Knaresborough edged out at Eccleshill

Simon Parkes wins a header during Knaresborough Town's defeat at Eccleshill United. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Simon Parkes wins a header during Knaresborough Town's defeat at Eccleshill United. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

A depleted Knaresborough Town suffered just their second league defeat of the campaign as they went down to the only goal at Eccleshill United on Saturday.

Paul Stansfield’s side went into the game second in the NCEL Division One standings, but missing a number of players due to a string of injuries and unavailability.

In spite of this, Knaresborough began the game strongly and Tom Hesketh fired over the top early on before Brad Walker turned well to shoot against the top of the crossbar.

The home side gradually got back into the game and after Andy Cooper fired wide, Town gloveman Jack Rushworth had to make an excellent save at the feet of Luke Harrop.

Some loose play from the visitors allowed Alex Cusack the chance to fire wide, before Harrop did the same, but then at the other end, Jonty Maullin had a shot saved following Hesketh’s pass.

Rushworth again made an excellent save to push a Marcus Edwards effort on to the upright, and when the ball was cleared it found its way upfield where Town’s Walker shot into the side-netting.

Early in the second period, Rushworth again denied Edwards while at the other end of the pitch, Sam Cook’s header was saved by Joe Stead in the home goal.

A string of cautions then upset the rhythm of the game before Rushworth saved a free-kick from Kyle Shah.

The home side then grabbed the match’s crucial goal in the 74th minute when Edwards fed the ball inside from the left and Harrop fired a low shot into the back of the net.

Knaresborough pushed for an equaliser, Seb Carole nodding over from Walker’s centre and a late Maullin shot was saved, but the home side held on to their advantage to take the spoils.