender should be sent off for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.
Silsden responded with an excellently taken free kick from Lee that went inches wide, but they were struggling to find a way through the Town midfield and reverted to hitting long balls that were either headed clear by Haigh and Charlesworth or over-hit into the corners. Town were also encouraged by Silsden's desire to run the clock down at every opportunity which showed how uncomfortable they were with the situation. Mitchell had a free kick scooped away by the home keeper on 52mins, then on 58mins Booth and Brady made the bold decision to introduce the attack minded Sam Akeroyd for the more defensive minded Porter.
Town had a great chance to equalise on 62mins when Matthews released Naidole who sprinted past two defenders but saw his shot pushed away for a corner by Paulet-Brigg. Naidole took the corner himself and Matthews flicked header only just cleared the crossbar. Town then had a massive shout for a penalty turned down when Boafa was through on the keeper and was blatantly taken out as he pushed the ball past him. Matthews came near to scoring on 72 mins when he went on a mazy solo run past four would-be tacklers before pulling his shot inches wide of the post. Luke Gibson, who had replaced Mitchell for Town, found Boafa with a cross at the far post but he couldn't keep his shot down.
The pressure finally paid off for Town on 82mins when Leon Henry carried the ball from midfield and when no one came to challenge him, he took aim from the edge of the box and found the bottom corner with a low show that seemed to catch the home keeper flat-footed. Not content with a draw Town continued to push forward and took the lead on 85mins. Ben Charlesworth challenged the home keeper for a high free kick into the box and his presence saw the keeper drop the ball at the big defenders feet and he coolly side-footed the ball home to give Town the lead.
Town controlled the match into injury time without coming under too much pressure, in fact they had a great chance to wrap the game up when Boafa's run and left wing cross saw Leon Henry blaze over from 6yds. The last kick of the game had Town fans with their hands in their mouths, when John Douglas let fly from 30yds out but Tom Taylor was perfectly positioned to confidently gather the ball and ensure a well deserved win for Town.
Against a very hard working and committed Silsden side, it's to Town's credit they came back from two goals down to battle their way back for fantastic win. Town will play Eccleshill Utd in the next round as they made progress in this famous competition for the first time.