Praise for hat-trick hero Liam Edmondson as Knaresborough Town thrash Athersley Recreation to end long losing run
Knaresborough Town manager Rob Hunter hailed the impact of Liam Edmondson following his stunning full debut for the club.
The striker, who has spent much of his time at Manse Lane playing in the reserves, marked his first start for the first team with a hat-trick against Athersley Recreation on Tuesday evening.
His treble, combined with a brace from Jack Carr, earned Boro a much-needed 5-0 success in the NCEL Premier Division, ending a run of seven consecutive defeats.
“I’m delighted for Liam, he was excellent against Athersley,” boss Hunter reflected.
“Tuesday was his first start. He’s made a couple of appearances off the bench here and there over a period of time, but he’s certainly taken his chance and that shirt is his to keep now for a few games at least.
“He had a good pre-season with the first team and played in one or two of the friendlies. He’s been with the reserves since then, but the word from Baz Littlefair has been that he’s been working really hard and terrorising centre-halves.
“So he deserved his opportunity playing as a number nine and did exactly the same for us, he never gave Athersley’s centre-backs a minute’s piece. He was relentless and he got his reward with the three goals as well as an assist. It’s a big boost for the team.”
Hunter was also thrilled by the impact of returning central defender Matt Donnelly, who made his second Boro debut against Athersley.
“Obviously, we’re in a right pickle at the back at the moment. Every defender at the club is currently injured, so to get Matt back was a real bonus,” Hunter added.
“He’s a very good talker and he slotted straight back in. He hasn’t player in a year-and- a-half but honestly it was like he had never been away.
“He was worried that he wasn’t fit enough for the level after so long out and I think he was a bit nervous when I said I was starting him in this game, but he did a cracking job.
“Him being there made a massive difference and we are delighted with a clean-sheet.”
Boro fared less well at the weekend, bowing out of the FA Vase at the second qualifying round stage following a 4-1 loss on the road at Birtley Town of the Northern League.
On Saturday, Hunter and his men entertain Penistone Church at Manse Lane, 3pm kick-off.