Vase test a ‘free hit’ for Knaresborough

Knaresborough Town manager Paul Stansfield. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Knaresborough Town manager Paul Stansfield. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town boss Paul Stansfield says the pressure is off his players ahead of Saturday’s FA Vase trip to Jarrow Roofing.

The NCEL Division One leaders have made an unbeaten start to 2017/18, winning 10 out of 11 games as they look to mount a charge for promotion.

And although Stansfield is keen to see his side progress in the Vase, he is placing this weekend’s second qualifying round visit to the Northern League Division One outfit firmly in the welcome distraction category.

“It’s quite nice to have a bit of a break from the league, we can just go to Jarrow and enjoy it,” Stansfield said.

“Of course we want to win the game and go on a bit of a run in the competition, we want to win every game we play, but we’re the underdogs for once.

“We are looking forward to it. Churning out wins in the league and being top of the table brings its own pressure, because once you’re up there, you want to make sure you stay there.

“Jarrow are a good side. They play in a higher division than us and they have home advantage, so they’re favourites. This is a free hit for us.”

Town dropped points for the first time this season when they drew 0-0 at AFC Emley, but delighted boss Stansfield when they made an immediate return to winning ways, easing past Winterton Rangers in their most recent outing.

“A point at Emley is never a bad result. It’s a tough place to go and I think you’d usually take a draw there,” Stansfield added.

“That game brought our winning sequence to an end, so we just said to ourselves, ‘right, let’s go on another run’.

“We went to Winterton on Saturday and deservedly picked up another three points.

“We were very good. It’s a place where we got done 5-0 last season, so obviously to go there and win so comfortably is really pleasing.”