Late goals help Knaresborough win thriller

Seb Carole scored two goals, including a last-minute winner, as Knaresborough Town beat Hallam 4-3
Seb Carole scored two goals, including a last-minute winner, as Knaresborough Town beat Hallam 4-3

A dramatic late comeback helped Knaresborough Town to their first victory in five games, a 4-3 home success over Hallam in NCEL Division One.

Anything other than a defeat looked unlikely as the game entered added time with the hosts trailing 3-2, but Paul Stansfield’s men struck twice in quick succession to snatch the points.

Colin Heath gave Town the perfect start at Manse Lane when he turned in the penalty area and shot into the corner of the goal with just three minutes on the clock.

Inside two minutes, high-flying Hallam levelled when a centre from Jack Hargreaves, who had already fired wide, found the head of Jed Phillips for 1-1.

Knaresborough were shaken, but continued to press and were launched into another attack by a long clearance from Jack Rushworth.

The keeper’s punt was controlled well by Seb Carole, and despite having two defenders in close attendance, he turned and fired a superb shot into the net, leaving visiting stopper Dave Darwent with no chance.

Matt Donnelly then had a shot saved after Will Lenehan headed back across goal from a Tom Hesketh free-kick, and Brad Walker shot over soon afterwards.

Hallam were forced into a res-huffle when gloveman Darwent picked up an injury and became the third player to be substited in a match which was only 24 minutes old.

Soon after half-time, Rushworth saved well from Phillips, but was beaten in the 51st minute when Connor Chapell fired home a low shot after a tidy Hallam move along the left side of the field.

Walker had a great chance to restore Knaresborough’s lead, but his lob from a tight angle flew wide of the far post following another Rushworth clearance.

Rushworth then made a fine save to deny the visitors in the 63rd minute, but the loose ball fell to Christian Savage who fired home for 3-2.

Knaresborough made changes, but failed to retain possession for long periods and Hallam’s Micah Bishop forced another save from Rushworth.

With 90 minutes up, most of the home following had given up hope of even a point.

However, in the second minute of the four added on, Blaine Hobson found space on the right and passed inside for Jonty Maullin to register his first goal of the campaign.

Rather than settle for a point, Town pressed on and when Hallam failed to clear their lines, Hobson was played into the corner of the penalty area, only to be brought down by stand-in keeper, Max Pemberton.

Carole held his nerve to convert the resulting penalty in the 94th minute to earn his side all three points.

Knaresborough Town: Jack Rushworth; Toby Lees (Conor Donoghue), Matt Donnelly, Will Lenehan, Byron Littlefair; Brad Walker (Blaine Hobson), Jonty Maullin, Tom Hesketh, Dom Wilson, Seb Carole; Colin Heath (Fraser Lancaster).