Flailing Knaresborough Town lack squad depth

Paul Stansfield

Paul Stansfield

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Knaresborough Town are three players short of an ideal-sized squad, according to club spokesman Ian Pickles.

Knaresborough have endured a difficult spell in NCEL Division One since the turn of the year and Brian Davey’s men have dropped to tenth.

Boro’s luckless league run extended on Saturday when they were held to a goalless draw against Eccleshill United at Manse Lane.

However, Boro earned light relief on Tuesday night when they knocked former Evo-Stik outfit Garfoth Town out of the League Cup.

Borrowed Bardsey striker Steve Palfrey opened the scoring on four minutes before Dave Thomas sealed the win with a second-half spot-kick.

Saturday’s draw meant Town have won just once in the league since December 14.

Player exits have hit Boro throughout the season, with Ben Clayton the last player to leave, and the first-team squad has shrunk to 15.

However, boss Davey has strengthened his ranks with the signature of Winterton Rangers midfielder Fabio Snow and Harrogate Town youngster Luke Gregg from Maltby Main.

Pickles said: “Brian made a comment last month that he wanted new players.

“His ambition is for new players to make the squad better. We have lost players and we need to replace those.

“We have 15 players in our first team squad and we need 18 to 20.”

New Ossett Town manager John Reed, formerly of Harrogate Town, was seen scouting Knaresborough at Manse Lane on Saturday.

But Pickles insisted no ‘seven-day’ approaches have been made by the cash-strapped Evo-Stik First Division North club.

Pickles added: “All of our players attract interest because all of our players can play at a higher standard.

“But we want them to play at a higher level with Knaresborough.”

Without a match this Saturday, Town are scheduled to face big spenders Shaw Lane Aquaforce away on Tuesday.

Assistant boss Paul Stansfield has returned from a two-match suspension.

Pickles added: “It’s going to be a tough game.

“They have made it a point all season that they have ambition to move on. They have no intention of sticking around in this league.”

Boro want the match be moved to Wednesday or Thursday as it clashes with Town reserves’ Hulme Cup final against Boroughbridge ‘A’.

Pickles said it would be unfair to forbid reserve players a chance to play in the final.

He said: “The case in point is Fraser Lancaster.

“He has played in all the reserves’ games in the run to that final, but it is also looking like he’s going to be playing a big part in the first team.

“You can’t deny him a place in a cup final.”

Boro’s table topping reserves host rivals Robin Hood Athletic in the West Yorkshire League Cup on Saturday.