BARNES' EXOCET MAINTAINS 100% RECORD
The Cobbydalers faced their toughest test to date on Saturday.
The Cobbydalers faced their toughest test to date on Saturday, with a home game against a strong Alsager side who had won two and drawn one of their league games to date. Manager Danny Forrest named an unchanged side
Although the game was played in glorious sunshine, once again there was a strong westerly wind, favouring the visitors in the opening half. However it was the Cobbydalers who had the first chance of the match when Kyle Hancock back-heeled the ball to Nicky McNally who shot marginally wide. Silsden took the lead on seven minutes. New boy Mateusz Tomasz broke up the right and crossed into the box where Joe Gaughan was waiting. Gaughan saw his shot blocked, but only to Tomasz who slid it back in. GAUGHAN beat the keeper from close range.
A minute later the visitors almost leveled the score. Fortunately Warren Holmes’ header was wide of the far post. Whilst the visitors tended to go for the more direct route to goal, the Yorkshire outfit tried to open up their opponents with some slick one-touch football. A good move up the left saw Niall Sultan crossing into the box but Thomasz’ header cleared the bar. Twenty minutes into the game Callum Jacovlevs was forced into a fine save, tipping Holmes’ header over the bar.
Despite the wind, the Cobbydalers created chances. McNally went close, having interchanged passes with Gaughan. Gaughan himself was just off target with a thirty five yard effort. Thomasz was still causing problems on the right and Niall Sultan, on the left, supported the defence as well by testing defenders with his pace.
A rash challenge by Danny Illingworth ended with the central defender receiving a caution. The opponents were aggrieved that it wasn't a red! However Oliver Jepsom wasn't injured and the visitors were awarded a free kick. Tom White took the kick and Jepsom rose at the far post but headed wide. It was a golden chance. Silsden ended the half with a super run and cross from Sultan but the Cobbydalers couldn't add to their lead.
The second half began with a low shot from McNally which was cleared and then a through ball from Barnes to Sultan, who shot wide. Alsager began to gain the initiative but lacked a cutting edge. Josh Kaine's reading of the game saw him nullify any threats and Mark Everingham broke up the most dangerous attack.
McNally and Gaughan then worked well to set up a chance but the wind allowed keeper Mellor to deny McNally a chance. Mellor was in the right place again, when Tomas cut inside two defenders and fired in from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors then had a brief spell of possession and finally got in a shot which hit the base of the Silsden post.
Wademan and Trueman came on for McNally and Tomasz. Gaughan had another effort saved by the Alsager keeper before the Bullets equalised on seventy-five minutes, substitute Taylor ATRELL scoring from close range after a defensive mix-up. They might have taken the lead minutes later but Winkle shot wide.
The Cobbydalers strove for the winner and when it came it was beauty. Picking the ball up 40 yards from goal BARNES hit a thunderbolt which left Mellor helpless. The keeper then denied Hancock after a flowing move involving Sultan and Wademan had opened up the defence. The final whistle went. Four wins out of four.
Danny Forrest was delighted with the result having identified the game as the biggest test to date. "The game was very different from our earlier games. Alsager are a strong physical side. I was pleased we were able to match them. I thought everyone was up to the task and that they stuck to their guns."
On Tuesday the Cobbydalers travel to Atherton Colliers ground to play Chadderton whose home pitch has just been re-laid.