NCEL: George Eustance fires Knaresborough Town to cup final

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Young forward George Eustance enjoyed a dream week after shooting Knaresborough Town into a historic cup final at Bradford City’s Valley Parade.

Eustance’s sixth minute strike stunned Premier outfit Long Eaton United last Wednesday to put Boro into their first ever NCEL League Cup final.

The striker then scored twice and grabbed the man of the match award as Boro eased past Dronfield Town 4-1 at Manse Lane on Saturday.

The “comfortable” victory left Town well in the hunt for fifth place in Division One, sitting three points behind Shirebrook Town in tenth with a game to spare.

That game is at second-placed Shaw Lane Aquaforce and Craig Elliott’s outfit can seal promotion with victory over Boro tonight.

Brian Davey’s Reds will then complete their league season away to Dinnington Town on Saturday before the cup final the week after.

Town will battle Division One rivals Eccleshill United to engrave their names on the trophy. The match will take place at Valley Parade, now known as the Coral Windows Stadium, on Saturday, May 3.

Eustance scored again in the sixth minute to open the scoring against Dronfield on Saturday, before an own goal on the half-hour put Boro two to the good.

The 19-year-old grabbed his second minutes after the break before Edmore Marau capped the victory off on 87 minutes, four minutes after Dronfield pulled one back through Lewis Naylor.

“The game was never in doubt. It was comfortable,” said spokesman Ian Pickles.

“George is only a young lad but he has a lot of confidence.

“He won man of the match as he was a threat throughout.”

Saturday’s victory continued Boro’s remarkable string of results since the back end of February.

Davey’s men have won 12 of their last 13 matches in all competitions, with their only slip-up against AFC Emley on April 12. However, Pickles said it was disappointing not to have clawed above more teams in the top half.

Should Boro beat Shaw Lane tonight, they would move up to sixth.

“All we have done is pull away from the teams in the bottom half,” added Pickles.

“It’s been another successful season. The league is split between the top ten and the rest. You could swap that top ten with the bottom of the Premier and each one would hold their own in that division.

“A top ten finish is no disgrace but it is so close, one point can make a difference between sixth and tenth.

“Had it not been for two bad runs in September and January, it could have been different.

“Those runs cost us in terms of league position.”