A SECOND-half fightback was not enough to save Prestwich Heys from defeat as they paid the price for a poor first half showing at mid-table Silsden.
Jon Lyons’s team found themselves three goals down after just 34 minutes as the pacy hosts capitalised on some slack play by Heys.
The visitors took until the 80th minute to get on the scoresheet and late goals from Jamie Baguley and Jake Wood proved only a consolation.
Their sluggish start ultimately provided a damaging setback to Heys' hopes of making the Hallmark Security League First Division play-offs as they slipped back to 10 points outside the top six, albeit with two games in hand of their nearest rivals.
Heys had won their previous three matches but, continuing a trend started in the early part of the season, were unable to string together the kind of winning run that will surely be needed to finish in the play-off places.
The opening moments of the match were promising and Heys perhaps should have taken the lead in the fourth minute when Adam Nuttall sliced his shot wide after getting on the end of Baguley's low, drilled cross.
Silsden responded with a quick-fire raid that ended with Chris Wademan blazing over from 10 yards when it looked easier to score.
A break from defence by Ash Reece saw him shoot just over but the hosts began to take charge and in the 16th minute took the lead.
From a deep corner the ball was nodded back across goal where Wademan atoned for his earlier miss with a fierce shot into the roof of the net.
Wademan almost grabbed a second shortly after but his stinging shot was tipped to safety by Heys ‘keeper Danny Taberner.
Taberner was fighting a rearguard action, however, as Heys lacked shape or a pattern to their play and they were continually overrun.
The slackness in Heys' play was illustrated in the 31st minute when the hosts increased their lead with a move that started on the edge of their own penalty area. Heys had a free kick blocked and two passes later Wademan was running clean through from halfway before to slotting past Taberner.
Two minute later Heys were undone again but this time with a goal of real quality.
Matthew Moses broke down the right wing and then whipped in a cross to the near post that was met by a super glancing header by Josh Eastwood that flew into the far corner.
Heys were looking at a heavy defeat but as the half closed they did appear to be finding some rhythm and it took a great save by Callum Jakovlevs to keep out a Nuttall shot.
On the stroke of half time Lee O’Brien headed wide from a corner to give the visitors some momentum to take into the second period.
On the hour Jakovlevs was again in action, pulling off a reflex save to deny O’Brien from six yards and the keeper thwarted Heys again in the 65th minute, tipping a stinging shot over from Baguley.
A stirring run from Lee Bruce saw him tee up Reece but his shot flashed wide of the post as Heys continued to press.
The influential Baguley finally found a way through on 80 minutes when his low driven free kick crept in at the foot of the post.
Three minutes from time the comeback was on as Baguley swung in a free kick and Wood headed home from close range.
A worrying injury to Taberner, who dropped to the ground after clearing his lines, brought about a delay and also enabled the hosts to draw breath.
Paul Tierney did manage to fashion one final chance for Heys, cutting into the box before pulling the ball back but Bruce’s shot was gathered at the foot of the post by Jakovlevs.
Heys entertain third-placed Charnock Richard on Saturday, kick off 3pm, while the reserves travel to Hollinwood.