After two super performances against Shirebrook, Knaresborough Town came down to earth with a bump when being deservedly beaten at home to Bottesford Town who became the first side to do a league double over Knaresborough in the Northern Counties East League.
Bottesford began the stronger showing that their lofty third place in the league was not a faulty one. Knaresborough, on the other hand, began lethargically and were slower to almost every ball.
Not surprisingly, Weston Murau had to be alert to deny Danny Boulton early on and Terry Barwick a little later with a Chris McDonald effort flying over following a corner.
Knaresborough’s first shot on goal did not arrive until the 31st minute when Josh Garbutt’s shot was kept out by Leigh Herrick.
Jim Bradley’s pass then found Colin Heath but his shot was kept out by Herrick and the loose ball cleared from the line.
Heath then headed over from Graham Whitehead’s free kick and then Seb Carole had to head off his own line following another Bottesford corner.
He then repeated the clearance early in the second half and, after Barwick had shot over, Murau made a good save with his legs to keep out Boulton’s shot and a header flew over from the resulting corner.
A free kick led to the opening goal after 66 minutes as the ball was swung in, but after an aerial challenge came to nothing and the ball fell invitingly to Jack Start who knocked the ball home.
A great run by Whitehead set up Jim Bradley but, whilst his shot beat Herrick, a defender was on hand to clear the line and Bottesford then clinched the points in the 80th minute.
The home defence was split and a through ball found Nathan Smith who slammed into the far side of the net.
Murau denied Boulton again and the ball went to safety off a post and the kept out a late free kick from Barwick before the final chance saw Matt Duerden’s header fly wide for ‘Boro’.
Meanwhile Knaresborough reserves went down to their title rivals, Robin Hood Athletic by the only goal of a closely-fought contest in which ‘Boro’ believed that they just about deserved a point.
The crucial goal was rather a fluke as a long 50 yard punt downfield looked to be going over the head of goalkeeper, Ben Faulkner, but he managed to tip on to the crossbar only to see the ball fall fortunately to the feet of an onrushing forward.
On Saturday, Knaresborough make the long trip to Cleethorpes Town, another club seeking promotion from the division (Kick off 3.00 p.m.). The reserves take on Premier Division, Shelley, in the third round of the West Yorkshire League Challenge Cup at Manse Lane (Kick off 2.30 p.m.).