Silsden AFC - Division One Champions 2017-18
Mon 7th May 2018 | Silsden | By Ian Templeman
Congratulations to Silsden AFC, who clinched the Division One title with a 5-0 win over Holker Old Boys at the Cobbydale Construction stadium.
The Cobbydalers went into the game knowing that, with Litherland REMYCA breathing down their necks, only a win would secure the league title.
But in front of a bumper crowd of 517, their biggest for a league game in over ten years, they got the win they needed to return to the Premier Division as champions after a two year absence.
Early nerves were settled in the 14th minute, when Reece Kendal headed home to give Silsden the lead, but Holker offered stubborn resistance and it wasn't until the hour mark that Silsden doubled their lead, when Arley Barnes fired home from the edge of the box.
Once Niall Sultan added a third goal on 69 minutes, and Aidan Kirby unleashed a cracking shot that ended up in the back of the net off the underside of the crossbar, the promotion party planning could commence, and Chris Wademan wrapped up a memorable afternoon for everyone at the club with a fifth goal three minutes from time.
The squad were presented with the Division One championship trophy after the final whistle by League Vice-Chairman Geoff Wilkinson, and Silsden manager Danny Forrest gave his reaction after the game.
"It's unbelievable, I'm a bit lost for words and don't quite know what to say about today. I'm overwhelmed.
"For the amount of work the lads have put in, and the amount that I demand from them, today has made it all worthwhile.
"The first 17 games we won (in succession at the start of the season) get spoken about a lot, but for me the last 17 games were just as important.
"We lost 2-0 at Whitchurch Alport, were down to nine men, and lost Joe Gaughan for the remainder of the season, and had teams breathing down our necks.
"But the way the lads responded and dealt with those last 17 games was pretty unbelievable really.
"When the pressure is on and the lads had to produce, they did, so for me it was probably that last 17 games that was the more impressive.
"It's been a great day for me personally, and tops anything I've experienced in football".
Silsden AFC captain Josh Kaine was presented with the championship trophy by League Vice-Chairman Geoff Wilkinson after the game.
Photo courtesy of David Brett.