NCEL: Stansfield calls for support for Knaresborough Town cup finals

Will Lenehan celebrates with four-goal striker Fraser Lancaster on Saturday (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)
Will Lenehan celebrates with four-goal striker Fraser Lancaster on Saturday (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Manager Paul Stansfield has called for supporters to pack out Manse Lane and help inspire Knaresborough Town to a strong finish in Northern Counties East League Division One.

Town have seven games left in the league, starting against AFC Mansfield on Saturday, a run that Stansfield described as ‘seven cup finals’ for his side.

Paul Stansfield

Paul Stansfield

He called for the Knaresborough faithful to create an uncomfortable atmosphere for visitors.

He said: "We have brilliant supporters but it would be great if we could get even more down to help us win these seven cup finals.

"The football w'’ve played at home this season has been excellent and the fans get value for money if they come down here.

"It would be nice to have one of the top teams at our place and make it a bit difficult for them."

After Stansfield lambasted their display in the defeat at Eccleshill United, ‘Boro responded in style with a 3-0 win against Westella VIP and a 5-0 victory over Glasshoughton Welfare last weekend.

Fraser Lancaster scored four goals in the Glasshoughton success and had a hat-trick wrapped up just after half-time.

The Town chief was delighted with the reaction of his players.

He said: “It was the perfect response from the team.

"To be fair, normally when we’ve asked for a reaction they have taken it on board and they've done it again.

"The performances had everything we wanted, the work ethic and attitude and then the quality on the ball.

"It was the whole package."

Having contended with 70-goal Ash Flynn’s AFC Emley in the 3-2 League Cup win on Wednesday, Town’s backline will have to contend with Mansfield’s deadly duo of Dean Rick and Craig Mitchell who have scored 45 goals between them this term.

Stansfield believes his defence can deal with their threat.

He said: "I think we have to stop the supply, concentrate and get cover round.

"We’ve got a good settled back four now and if they play to their ability I'm sure they can keep them quiet, but you are always concerned going up against strikers who have scored that number of goals."

In general, Stansfield sees his team as several steps behind in the race to reach the league’s play-offs, introduced for the first time this season.

"We set a target at the start of the season to get somewhere near the play-offs and we are somewhere near them.

"We’re still behind the eight ball and playing catch up, but there’s no pressure on us so we are literally taking it game by game."