Atkinson strike keeps Knaresboro’ in touch with play-offs

Knaresborough Town's match-winner Paul Atkinson, centre, is congratulated after scoring at Glasshoughton. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Knaresborough Town's match-winner Paul Atkinson, centre, is congratulated after scoring at Glasshoughton. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

A solitary strike from Paul Atkinson proved enough to earn Knaresborough Town all three points on the road at Glasshoughton Welfare.

Paul Stansfield’s side’s 1-0 success keeps them within touching distance of the the NCEL Division One play-off positions, just a point shy of sixth-placed Hallam.

Glasshoughton began Saturday’s contest strongly and almost caught Knaresborough cold, goalkeeper Jack Rushworth twice forced to save from Andrew Horbury inside the opening 10 minutes.

Brad Walker then had a shot saved by Welfare gloveman Jordan Bradshaw and the follow up deflected wide and, soon afterwards, the same player ran on to Fraser Lancaster’s header, only to see his next strike also deflected past a post.

Dom Wilson had a stabbed effort saved by Bradshaw as Town began to wrest control from the home team and he also hit a shot wide of the far post following a corner.

A spate of cautions broke up most of the remainder of the half before Welfare’s Ryan Poskitt saw a strike deflected off-target and Adam Walsh headed over.

In the 52nd minute, Horbury was sent off for a second yellow card, but it took until the 75th minute for a real opening to develop for the men from Manse Lane.

Harry Brown, recently on as substitute, beat the offside trap and rounded Bradshaw, but in rushing his shot pulled it wide of the post to the anguish of the Knaresborough following.

They weren’t anguished for long, however, as just sixty seconds later Walker beat two men on the right wing and centred for Atkinson to head home the only goal of the game.

More cautions followed and Ashley Scothern also saw red for his second bookable office, leaving the home side to face added time with only nine men as Town took the spoils.