Knaresboro’ sunk by quick-fire double

Ben Cohen in action for Knaresborough Town during Saturday's defeat at AFC Emley. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Ben Cohen in action for Knaresborough Town during Saturday's defeat at AFC Emley. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town lost out 2-0 at NCEL Divisin One title-chasers AFC Emley, conceding two almost identical goals in six first-half minutes.

Paul Stansfield’s men went into the game within touching distance of a play-off spot, but a second consecutive defeat leaves them six points behind sixth-placed Hallam.

By contrast, Emley had won their last four league fixtures and the home side’s confidence showed from the off as they started strongly.

Town goalkeeper Ben Ledger had to be alert to save from the NCEL’s top scorer, Ashley Flynn, who was given too much space as he broke clear of the last line of defence.

At the other end, a Colin Heath effort was saved by home custodian Graham McLachlan before Emley’s Callum Charlton’s speculative shot-cum-cross clipped the top of the crossbar.

A weak Brad Walker shot was also stopped by McLachlan before the hosts went ahead in the 29th minute.

A corner on the right was curled in and Tom Brennan rose unmarked to head home at the back post.

Six minutes later, the same player bundled in a second corner from the same side as he approached the danger area in the same fashion as before.

Flynn then saw a snap-shot fly wide just before the interval, when Knaresborough were glad to have the chanve to re-group in a bid to get themselves back in the contest.

Their first opportunity of the second period saw a Dom Wilson lob saved, while Flynn again shot wide of the target for Emley.

Ben Cohen then shot too high as Knaresborough took advantage of a strong wind before Heath’s shot was turned aside by McLachlan who was grateful to his defenders for clearing the ensuing cross as the Town striker followed up.

A number of cheap yellow cards littered the remainder of the game, but Tom Hesketh brought a fine save from McLachlan when he shot from some 40 yards out.

Despite needing two goals to save themselves, one Harry Brown effort aside, Knaresborough failed to create any real openings in the remaining minutes as Emley held out for the win.