Silsden 2 Atherton LR 2

Saturday 6th August 2011
Silsden 2 Atherton LR 2
North-west Counties League Premier Division
At: Asda Foundation Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £5; Programme: £1-50 (36 pages)
Attendance: 106
Weather: Frequent rain showers
Duration: first-half: 46:20; second-half: 49:34

An enjoyable train journey, four goals and a red card with Silsden grabbing a late equaliser – a good start to the 2011/12 competitive season!

The return of Silsden AFC's first team to their home town and original ground has been one of those ‘feel-good’ non-league stories of the past couple of years. For several seasons from 2003 until 2010, they played home games at nearby Keighley Cougars Rugby League ground until what is now known as the Asda Foundation Stadium was brought up to the standard required for North-West Counties Premier League football.

Speaking of the Keighley Cougars, I remember watching Silsden’s final game at the rugby league venue in April 2010, when they defeated Winsford United (

Looking to travel today by public transport, I was fully expecting to have to catch a bus or even walk the four miles from Keighley. But the excellent ‘Getting to Football’ website ( provided a far more convenient route from Steeton and Silsden station, just half a mile from Asda Foundation Stadium. Phew!

Rather than pay the £46-40 I was quoted for a through return ticket from Stafford to Steeton and Silsden, I decided to buy three separate return tickets for each leg and so kept the cost down to £32-90 – probably about the cost of petrol and a bit of wear on tear on the car.

The Asda Foundation Stadium comes up on the left after crossing the River Aire and before the town centre. Adjacent to the cricket ground and boasting an impressive clubhouse, it was fully enclosed with three floodlight pylons down each side. From the entrance, the pitch (orientated east–west) ran widthways with the L-shaped clubhouse to the right in the near corner and partly behind the goal. To the left was the stand featured in Stephen Mumford’s book The Non-League Football Grounds of West Yorkshire though the green front means it is no longer painted in all white – and is now known as ‘The McNulty Stand’. It contained three rows of benches and further down the near touchline were the tea bar and an small Arena covered terrace.

A hand-written teamsheet was pinned to the side of the paybox.

Atherton (wearing yellow and blue striped shirts with blue sleeves, blue shorts and yellow socks) got the game underway attacking the clubhouse end in the first half. Chances were scarce until Atherton keeper Joe Brobbin produced a fine reaction save to keep out a rebound off Peter Hanson.

The visitors took the lead in the 37th minute. James Fogg fired a left foot shot into the bottom-right corner past the outstretched arm of the diving Phil Rishton.

Silsden made a bright start to the second half and Brobbin turned round a 25-yard free-kick from Andy Lee. They got back on level terms with a 59th minute equaliser. John Cullan delivered a free-kick into the area from the right which Peter Hanson headed home.

The afternoon provied to be an eventful one for Atherton striker James Fogg. He required lengthy treatment after colliding with Rishton, scored the opening goal and then got himself sent off in the 69th minute for retaliation. The referee needed to consult his nearest assistant before brandishing a straight red card for an alleged elbowing incident.

It didn’t take the ten men long, however, to regain in the 71st minute barely 30 seconds after Fogg completed his slow walk to the changing rooms. Olsen embarrassingly kicked thin air rather than the ball on the edge of the area but the cross continued to Chris Lomax who hit a low shot into the opposite bottom-left corner of the net.

Silsden pressed for an equaliser and got one in the 89th minute. Nick McNally’s right-wing corner wasn’t cleared and Matthew Kershaw, a few yards out, turned in an ininial shot from Arley Barnes. The home side could have won it in stoppage time. Kershaw did well to deliver a decent cross from the left bye-line which Danny McNulty headed over.

An enjoyable day out and I spend the afternoon watching the game in the company of John Revitt.

Silsden (red/black/red): 1. Phil Rishton, 2. Arley Barnes, 3. John Cullan, 4. Peter Hanson (capt), 5. Danny Husband, 6. Ben Lamb, 7. John Douglas, 8. Joe Jalil, 9. Kevin Ryan, 10. Matthew Kershaw, 11. Andy Lee. Substitutes: 12. Danny McNulty (for Jalil, 73), 14. Nick McNally (for Ryan, 84), 15. Ben Geary (not used).

Atherton LR: (yellow and blue stripes with blue sleeves / blue / yellow): 1. Joe Brobbin, 2. Papis Gaye,3.Ryan Taylor, 4. G. Grant, 5. C. Boothby, 6. Mike Chester (capt), 7. Chris Lomax, 8. Paul Davies, 9. A. Olsen, 10. James Fogg, 11. A. Packhouse. Substitutes: 12. Alex Gavan (not used), 14. Andy Griffiths (not used), 15. Danny Hastings (not used).

Referee: Richard Wild
Assistants: Derek Brannick and Jack Grange

0-1 James Fogg (37)
1-1 Peter Hanson (59)
1-2 Chris Lomax (71)
2-2 Matthew Kershaw (89)

Silsden: Joe Jalil (YC, 54), Ben Lamb (YC, 85)
Atherton: G. Grant (YC, 17), Paul Davies (YC, 62), James Fogg (RC, 69), Ryan Taylor (YC, 88), Papis Gaye (YC, 90+4)