Season taking toll on Knaresborough - Brian Davey

hsb  Knaresborough Town v Pontefract Collieries.  Number 5. (130316M5a)
hsb Knaresborough Town v Pontefract Collieries. Number 5. (130316M5a)

Knaresborough Town manager Brian Davey reckons the increase of matches this season is starting to take a toll on his players.

Town slipped to sixth in NCEL Division One on Saturday after losing 4-1 at fellow high-fliers Shirebrook Town, with Craig Heard scoring.

But they bounced back to fourth after seeing off 19th-placed Dinnington2-0 on Tuesday night, thanks to two Steve Bromley goals.

Town hit the road again next Saturday as they travel to third-place Cleethorpes Town.

Davey admitted playing nearly 50 games had come as a shock to his side this season, after getting used to 30 in the West Yorkshire Premier.

Liam Gray returned from suspension on Tuesday and the gaffer was relieved to have a squad of 16 available again.

He said: “It has been getting hard with all these players missing. We were down to the bare bones.

“It’s at the stage now where we want the season to end.

“Professionals complain about playing twice a week but these lads are working as well.

Town gifted Shirebrooke an early lead when Matt Duerden felled Daniel Williams in the box and Tom Mullen fired in the resultant penalty.

But Heard equalised after 12 minutes after reacting quickest to his own header rebounding off the post.

It was Knaresborough’s first goal in 235 minutes of league football, But they failed to build on it as the home side pulled ahead before the break, when a header deflected off Duerden and past ‘keeper Jack Rushworth.

Rushworth continued to star in goal after the restart but Shirebrooke eventually sealed the points with two late strikes. Shire ended the game with 10 men when Williams saw red in added time.

Davey said: “They were a good side and they have quality players. We gave them a great start with a penalty and after Craig scored I thought we could do quite well. But then three late goals cost us.

“Craig’s been excellent since he signed in January. He’s scored in nearly every game. It’s been a real find for us.”

Town drew to Cleethorpes in November after letting slip a 2-0 lead with two minutes to go.

Davey added: “They have had a good season coming into this league and they are a good footballing side. It will be a hard one.”

Meanwhile Knaresborough Reserves returned from their visit to Nostell Miners’ Welfare with a 5-2 victory.

Fraser Lancaster (2), James Purkis, Tom Bainbridge and Mark Fox all scored to keep up their West Yorkshire League promotion challenge.