Knaresborough Town up to second after victory over Hall Road

Paul Beesley netted on his first start for Knaresborough Town, opening the scoring in Saturday's victory over Hall Road Rangers. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Paul Beesley netted on his first start for Knaresborough Town, opening the scoring in Saturday's victory over Hall Road Rangers. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town climbed to second place in the NCEL Premier Division standings courtesy of a 4-2 home triumph over Hall Road Rangers.

Both teams took a while to adjust to the strong winds at a blustery Manse Lane and Brad Walker had the first chance in the 11th minute but his shot was blocked for a corner.

Boro did however take the lead just three minutes later when a powerful strike from just outside the box from recent signing Paul Beesley left the visiting goalkeeper with no chance.

Hall Road pressed for an equaliser and home skipper Will Lenehan had to be alert when a visiting attacker looked to be in on goal, while a wind-assisted free-kick midway through the first half only just cleared the town cross-bar.

Paul Stansfield's men responded well, though, Rob Youhill firing just wide after a great run and Lenehan off target with a header from a corner on the half-hour-mark.

Hall Road were nearly back on terms when a mix-up at the back gave their striker an opening, but Gregg Anderson managed to clear and this intervention was to prove crucial as the hosts doubled their lead just moments later.

There were 41 minutes on the clock when Walker finished well when one-on-one with the visiting custodian after the ball had been flicked into his path.

Lenehan was just wide with a snap-shot early in the second period and the Hall Road keeper was then off his line quickly to save bravely at the feet of Beesley.

The visitors continued to cause Boro some problems at the other end and pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute, Josh Vickers' well-struck effort from distance flying into the net.

Stansfield's charges soon restored their two-goal advantage, however, Ben Cohen getting the slightest of touches to finish off a Youhill cross-shot six minutes later.

Home substitute Nick Black then went close with a volley that was just too high, though with the game seemingly over, there was still time for some late drama.

First, Hall Road's Dan Nichols bundled in his side's second of the afternoon after 89 minutes to set up a grandstand finish.

And another goal was forthcoming, but it was Boro who wrapped up the points rather than Rangers stealing one at the death.

In the fifth minute of stoppage-time, Youhill was brought down when rounding the goalkeeper and Ben Parkes calmly slotted home the resulting penalty to seal a 4-2 success.