Knaresboro’ frustrated by basement boys

Colin Heath, score of Knaresborough Town's first goal, challenges a Nostell man for a high ball. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Colin Heath, score of Knaresborough Town's first goal, challenges a Nostell man for a high ball. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

An 89th-minute strike cost Knaresborough Town two points when they were held to a 2-2 draw by NCEL Division One’s bottom side, Nostell Miners Welfare.

It was the seventh time this season that Paul Stansfield’s men have shared four goals in a game, as their play-off hopes suffered another blow against a team whom they would have expected to beat.

Ben Cohen’s early effort was beaten away by Max Dearnley in the home goal and Jonty Maullin was then unable to control an overhead effort from the rebound as the ball flew wide.

Dearnley saved a second shot from Cohen and Seb Carole was off-target after Colin Heath headed back across goal.

Carole then had a shot from distance saved before play switched to the other end and Gary Hibbert headed Nostell’s first chance of the day over the crossbar.

Heath was the next to head over the top after Cohen helped Dom Wilson’s centre back across to the Town number nine, who then had a second effort saved, also from a Cohen centre.

Matthew Thompson fired a shot too high for Nostell before Maullin’s strike was kept out by Dearnley’s leg and Dan McDaid’s follow-up was deflected wide.

Knaresborough went ahead in the 34th minute thanks to Wilson, who chased a pass down the left and blocked Dearnley’s clearance, the ball falling for Heath to side-foot into an empty goal.

Possession was then surrendered along the Nostell left wing and Twadzwa Mumbanya crossed for Scott Smith to hammer home an equaliser within a minute of the Town opener, a blow from which the visitors took time to recover.

Maullin had the only additional chance of the opening period when he ran forward and saw his shot pushed wide by Dearnley.

Heath was wide early in the second half when Sam Cook headed back a McDaid free-kick, before Heath had a strike ruled out for handling the ball.

A sequence of hits were all too weak to beat either goalkeeper, though Jack Rushworth made his best save of the match when he kept out a Connor Presley effort.

Brad Walker, who had joined the game as substitute just after the hour-mark, saw a double effort blocked as he added pace to the attack and the second goal arrived soon afterwards in the 78th minute.

A McDaid corner was again headed back by Cook and Simon Parkes scored from close range at the second attempt to register his first goal for the club.

Four minutes later, Carole’s sweetly-struck freekick rebounded off the top of the crossbar, but as has become the norm in recent weeks, Knaresborough began to look nervous as Nostell pressed in the closing stages.

With time running out, a free-kick was played out to the right and Christian Soda’s cross beat McDaid, but was cleared by Ben Parkes.

Luck favoured the home side, however, as the ball struck the prone McDaid and rebounded straight to Presley, who finished just inside the near post in the 90th minute to earn his side a point.

The two points surrendered keep Stansfield’s troops in eighth position in the league standings, while a win would have seen them climb one place to seventh.