Knaresborough extend perfect start with Swallownest success

Steve Bromley came off the substitutes' bench to fire Knaresborough Town to victory at Swallownest. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Steve Bromley came off the substitutes' bench to fire Knaresborough Town to victory at Swallownest. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

NCEL Division One leaders Knaresborough Town made it eight wins from eight games when they came from behind to beat Swallownest on Saturday.

Paul Stansfield’s men, who are four points clear of their nearest rivals Yorkshire Amateur in the league standings, were forced to work extremely hard for the victory and needed a late strike from substitute Steve Bromley to seal a 2-1 success.

Town’s Blaine Hobson shot wide and Ben Parkes headed over the bar early on, but Swallownest looked strong and took the lead in the 18th minute.

Ashley Burbeary was allowed to cut in from the left side and evaded a number of weak tackles before firing a low effort into the net.

This was the first time Knaresborough had been behind in 2017/18 and the whole team appeared visibly shaken by conceding and were unable to produce any sustained dominance.

Jordan Stocks fired over for the home side after the ball was headed down from a corner and Town stopper Jack Rushworth was to save from Lloyd Gelsthorpe.

The visiting management team read the riot act to their players at the interval, but it was some time before the desired changes in their level of performance began to show.

Harry Brown was wide soon after half-time, but at the other end, Alex Nightingale found space in front of goal, only to be denied by a fine save from Rushworth.

Brad Walker fired off-target from a Tom Hesketh pass and then both Colin Heath and Harry Brown saw efforts scrambled away.

Substitute Bromley then looked to have won a penalty, but a free-kick was instead awarded on the edge of the penalty area only for Hesketh to shoot over the top from the set-piece.

The pressure was maintained and just two minutes later Ben Parkes was wrestled to the ground inside the box and Hesketh fired home a 78th-minute penalty to level the score.

Swallownest were clearly rattled by the goal and after Greg Kidd had headed over from a free-kick, home defender Daniel White was sent off for striking out at Heath.

Sixty seconds later, Hesketh’s free-kick from the left was headed on by Heath and Bromley dived in to head home at the far post, registering his first goal since returning to Manse Lane.

The delight and relief were felt in equal measures by Knaresborough, but home frustrations only increased when Mitch Ward was dismissed following an incident which left Ben Cohen on the ground before the final whistle sounded.