Knaresborough Town returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 victory over lowly Westella & Willerby at Manse Lane, on Saturday.
Paul Stansfield’s troops bounced back from last weekend’s defeat to play-off rivals Hallam, closing the gap between themselves and NCEL Division One’s top six to just four points in the process.
Knaresborough began strongly and Fraser Lancaster had a shot saved early on before Will Lenehan saw his header kept out by Lewis Exall in the visitors’ goal. Harry Brown’s strike from distance was then saved before he gave Town a 23rd-minute lead when he ran on to Lancaster’s headed pass to slot past Exall.
Seb Carole, on his return to the side, fired over after Lancaster’s lay-off, and Lancaster himself then had a shot deflected wide.
Lancaster saw an effort ruled out for offside and then had another attempt stopped by Exall with a Brad Walker chance flying over the crossbar inbetween.
Knaresborough followers were left frustrated at half-time as their team held just a single-goal advantage depsite them playing with a strong wind at their backs during the first period, but those concerns were dispelled within 30 seconds of the re-start.
Carole’s corner from the left was nodded on by Jonty Maullin for Sam Cook to make the score 2-0 with a powerful header.
Exall then made a superb stop to deny Lancaster following Walker’s centre from the right, and Walker himself was denied by another good save as he broke on to a through ball.
A third goal arrived in the 84th minute when Walker fed Brown who ran through and selflessly passed to Colin Heath to allow the striker to slam in from close range.
Late on, Brown justified his man of the match award when he saw another strike saved before the final chance of the game landed to Heath, but his shot was narrowly off-target.