Boro sink Selby in festive derby
NCEL Division One leaders Knaresborough Town returned to action after a three-week lay-off, edging out derby rivals Selby Town at Manse Lane.
Victory sees Paul Stansfield’s men extend their lead at the top of the table to three points, while they also boast a game in hand over their nearest challengers, Grimsby Borough.
Boro frontman Steve Bromley fired a close-range effort against the crossbar early on after a Ben Cohen cross from the right, however Selby were soon pressing and Liam Flanagan shot over when well placed.
Ben Parkes curled a strike narrowly wide of the post but again the visitors reacted as Flanagan headed over from Joe Dale’s left-wing centre.
Cohen then turned provider as the hosts took the lead, his centre from the right side met with a header from Bromley and the ball looped under the bar and out of gloveman Paul Hagreen’s reach in the 28th minute.
A fine cross-field move then set up Selby’s equaliser as Dale was left in space to fire past Jack Rushworth in the 32nd minute.
Will Lenehan headed narrowly wide after Gregg Anderson nodded on a corner from the right side and Brad Walker then brought a diving save from Hagreen.
In the final moments of the half, Lenehan was in action at the other end of the field as he slid across his own goal-line to clear Flanagan’s goal-bound shot after Rushworth had been beaten.
Knaresborough went ahead again six minutes after the break when a trip on Ben Cohen resulted in a penalty and Dan Thirkell converted the 51st-minute spot-kick.
Thirkell shot wide soon afterwards from a Cohen free-kick but as Selby again tried to get back in the game, Reece Lucas headed over Rushworth’s bar when the ball was only partially cleared.
At the other end, Boro came again and Walker saw a weak effort saved by Hagreen before Cohen curled a fine shot narrowly over the bar and Bromley also forced the visiting custodian into action.
Selby pushed hard for an equaliser, but Rushworth caught a Flanagan header and watched a Charlie Clamp shot fly over the top as Knaresborough held on for the spoils.
On Saturday, the sides meet again as Stansfield takes his charges to the Fairfix Plant Hire Stadium, 3pm kick-off.