Knaresborough close in on play-off places

Fraser Lancaster heads in Knaresborough Town's third goal in their win at Ollerton. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Fraser Lancaster heads in Knaresborough Town's third goal in their win at Ollerton. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town moved to within a point of the NCEL Division One play-off places courtesy of a 4-0 triumph at Ollerton Town.

The visit was the Manse Lane outfit’s first to Ollerton and the game was played in a strong wind on an unusually bouncy surface.

Paul Stansfield’s men got off to a great start when Brad Walker put them ahead with a neat finish on the left side of the penalty area in the 14th minute after Fraser Lancaster headed on Harry Brown’s knock forward.

Jim Bradley fired wide soon afterwards, but Ben Ledger then had to be alert at the other end to tip around the post after the ball struck Will Lenehan following a corner.

The half ended without any other real incident of note aside from a Walker effort that was deflected and then saved easily by Joe Parker in the home goal.

After the resumption, Sam Dockwray volleyed over for Ollerton, before Lancaster had a left-footed effort saved after Jonty Maullin’s run into the right side of the penalty area.

Walker turned well and fired a strike at goal to bring another fine stop from Parker before Knaresborough doubled their advantage in the 59th minute.

Seb Carole’s corner was only headed out as far as Jim Bradley who hit a crisp half-volley with his left foot into the top corner of the net to register his second goal of the season.

Four minutes later, goalkeeper Ledger turned provider when his long punt downfield was chased by Lancaster who watched the ball bounce once before heading over the advancing Parker to make it 3-0.

Knaresborough’s top scorer, Colin Heath, came on as substitute and was unlucky not to add to the score when he ran into the penalty area, but fired his shot against a post.

He did not have to wait long for his reward, however, as in the 88th minute he ran on to another long clearance from Ledger that bounced clear of the last line of defence before slotting past the on-rushing gloveman.

Ledger then ensured that he would finish the afternoon with a clean-sheet when he kept Dockwray’s late shot which picked up a deflection on its route towards goal.

Knaresborough remain seventh in the league standings, just one point behind sixth-placed Grimsby Borough and two shy of Hallam in fifth, but having played more games than both of their rivals.