NCEL: Knaresborough Town boss insists there is ‘no need to panic’

Leigh Herrick makes a fine fingertip save to keep out a Knaresborough Town shot.
Leigh Herrick makes a fine fingertip save to keep out a Knaresborough Town shot.

Knaresborough Town boss Paul Stansfield was left disappointed but not concerned after Tuesday night’s defeat, stating it was a game of “fine margins.”

Wayne Graves’ hat-trick did the damage for the fourth-placed visitors as Knaresborough dropped to tenth in the Northern Counties East League Division One.

Paul Stansfield was left aggrieved after the defeat saying, “it was hard to see how the game ended 4-0.”

He added: “There wasn’t much between the teams and although they scored four goals our keeper hasn’t really had a save to make whereas their keeper has made a few.”

Town had the first big chance as Gary Collier cut in and bent a right footed shot into the far corner only for keeper Leigh Herrick to tip it wide.

Bottesford drew first blood in the 17th minute with a shot deflecting off Graves and leaving Jack Rushworth with no chance.

And the visitors’ second goal came 13 minutes before the break, Graves drilling a shot low into the far corner after another deflection.

In the second half Graham Whitehead drew a good save from Herrick and the resulting corner saw a header put wide from three yards.

Stansfield said: “If we score that chance we have all the momentum but they were clever and slowed the game down, something the ref allowed them to do.”

Good footwork from Danny Gibbons in the 86th minute saw him work a yard of space to cross for Graves to cap off his hat-trick.

A great challenge by Oli Donald to halt Freeston’s run outside the Bottesford box allowed for a long ball up-field that found Craig Bridge outside the opposing box.

With Town throwing men forward in search of a consolation, Bridge sealed the game in stoppage time with plenty of time and space to pick his spot and score the fourth.

This proved the nail in the coffin for Town and consigned them to their first loss in the league since early September.

The result leaves Boro in tenth place on 27 points.

“If you had offered us to be in this position two months ago I would have bitten your hand off,” Stansfield added.

“They are a good side and were better on the night but even some of their players told our lads after the game it wasn’t a four nil match.

“We’re not panicking with the loss just as we wouldn’t get carried away with a win so it’s simply a matter of reacting positively on the weekend.”

“We are disappointed with the result but the lads know the scoreline flattered them slightly.”

Knaresborough travel to struggling Worsbrough Bridge Athletic this weekend, a side who sit 19th without a home win this season.

Town will be looking to continue their six-match unbeaten run away from home to put their play-off challenge back on track.