Knaresborough Town make perfect start to life under new manager Simon Parkes

The first game of the Simon Parkes era could hardly have gone any better for Knaresborough Town.

By Rhys Howell
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 8:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 8:54 am
Knaresborough Town players celebrate after Sam Cook, left, headed them into a first-half lead during Saturday's 4-0 home win over Bottesford Town. Pictures: Gerard Binks
Knaresborough Town players celebrate after Sam Cook, left, headed them into a first-half lead during Saturday's 4-0 home win over Bottesford Town. Pictures: Gerard Binks

The former Boro player and assistant boss was appointed as the club's first-team manager on a permanent basis last week following a spell in caretaker charge.

Succeeding Rob Hunter in the role after his departure from Manse Lane by mutual consent in late March, Parkes oversaw a 4-0 home triumph over Bottesford on Saturday afternoon as Town wrapped up their 2021/22 campaign in style.

That win was Boro's second on the bounce and leaves them unbeaten in four matches under the guidance of the former Harrogate Railway defender and experienced striker Colin Heath, who has been confirmed as Parkes' number two.

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Joe Navier, left, netted a brace for Boro.

Brad Walker fired over early on, but Knaresborough took the lead in the 20th minute when Sam Cook headed home Tom Dugdale’s cross from the left flank.

The home advantage was doubled just past the half-hour-mark after Walker cut in from the left and delivered a low centre that was hammered in at the back post by Joe Navier, who registered his first goal for the club.

Boro goalkeeper Jamie Hassall was forced into a save by Bottesford's Ryan King just before the break, though the hosts went into the interval good value for their two-goal advantage.

Hassall was called into action again at the start of the second period, this time by Joe Simpson before Phil Milsom, searching for his maiden goal for Parkes' team, first saw a header saved well by Jordan Quibell and then fired narrowly wide.

Brad Walker takes aim at the Bottesford goal.

Navier would however go on to add his second and Boro's third on 87 minutes, placing an effort into the net from a loose ball.

A fine run by Declan Racher set up another chance for Milsom, whose shot was blocked, however the ball ran away for Sean Hunter to tap into a gaping goal, making it 4-0.

Saturday's victory was Town's 12th in 38 matches this term and means that they end the season on a tally of 40 points.

That total was sufficient to see the Manse Lane outfit finish 17th in the NCEL Premier Division standings, two positions and seven points above the relegation zone and one point behind 16th-placed AFC Mansfield.