NCEL: Late own goal gifts Knaresborough Town dramatic win at Bottesford

James Bradley challenges for the ball (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)
James Bradley challenges for the ball (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Knaresborough Town got off to a winning start in 2016 courtesy of a late own goal by Bottesford Town's Ryan Short.

Short diverted George Eustance's cross into his own net in the dying moments to hand Knaresborough a 2-1 win, which took them up to ninth in NCEL Division One.

Toby Lees had earlier cancelled out a tenth-minute opener for the hosts with a bundled finish on the hour mark.

Knaresborough had been keen to avenge the 4-0 thumping handed down to them by Bottesford at Manse Lane earlier in the season.

And Paul Stansfield's men began strongly with Gary Collier shooting wide after a fine move before forcing Leigh Herrick to save.

Ben Clayton also managed to bring Herrick into play before Bottesford’s first attack ended with Matt Steeper firing wide.

Toby Lees finishes from close range to equalise for Knaresborough Town (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Toby Lees finishes from close range to equalise for Knaresborough Town (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

However, a lapse in the defence allowed Martin Pembleton to cut in and open the scoring in the ninth minute and soon afterwards, Jack Rushworth had to be alert to deny Danny Boulton.

Clayton then had another effort saved by Herrick before Boulton’s header was narrowly wide for the home side.

Ben Parkes shot over late in the half following another good move as Clayton headed on a centre from Fraser Lancaster and the positive end to the first period followed into the second as ‘Boro’ continued to press.

Chances were rare, until Bottesford conceded an unnecessary free kick on the right just outside the penalty area in the 63rd minute. Graham Whitehead’s shot was saved by Herrick, but only to the feet of Toby Lees who levelled the score from close range.

Rushworth then made a superb save to keep out a Wayne Graves shot but when Knaresborough won a corner at the other end, Collier’s header rebounded from the crossbar from Whitehead’s kick.

Both sides pressed for the winner, but as time ran down to the 90th minute, George Eustance ran down the left and beat his marker to cross into the danger area where full back Ryan Short headed down into the ground and saw the ball bounce high into the net to the delight of the Knaresborough contingent and the despair of the home following.

Meanwhile, Knaresborough Town's managerless reserve team bowed out of the West Riding County Challenge Cup in an eight-goal classic at Rimington 5-3.

The reserves eventually managed to play the game at the third attempt although they could manage only eleven players due to many being ineligible under the competition rules.

Rimington took full advantage and raced into a four-goal lead at the break but Knaresborough's young outfit rallied through two goals in quick succession by Ross White and Lewis Pye.

However, just at Boro looked to be mounting a comeback, the East Lancashire League side struck a fifth.

Pye scored a second 15 minutes from time, but Rimington side held on to move into the next round.

On Saturday, the first team take on Teversal at Manse Lane (Kick off 3.00 pm.) while the reserves travel to Ossett Albion reserves in the West Yorkshire League Cup second round.