NCEL: Fatlum Ibrahimi strikes on Knaresborough Town debut

Fatlum Ibrahimi wins the ball on his Knaresborough Town debut (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Fatlum Ibrahimi wins the ball on his Knaresborough Town debut (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

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Knaresborough Town 3-0 Grimsby Borough

Fatlum Ibrahimi scored on his Knaresborough Town debut as Paul Stansfield's men eased past Grimsby Borough 3-0 at Manse Lane on Saturday.

The former Harrogate Railway midfielder started in the Reds midfield and marked his first game when he followed up Brad Walker's save spotkick in the 65th minute.

Fraser Lancaster and Ben Parkes were also on the scoresheet as Boro bounced back from their heavy defeat at leaders Hemsworth Miners Welfare last week.

Stansfield's side remain in ninth place in Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division One ahead of facing a North Yorkshire derby with Selby Town on Saturday.

Ibrahimi signed for Boro on Friday after more than a month-long spell away from the game. The midfielder left boyhood club Railway on New Year's Eve due to differences of opinion with manager Lee Ashforth and stated that he had fallen out of love with the game.

Ibrahimi left Harrogate Railway over the new year after falling out of favour with boss Lee Ashforth (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Ibrahimi left Harrogate Railway over the new year after falling out of favour with boss Lee Ashforth (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Grimsby arrived at Manse Lane in 18th-place but on a run of form that had seen them move away from the relegation zone.

The visitors' Jamie Coulson fired an early shot wide, but Brad Walker then had an effort which was saved by Brad Beattie in the visitors’ goal.

Jim Bradley was the next to test Beattie before Fraser Lancaster slammed a shot against the crossbar and the Grimsby defence was able to clear.

Both Nick Radcliffe and Ibrahimi, had headers just wide of goal just before Lancaster fired Knaresborough into the lead in the 35th minute when he intercepted a pass back and knocked into the corner of the net.

Brad Walker saw a spot-kick saved but Ibrahimi followed up to score on the 65th minute

Brad Walker saw a spot-kick saved but Ibrahimi followed up to score on the 65th minute

Walker was just wide bit then Jason Flint shot over the bar when Grimsby won a free kick on the edge of the ‘Boro’ penalty box.

A late George Eustance effort flew wide and just after the break, Radcliffe had a second header saved by Beattie from Ibrahimi’s free kick.

Eustance fired over again before Ben Parkes was brought down in front of goal and a penalty was awarded.

Beattie saved Brad Walker’s shot, but was powerless to stop Ibrahimi’s follow up as he marked his debut with a goal in the 65th minute.

The goal settled the side down and the move of the match saw Eustance feed the ball down to Walker who interchanged with Lancaster before centring for Parkes to head narrowly wide.

Lancaster fired into the side-netting but the third goal was scored soon afterwards when Jim Bradley broke from his own half to carry the ball forward before crossing to allow Ben Parkes to shoot home in the 77th minute.

The game concluded with Knaresborough on a brief defensive spell with Rushworth saving well from a Coulson shot, but the points were already in the bag.

Knaresborough Town: Jack Rushworth; Toby Lees, Jonty Maullin, Sam Cook, Nick Radcliffe (Lewis Riley); Ben Parkes, Jim Bradley, Fatlum Ibrahimi, George Eustance; Brad Walker (Joel Freeston), Fraser Lancaster (Danny Fisher-Powell).