Pre-season friendlies continue apace. The football may not always be of the greatest quality as they can lack a competitive edge, but these games do have added interest when they feature teams that wouldn’t usually meet.
Tonight it was Silsden (red) against Nelson (green), South Pennine clubs only 14 miles apart but either side of the Yorkshire-Lancashire divide and playing in different leagues.
Silsden fielded a different 11 in each half, and even changed strips. The second half team looked the stronger, but by then Nelson were a goal ahead. Nelson also hit the woodwork a number of times and probably deserved their 1-0 win.
These matches also act as warm-up events for referees, and tonight we had David Richardson and team, complete with radio headsets, who would usually officiate several steps up in the National League. Indeed Richardson has officiated at an FA Cup final and a number of matches in Europe. Perhaps it was his higher standards that let to a Silsden player being sent off just before the end, something you very rarely see in a friendly game.
As always, Silsden is an attractive ground to spend a couple of hours in the evening sunshine - even with a 21.30 finish there was not a hint of the floodlights being needed.
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