'We need a bit of luck’ says Knaresborough Town manager Paul Stansfield as Staveley steal a point

Knaresborough Town boss Paul Stansfield feels his players are due a “bit of good luck” following Staveley Miners Welfare’s last-gasp leveller on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 7:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 7:57 pm
Luke Stewarts 83rd-minute goal looked to have handed Knaresborough Town all three points when they entertained Staveley in midweek. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

The men from Manse Lane looked to be on their way to three points following Luke Stewart’s 83rd-minute strike, only for the visitors to level matters at 1-1 in stoppage-time.

“Tuesday’s game kind of sums up our season. It was a case of so near, yet so far,” Stansfield said.

“We’ve managed to draw another match that we should’ve won. It was a brilliant free-kick that’s got them a point and there’s not too much you can do about a goal of that quality, but we definitely deserved the three points.

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“We’ve played very well and were miles better than Staveley – a team who are absolutely flying – however it’s fine margins at this level and we’re just not having any luck.

“It’s supposed to even out over the course of a season but I can think of five or six times when things haven’t gone for us. We’re new to this division and still learning but we just need a bit of good luck for a change.”

Following a goalless first half that Boro had much the better of, the best chance of the game fell to Dan Thirkell late in the second period.

Visiting custodian Myles Wright was however equal to his shot from close-range and the Staveley defence then managed to scramble the ball clear.

Stansfield’s troops weren’t to be denied though, Stewart breaking free and slamming home his second goal of the week in the 83rd minute.

Staveley’s frustration at conceding was clear, and Sam Finlaw tried to beat Boro stopper Liam Corbett from the halfway line after the re-start.

The Trojans were however able to make the long journey home with a point to their name after Town conceded a needless free-kick and Tomas Poole curled a fine strike off the inside of the post to equalise at the death.

On Saturday, Boro did manage to secure a maximum return, courtesy of a 3-1 triumph at Athersley Recreation.

They took the lead in the 21st minute after breaking quickly, Thirkell crossing for Steve Bromley to sidefoot past the home keeper from close range.

Alex Hutchinson hooked the ball over Corbett for 1-1 in the 34th minute, though Town were back in front shortly after the interval.

Thirkell latched on to a Ben Cohen pass and thrashed a fine drive past a startled Dan Morton.

The points were then wrapped up in the 55th minute, Brad Walker finding Stewart who turned and finished well.

“To say it was an absolute bog of a pitch, we passed the ball very well and deserved to win the game,” Stansfield reflected.

Next up for sixth-placed Boro is a home showdown with struggling Thackley at Manse Lane this Saturday, 3pm kick-off.