REPORT: Silsden 1-1 Squires Gate
Squires Gate were minutes away from an opening day day victory at newly promoted Silsden, but a 90th minute equaliser from player/manager Danny Forest denied Andy Clarkson's men all three points.
Gate lined up with four new faces in the starting line up after a busy pre season for manager Andy Clarkson. Experienced players Adam Sumner, Matty Kay and new Captain Joe Booth all started whilst former Gate striker Ric Seear lined up for the club for the first time in two years after his spell in the Evo Stik.
Gate made a lively start to the game with the homeside struggling to cope with their movement in the first 20 minutes. Gate had chances from several freekick after fouls from the homeside but couldn't capitalise.
Shouts for a penalty from Gate were waved away after 8 minutes when Ryan Riley's cross looked to have been handled in the box by a Silsden man.
Gate took the lead after 20 minutes when Ric Seear capitalised on an error from the home keeper. A ball through from midfield found the run of Seear who ran past the keeper who was in no-mans land to roll the ball into the empty net.
Seear could have doubled his and Gate's tally 4 minutes later but he was denied by a fine save from the keeper from his volley. The corner fell to Joe Booth but his shot was again saved by the keeper.
Silsden came close to equalising after 27 minutes but had striker Gary Pett to thank. A freekick fired towards Ben Fletcher took a bobble in front of the keeper who pushed the ball away only for striker Gary Pett to clear the ball off the line.
On the stroke of half time, Gate came close to doubling the lead in strange fashion. A Gate freekick came back out to Adam Sumner who sent a cross back into the box that went narrowly wide, almost creeping in at the back post.
Half Time: Silsden 0-1 Squires Gate
The second half started with Gate playing some lovely football along the edge of the Silsden box but Gate could find the target with Joe Booth firing wide.
Booth was involved again minutes later when he cut the ball back to Ric Seear but the striker scuffed his shot which the keeper saved.
Silsden threatened when they countered from a Gate corner. The keeper punching the ball away as Booth challenged allowing Silsden to counter but they fired over when it counted.
As the homeside came into the game, Ben Fletcher did his best to deny them. He made a fine save to push the ball away low down before Silsden fired wide.
Gate came close late on into the last 10 minutes and thoughts they'd doubled the lead. A freekick from Adam Sumner found the head of Gary Pett but he headed uncharacteristically wide.
Ben Fletcher again had to be alive with two minutes of the game left when he pulled out another top draw save. Fletcher stretched to push over an effort from outside the box to deny the homeside as they pushed for an equaliser.
That equaliser would come into added time from Sub Danny Forest. The former Bradford City striker who manages Silsden, subbed himself on and was in the right place at the right time to fire past Fletcher to earn a draw for his side.
Gate are back in action on Tuesday night when they host Burscough in their first home game of the season, kick off 7:45pm.
Gate: Fletcher, Richards, Rossall, Sumner, Gray, Kay, Ing, Booth, Sumner, Seear, Pett. Subs: Dawson, Bamba, Clarkson, Charnley, Moxon.
Report by Mark Ashmore