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Boro’s title celebrations on hold after draw at Glasshoughton

Brad Walker on the run during Boro's draw at Glasshoughton. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Brad Walker on the run during Boro's draw at Glasshoughton. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town missed the chance to wrap up the NCEL Division One title when they drew 2-2 at Glasshoughton Welfare on Saturday.

Victory would have confirmed Paul Stansfield’s runaway leaders as champions, but the result leaves them needing just a solitary point from their remaining five fixtures to seal top spot.

With their two first-choice goalkeepers unavailable, Boro were forced to field striker Colin Heath in goal and he was called into action early on, tipping a James Key free-kick around the post.

Play-off chasing Glasshoughton did however move ahead in the 27th minute when a shot from Conor Glavin appeared to be heading straight towards Heath on the right side of the goal, only to hit Andrew Horbury and deflect into the opposite corner, leaving the stand-in custodain with no chance.

Boro initially struggled to settle on an uneven playing surface, but managed draw level in the 38th minute after Will Lenehan was adjudged to have been pulled down in the area.

Dan Thirkell took the resulting penalty, but Matt Zaniewski dived low to his left to save the strike, however Thirkell was able guide home the rebound and send the sides in all-square at the break.

Lenehan saw a header saved early in the second period when he glanced on Thirkell’s long throw-in, but he had to wait only a short time to get his name on the score-sheet as he rose to head home Dan Clayton’s corner from the right wing in the 62nd minute.

The game then became very fragmented and Glasshoughton became increasingly frustrated by some of the referee’s decisions before Heath was forced to save a shot from Robert Marsh.

The home side did however equalise in the 82nd minute, Glavin converting a penalty after Steve Bromley fouled Horbury when trying to clear from wide in the area.

Heath was called into action twice more in the closing stages as he kept out a close-range effort from March and another Glavin strike and the points were shared.

Boro can secure the championship when they travel to FC Bolsover on Wednesday evening, but if second-placed Eccleshill United fail to take maxumim points from Monday’s visit to Campion, that will hand Stansfield’s side the title without them having to kick a ball.