On an incredibly warm summers evening Town welcomed Silsden to Ben Rhydding as the visitors prepared for a new campaign in the North East Counties Premier Division.
The heat was always going to make things difficult for both teams, but both started at a good pace moving the ball well. The visitors keen to make an early impact and the home side keen to show they could compete with a team two leagues higher up the pyramid.
Ten minutes in Town found possession on the halfway line through Tom Fleming. Fleming was patient before finding the run of Tom Smith, who whipped a delightful ball into the penalty area. Ben Greenhow took a lovely touch before backheeling into the path of Fleming, who showed great composure to delay before dispatching his shot into the bottom corner, 1-0.
After half an hour the hosts doubled their lead as once again they broke with pace and quality. After winning possession in the middle third Tom Fleming released George Gomersall on the right hand side. Gomersall cut inside his marker and delivered to the back post where Ben Greenhow was on hand to turn the ball into the net, 2-0.
At half time the visitors regrouped and both teams made numerous changes. Town would have three teenagers in the back four for the second half, a real challenge and test for the talented trio.
Silsden flew out of the blocks, pressing high and aggressively. This would bring a reward after just two minutes as a corner was swung in and the Silsden centre half was left unmarked to sidefoot in from six yards out, 2-1.
Within another two minutes the match was all square, possession was lost cheaply by town and the mistake pounced upon by Silsdens playmaker, arguably their best player on the night, who drove quickly and placed his shot beyond the despairing dive of James Hirst, 2-2.
At this point it looked like Silsden might steamroll over Town but it was at this point Town managed to get a foothold in the game, move the ball a little better and compete centrally.
From here the game became stretched and either team could have pinched it with Silden hitting the crossbar from a fine strike and having claims for a penalty waved away by the referee. It would in fact be Town who would take the win. Silsden took a poor touch in the centre of the park and Richard Bull pressed and won the ball before releasing second half substitute Benji Claydon. Claydon raced away from the Silsden backline before steadying himself and finding the bottom corner, 3-2.
Overall a great workout for the players who now face Farsley Celtic Jrs this Saturday at Ben Rhydding, 2.15pm KO.