Knaresborough Town head into a busy Bank Holiday weekend programme with boss Brian Davey hoping several players can make it back from injury.
Their lengthy casualty list came back to haunt them on Saturday, in the 2-2 draw at home to Cleethorpes Town in the NCEL First Division.
Two goals by Steve Bromley ensured a point for the Manse Lane men, who now occupy 12th place in the NCEL First Division.
Next up are Hemsworth Miners Welfare away on Saturday, before Bank Holiday Monday’s hosting of Pontefract Collieries.
Davey is hoping for a swift return to fitness for some of his troops.
“We’ve bad having some really bad luck with injuries, which doesn’t help so early in the season,” he said.
“We’re actually missing three centre-halves, our ‘keeper Tom Ryder may have broken his thumb on Saturday, and then one of our centre halves, Tom Clare came off with concussion on Saturday so we are really struggling.
“We played centre half Colin Heath with Radcliffe who’s a left back.
“Hopefully we should have people back this weekend.
“Matty Duerden, who was injured on Saturday, is due back, and Dave Thomas is back off his honeymoon so we should have a stronger side out.
“Up to now we’ve having to swap things round but it should be okay from now on.”
Davey is confident that given a stronger squad, Knaresborough should be able to pluck points from their weekend exploits.
“We did really well against Hemsworth last year, and they’re a decent side,” he said.
“Pontefract Collieries are always hard to play against.
“We drew there and beat them at home but it will be tough.”
For the third match in a row on Saturday, Knaresborough Town conceded in the first ten minutes of a match, but recovered to earn a point from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Cleethorpes Town.
Tom Ryder saved a weak early effort from Marc Cooper before being beaten when Luke Mascall was given too much space in the 10th minute and fired home. Another defensive mistake allowed Nathan Emson room, but he fired wide with only Ryder to beat.
Knaresborough’s only real chance of the half arrived in the 14th minute when Blaine Hobson fired against the crossbar from Craig Heard’s centre, but the visitors remained in the lead as they managed to hold on to the ball for longer periods.
In the second half, Ryder saved well from Brody Robertson and Emson, the second a superb tip over to help retain the lead.
Three substitutes were introduced and Knaresborough’s fortunes turned quickly as Jim Bradley’s cross was fired towards goal by Craig Heard. The shot was parried by Miles Fenty and substitute, Steve Bromley, fired in his first of the season in the 68th minute.
Colin Heath shot wide and then headed over as ‘Boro’ pressed harder, but Ryder had to save again from Town’s Ricky Belding despite picking up a thumb injury.
Bromley shot wide again before making it 2-1 when he headed home Craig Heard’s 83rd minute cross to give the home side the lead for the first time.
Within three minutes the visitors were level when Heath’s challenge was penalised and Tim Lowe fired in the penalty just as he did in the last minute last November when the same 2-2 scoreline failed to separate the sides.
Meanwhile, Knaresborough Town Reserves won their opening match of the season in Division One in the West Yorkshire League, beating Old Centralians 3-1.
Matthew Ireland put the home side ahead in the 7th minute but a fine solo effort from Fraser Lancaster put Knaresborough level after 22 minutes. Lancaster made it 2-1 t after half time and Edmore Murau marked his debut with the clincher 16 minutes from time to seal a fine victory.