Knaresborough Town boss happy with club's debut season in NCEL Premier Division

Conor Donoghue is congratulated after scoring the only goal against Liversedge as Knaresborough Town signed off for 2018/19 with a victory. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Conor Donoghue is congratulated after scoring the only goal against Liversedge as Knaresborough Town signed off for 2018/19 with a victory. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town manager Paul Stansfield declared himself happy with his team’s overall performance after their first-ever NCEL Premier Division campaign drew to a close.

The men from Manse Lane signed off with a 1-0 victory over Liversedge on Saturday and ended the season in ninth position having been promoted from Division One as champions at the end of 2017/18.

“I’m happy with how it’s gone. If you’d have offered me a top-10 finish and a run in the FA Cup at the start of the season, I’d have snapped your hand off,” Stansfield said.

“I think that where we’ve ended up in the table is about right. With the momentum from last season and the really good start we had I think a few people thought that we might go on and challenge for promotion again, but this is a very tough division.

“We’ve been guilty of being a bit naive but we’ll learn. We won the fair play leaue, which I’m proud of, however we need to be a bit more street-wise.

“We ended up drawing four games that we were ahead in going into the last minute. That’s eight additional points we should have had straight away.

“I’m sure that the lads have learned a lot, I know I have, and we’ll look to continue to progress next season.”

The decisive moment in Saturday’s clash at Liversedge arrived as early as the fourth minute, though Boro had plenty of opportunities to add to their tally and make life more comfortable.

The visitors went ahead following their first attack when Steve Bromley laid the ball back to Conor Donoghue who fired home a low strike to register his first goal since October 1, 2016.

Three minutes later, Bromley broke free, but pulled his shot wide of goal before Brad Walker was also off-target.

Boro keeper Sam Lee saved well from Alfie Raw at the other end, before another Walker effort late in the half was deflected wide by a defender’s lunge.

Liversedge threatened more at the start of the second period until Ben Cohen forced a stop out of Edward Wilzinski.

A firm shot from Rob Worrall was then saved by the home custodian, as was a weak header by Will Lenehan, and although a second Boro goal did not materialise, they had already done enough.