Riley hits winner to claim the title again

FOR the second successive year following their inauguration, Brighouse Town U19s are the Northern Alliance League, Western Division Champions having picked up the required three points against Silsden last Wednesday.

Knowing three points would mean holding on to the title the Brighouse lads had to put on a performance of patience against a Silsden side that defended doggedly throughout.

After an even first 25 minutes Town started to create a glut of chances.

Antony Brown fed Omar Habeeb, who was increasingly dangerous on the right flank, but his close range effort was smothered by Nathan Riley in the Silsden goal.

Dale Feather cracked a decent shot but Riley again parried, before Habeeb twice laid on good opportunities that could not be taken.

Brown fired just wide, before Marshall Riley almost nodded over the keeper.

On a rare Silsden foray, Town captain Sam Coop typically swept up with little fuss and the opportunities continued at the other end.

Luke Hammond centred but Brown’s touch was wide and a Feather corner was looped just over the bar by Matthew Scholefield.

Hammond’s drive from range then had the visiting keeper scrambling.

For Town keeper Paul Hagreen and the back four of Coop, Killian Cropper, Courtney Smith and Carl Maguire it was all about concentration as the action was mainly at the other end, with Silsden only having one clear cut effort in the first period.

Danny Riley broke clear but fired over but the breakthrough came on the stroke of half-time.

Coop and Habeeb were involved around the penalty area and Riley smashed home for what proved to be a title winning goal.

The second half was a tense affair for Town as Silsden improved on their first half performance.

The visitor’s Luke Taylor shot just wide, before Maguire headed off the line. Hammond typified Town’s tenacity in battling through challenges wide of the Silsden penalty area and found Brown but once more the Silsden keeper Riley did enough to keep the ball out.

Brighouse introduced pace up front via Joe Swallow who provided something different for the visitors defence to think about.

James Coates and Dan Stirland also effectively freshened up the Town team but it was Swallow’s introduction that was most immediately eye catching.

Habeeb and Marshall Riley combined well and put the substitute through on goal, but Riley tipped it wide.

Further chances followed, Swallow again involved finding Riley who glanced just wide and Coates bursting clear but being denied again by the keeper.

The final whistle brought delight and relief following Silsden’s fine effort in trying to take the points off Town that would have seen the title head to near rivals Liversedge.