Nelson beat Silsden and go close to stunning leaders!

Former Clarets youngster Waqas Azam has been named Nelson FC's player of the month for January
Former Clarets youngster Waqas Azam has been named Nelson FC's player of the month for January

Having earned Paul Fildes his first win as manager with victory over Alsager Town, the Blues almost stunned league leaders Runcorn Linnets on their own turf.

However, with the Admirals just seconds away from doing rivals Colne a huge favour in the title race, Antony Hickey struck to seal maximum points for the hosts.

Waqas Azam, who has been in prolific form from right back in recent weeks, forced goalkeeper Dean Porter in to a full length save early on.

As the visitors continued to press, Will Threlkeld crashed a header against the crossbar with Porter well beaten while Nat Taylor skewed an effort wide.

After the break the Blues continued from where they’d left off and Adam Nuttall hooked an attempt over the bar.

Fildes opted to make a change with Ashley Brierley replacing replacing Bradley Wicks and the substitute almost made an immediate impact when his shot flashed past Porter’s left hand upright.

With the away side looking the more likely to seal a win, the hosts countered and broke Blues hearts when Hickey converted in the sixth minute of stoppage time, sparking wild scenes of celebration from the home players, fans and staff.

Runcorn Linnets 1, Nelson 0

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The Blues overturned a third minute deficit to beat rivals Silsden 3-1 at Victoria Park as they climbed to 13th in the North West Counties Premier Division table.

The away side’s Charlie Collinge was the man responsible for the early breakthrough but he provided the wake-up call that Nelson needed.

Threlkeld fired narrowly wide as the Admirals probed before Wayne Morrison’s drive from distance cannoned back off the foot of the post.

The home side’s equaliser arrived in the 37th minute when Tom Bradley’s delivery from the left hand side was met by Nuttall who obliged by powering a header past Ed Hall.

Minutes later the Silsden stopper beat away Threlkeld’s strike but only to the feet of Nelson’s player of the month Azam who continued his prolific form to put the hosts ahead.

Hall then saved with his legs to deny Bradley as half-time approached.

Fildes’s men continued in the ascendency after the interval and Threlkeld’s effort across the face of goal squirmed wide of the far post.

Nelson added a third in the 66th minute when Nuttall latched on to Threlkeld’s incisive pass and the striker kept his composure to slot the ball past Hall.

The Blues travel to Alder Street to take on title-chasing Atherton Collieries tonight, kick off 7-45 p.m.

Nelson 3, Silsden 1