Ammas deliver another blow to Knaresborough’s play-off hopes

Knaresborough Town's Ben Parkes looks for a way through the Yorkshire Amateur defence. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town's Ben Parkes looks for a way through the Yorkshire Amateur defence. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

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Boxing Day saw Knaresborough Town dealt another blow in their quest to return to the play-off positions in NCEL Division One as Yorkshire Amateur won 4-2 at Manse Lane.

With the advantage of a strong wind during the first half, Paul Stansfield’s men struggled to control their passing and, too often, over-hit their final ball.

This resulted in a number of goal-kicks which played into the hands of Amateur, who were not quick in returning the ball into play.

Town’s Colin Heath saw an early effort saved before Simon Parkes rushed his shot from a good position in the penalty area.

Ben Parkes then fired over from distance before the best chance of the opening period fell to Heath who closed in on a fine through-ball, only to pull his finish wide of the far post.

Following this profligacy, the inevitable then happened at the other end in the 45th minute when the Ammas won their first corner of the contest and Freddie Swales looped a header over Jack Rushworth to open the scoring.

Joel Hughes headed over a T’nique Fishley centre early in the second half before a second goal arrived in the 51st minute from the visitors’ second corner which saw a low ball turned home by ex-Knaresborough winger Carl Heard.

Town re-shuffled but still struggled to retain possession for significant periods in decent areas of the field and two long-range efforts from Heath were all they could muster as time ticked on.

With the clock reaching the 85th minute, a run from Ben Cohen set up Heath to side-foot into the net and encouraged the home contingent into believing that a point was still up for grabs.

However, within three minutes, a penalty had been conceded in the hosts’ box and Craig Maynard made it 3-1 from the spot to settle the match.

In the first minute of added time, Heard struck a high lob from some 40 yards out to make it 4-1, and while Heath hit his second some five minutes later, it was too little too late for Stansfield’s men.

Knaresborough remain eighth in the league standings following the defeat, six points shy of a play-off position, and having played a game more than most of the sides above them.