NCEL: Defeated Hull United will win promotion this season - Knaresborough Town boss

Fraser Lancaster plays the ball for Knaresborough Town against Hull United  (1509264AM3)

Fraser Lancaster plays the ball for Knaresborough Town against Hull United (1509264AM3)

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Knaresborough Town boss Paul Stansfield backed Hull United for promotion despite seeing his side down the title favourites 2-1 at Manse Lane on Saturday.

Goals either side of half-time and an unfortunate equaliser, gave Stansfield the best win of his short managerial career.

Liam Gray heads the ball from the Hull Utd player.

Liam Gray heads the ball from the Hull Utd player.

The Hull side, managed by former professional boxer and Premier League player Curtis Woodhouse, had been unbeaten in their opening 10 league matches heading into the contest.

But they were soon on the back foot when Toby Lees stooped to head Boro in front after just four minutes.

The equaliser came shortly after the half hour mark when Will Lenehan put into his own net.

But fresh from Stansfield’s half-time words, Graham Whitehead restored the lead with the winning goal four minutes after the break.

Graham Whitehead slots home the second goal for Knaresborough Town

Graham Whitehead slots home the second goal for Knaresborough Town

United finished the match with only 10 men, and a further player was shown a red card by the referee after the final whistle.

Despite collecting the three points, Stansfield praised the quality of the visitors.

“I have no doubt they will get promoted this year,” he said.

“They are a very good side. To beat a team favourites to win the league is outstanding.

Callum Rodgers in a battle for the header.

Callum Rodgers in a battle for the header.

“We did play well, and we have been doing so for quite some time. That sort of result was coming. We didn’t over-celebrate it, and that impressed me more than 
anything.

“We go out to win every game and it didn’t surprise the lads when we won.”

Boro stretched their unbeaten run in the Northern Counties East League Division One to four matches in a goalless draw with Sheffield-based Penistone Church on Tuesday evening.

“If you had said you would take four out of six and concede just one goal, I would have snapped your hand off last week,” added Stansfield, whose side Town are well-poised in eighth place in the table, eight points behind league leaders AFC Mansfield and just four points off the new play-off zone.