Knaresborough Town bounce back from FA Vase exit with statement win over 'title favourites' Bridlington Town

Paul Stansfield was delighted to see his Knaresborough Town team begin their 2020/21 NCEL Premier Division campaign with a statement victory over Bridlington Town.

Dan Thirkell scored from the penalty spot to decide Knaresborough Town's NCEL Premier Division clash with Bridlington Town. Picture: Gerard Binks
Dan Thirkell scored from the penalty spot to decide Knaresborough Town's NCEL Premier Division clash with Bridlington Town. Picture: Gerard Binks

Boro beat a strong Seasiders side - who are among the favourites for the title this term - 2-1 at Manse Lane on Tuesday evening thanks to goals from Jack Carr and Dan Thirkell.

What was all the more pleasing for Stansfield was the reaction he got from his players following the disappointment of Saturday's FA Vase exit at the hands of AFC Blackpool.

"This is a really good result. We played very well against one of the title favourites," he said.

Boro boss Paul Stansfield. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

"While you couldn't say it was a really convincing victory, we were certainly the better team on the night and I think that bodes well for the season because Brid will be up there.

"We pressed them high up the pitch and defended our box properly as well as passing the ball well when we had it. The lads looked sharp.

"It was the reaction we wanted from Saturday where to say we had an off-day would be an understatement. We turned up and just thought we'd be okay because we were playing a team from the division below, but football doesn't work like that.

"We sat down and had a discussion about that, and we've got the response that I expected. I'm pleased with the lads."

Carr pounced on a loose Bridlington clearance to lob the visiting goalkeeper and give Boro the lead on 27 minutes of Tuesday's contest, though the Seasiders levelled early in the second half through Billy Logan's header.

Stansfield's men weren't to be denied, however, and when Brad Walker was pulled back inside the away box, Thirkell stepped up to convert the resulting 70th-minute spot-kick to decide matters.

Next up for Town is a trip to Hemsworth Miners Welfare on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.