Brian Davey - Missing players cost Knaresborough

hsb  Knaresborough Town v Pontefract Collieries.  Number 9. (130316M5c)
hsb Knaresborough Town v Pontefract Collieries. Number 9. (130316M5c)

Knaresborough Town manager Brian Davey blamed player absences for his side slipping to a second defeat in three on Saturday.

Boro’ fell to a late 1-0 reverse away at Louth Town but they remain fourth in NCEL Division One.

Davey’s men were in action against Albion Sports last night after the Post went to press.

Boro’ host promotion rivals Shirebrook Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) before travelling to Dinnington Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Craig Heard, Liam Gray (both suspended), Ashley Atkinson (hamstring), Tom Clare (knee), Carl Heard (sick) and Joel Freeston (work) were all unavailable for Louth.

Chances were few and far between throughout the contest and Boro ‘keeper Jack Rushworth looked relatively untroubled. Striker Steve Bromley had Boro’s best chances to open the scoring in the first half, but his volley was saved before another effort deflected wide. Bromley continued to probe after the restart but his header was saved before Matt Donnelly’s attempt was stopped by the Louth ‘keeper.

But Louth eventually broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute when player-manager Daryl Clare nodded in a corner from close-range.

Davey said: “I could see it coming. To let the goal in with their only real effort was disappointing.

“Their ‘keeper made three good saves but we didn’t look like we would score. It was unfortunate because we lost a couple on the day and we were scratching around for players before the early set-off time.

“With six first teamers away, we did as well as we could.”

Davey had brought reserve player Blaine Hobson into his squad for the clash and said his performance was worthy of another start this week.

“He was our best player and I want to reward him for coming a long way for us,” the gaffer said.

Craig and Carl Heard should return to the squad for Saturday but Gray remains suspended and Freeston is out.

Davey said he still wants to see his side pushing.

“I don’t want the season to fizzle out,” he said.

“With Shirebrook, we are both fighting for that spot near the top but every game is hard now. We have to put out the best squad we that we can and do our best.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Knaresborough Reserves overcame a strong Howden Clough side 3-0 at Manse Lane.

James Purkis struck twice either side of half-time before Craig Robinson added a third on the 74th minute to seal the three points.