Knaresboro’ go 17 points clear following victory over Retford

Brad Walker, scorer of Boro's first goal, in action versus Retford United. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Brad Walker, scorer of Boro's first goal, in action versus Retford United. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town banked another three points in their quest for the NCEL Division One championship when they defeated Retford United 4-0 at Manse Lane.

Saturday’s success leaves the runaway leaders 17 points clear of their nearest rivals, Eccleshill United, and although Boro have played two more games, with just seven fixtures remaining, the title is theirs to lose.

Steve Bromley broke clear early in Saturday’s clash, only for visiting goalkeeper James Gamble to save his shot.

It was not long before the opener did arrive, however, Will Lenehan heading on and Brad Walker volleying past Gamble in the fifth minute.

Rock-bottom Retford gathered themselves and battled hard to stay in the game and it was the 32nd minute before the second goal arrived.

Lenehan again headed on a Rob Youhill corner, but his effort was blocked on the line. Matt Donnelly was however in the right place at the right time to net his first goal of the season.

Youhill then saw a shot saved before Retford came close to pulling a goal back when, in first-half added-time, Kyle Sampor found himself clear after a fine move, only for Boro’s Tom Young to dive and push his shot around an upright.

Pau Stansfield’s team began the second period with more determination and, within seconds, Bromley just managed to reach Youhill’s cross from the right and head into the net via the back post.

That goal settled the hosts and, though clear-cut chances were few and far between - Lenehan heading over from a corner and Dan Clayton having a free-kick saved - they enjoyed long periods of possession.

The fourth and final goal arrived in the 84th minute after both Lenehan and Walker had headers blocked and the ball broke to substitute Sam Cook who knocked home.

A late Dan Thirkell free-kick then flew narrowly wide as Knaresborough made their way to a 28th win in 35 leagu games in front of a large crowd of 221.