I decided to revisit a club, something I haven’t done for a while, partly because it was near to me and this would mean using little fuel in the current crisis and because the ground had been totally changed due to grants and locally raised money.
Staveley Miners Welfare have installed a 3G pitch that can be used by the community, they have enhanced the mobility around the ground and the spectator experience.
Arriving at the ground there is still a large car park which has now been tarmaced and lined out meaning you no longer risk damp feet in the puddles. The changes do not end there with new money for a revamp of the car park oposite the junior pitches (which were awarded a grant to redrain them) which will also be available for people to park to visit Poolsbrook Country Park and access to the Trans Pennine Trail.
The clubhouse at Staveley is always welcoming and busy and looked as if it too had seen some redecoration. The five large TV screens shone out on what was a very dark day. The weather put me to shame having complained about the unusual warm weather for September at my prevous matches. The heavy rain came out of very grey skies but luckilly the light breeze did not reduce the temperature.
The beautifully flat 3G pitch was already in use with children taking penalties in the main goal area not cutting up the surface as with a grass pitch, their accuracy was amazing.
Silsden AFC were formed in 1904 with a few ups and downs along the way, with the current incarnation started only 25 years ago. Their rise up the local Craven Leagues and West Riding Leagues meant they were invited to join The North West Counties League in 2004. Like Staveley grantsò enabled them to transform their ground and by 2010 and they were promoted, relegated and promoted again to the Premier Division before being moved laterally to the Northern Counties East League in 2021 due to the FA’s reorganisation.
Staveley Miners Welfare 2 Silsden 3
Trojans v Cobbydalers
The rain just kept coming as the two teams kicked off and it was Staveley who took early control of the game perhaps being more used to the playing surface. They were strongest attacking down the right and it was no surprise that they scored from that sector but unexpectedly via the right back Charlie Bell who recieved the ball 25 yards out to the right of centre of the goal and .hit it true after one touch to the right hand corner of the net. Staveley kept control and still led at half time. Silsden’s sometimes over copmplicated passing movements continually breaking down.
Ten minutes into the second half the rain finally stopped and Staveley were still on top but not converting their chances. Silsden made two substitutions and changed to a more direct style and out of the blue Mohamid Quasim stumbled, swerved and jinked past three Staveley defenders to equalise on 81 minutes.
But within 6 minutes Staveley were back ahead when a corner by Charlie Bell was met with a majestic header by Samuel Kay which ripped into the net.
I thought that would be it but Silsden semed to have found new legs and desire and equalised with 1 minute left on the clock when Bradley Riley recieved the ball on the left of the penalty area and placed it beyond the diving goalkeeper to make it all square.
The breathless end had a further sting in the tail as Silsden wrapped up the game with a third just before the final whistle when Joseph Mitchel scored a long range effort. His delight and the teams was very evident as they celebrated in the corner.
A big reminder that a game is 90 minutes long and if you don’t convert your many early chances you run the risk of paying the price later.
Staveley have certainly now put together an impressive ground and set up that will give them an assured future but the day was certainly not theirs.
The chips at only £1.50 were a great quantity, tasted good, hot, not greassy but were soggy so a disapointing score of 62.