Sports Awards: Silverdale Athletic make it a double in local football circles



Silverdale Athletic had two very good reasons to celebrate last season.

Not only did they pip rivals Leek CSOB to the Staffordshire County Senior League Premier Division title, but also beat the same Moorlands outfit 3-0 to lift the prestigious Staffs FA Vase.

It was a close-run thing in the race for the Premier Division title, with Silverdale completing their league programme with a six-point lead over Leek who had two games in hand.

The pressure was on the Cheddleton-based Moorlanders when they welcomed Foley Meir to their Pointon Park headquarters for a must-win game.

To add to the pressure, they would have to score 22 goals in those two games against Foley and Eastwood Hanley to snatch the title off Athletic, but that was a mountain too high to climb.

As it turned out, Leek lost 5-0 and the celebrations could begin over at Athletic’s Kents Lane home.

But they had little time to relax as manager Adrian Blakemore had a Vase final to look forward to a few days later.

And so all the attention turned to Stafford Rangers’ Marston Road ground for the showdown. Could Leek get revenge for losing out on the title, or could Silverdale be celebrating the double?

The final burst into life in the opening four minutes when Silverdale took the lead. Leek failed to clear a corner and Jeff Jolley fired the ball home from the edge of the area in the second minute.

And just two minutes later, Silverdale were celebrating again when Dom Thorley scored from a free-kick.

Things got better for Athletic when Leek’s Josh Hall was sent off in the 18th minute, but then things were evened up just after the half-hour mark when Silverdale’s prolific scorer Kingsley Gyamfi was also shown a straight red.

Leek pushed to try to get back into the tie before the half-time break, but Silverdale managed to stand firm.

In the second half, the Old Boys struggled to get hold of the ball and it was Silverdale who went on to wrap up the game with a third goal in the 82nd minute, Thorley scoring his second of the night to spark the celebrations.

It was certainly a season to remember, one which chairman Marko Djukic says will live long in the memory of all those connected with the club.

He has now nominated the club in the Senior Team category at the Sentinel/City of Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

“It was a fantastic achievement and reward for all the hard work the management and players put into the season,” said Djukic.

“Adrian has done a great job since taking over the first team reins seven years ago. Most of the current squad have come up through our junior ranks, so have played together for quite some time and he gets 100 per cent commitment and effort out of them. We run teams from under-nines through to senior level, that’s a lot of football being played at the club, but we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labour at the end of last season with the two trophies. It’s great when it all comes together.” added the chairman.

Leading the line in Silverdale’s success last season were Kingsley Gyamfi, Alex Djukic (chairman’s son) and Dom Thorley who scored around 120 goals between them.

Gyamfi was snapped up by BetVictor South East Division side Kidsgrove Athletic in the summer, while Djukic and Thorley have missed part of this season through injury, which is reflected in the club’s current 10th spot in the Premier Division.

“We had a lot of goals in the team last season, it was a really potent strikeforce, but we lost Kingsley, while Alex and Dom have missed quite a lot of this season.

“They have not long returned to the team after recovering from injury, but we just don’t know what is going to happen following the suspension of all football due to the coronavirus pandemic.”





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