NCEL: Knaresborough Town off to disappointing start

George Eustance battles his way through against Teversal (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)
George Eustance battles his way through against Teversal (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Knaresborough Town manager Paul Stansfield rued defensive slip-ups but remained positive as his new side fell to a second straight defeat at the start of the NCEL Division One calendar.

Knaresborough conceded three goals in the space of 30 minutes either side of half-time in a 3-1 defeat at Rossington Main on Tuesday evening.

Ben Joyce gave the travelling Knaresborough support the only thing to cheer with a 76th minute consolation after Lee Holmes, Marcel Chipamunga and Callum Wiffen had wrapped up the points for the home side.

“It was really disappointing but I said to the boys after the game that they played really well in the second half,” said Stansfield.

“We conceded two goals when we virtually passed them the ball and they ran through and scored. Other than those two diabolical goals, I was happy with the way we passed the ball.

“I can’t hammer the players for it because there were loads of positives to take from it.”

The loss followed a disappointing opening day defeat at Teversal 2-0, which Stansfield missed due to a pre-arranged holiday.

Teversal went ahead in the 17th minute when Khyle Sargent stooped to head home from a right wing corner kick through a packed penalty area.

George Eustance could have levelled from a header before he saw a shot saved after turning well in the penalty area.

Teversal pressed hard for a second and forced stand-in goalkeeper Tom Sowerby to push one shot on to the crossbar.

Five minutes into the second period, the home side added to their total when a long ball across the field found Gary Atkins in space and he lobbed past Sowerby.

Substitutes Ben Joyce and Calum Rodgers both had chances wide of goal, but Knaresborough’s opportunities were rare until the last minute of added time when Jim Bradley headed back across goal and saw Parkes fire over an open goal from only a few yards out.

Stansfield admitted his disappointment at failing to get off the mark early, but stood firm that his squad would come good over time.

Boro are missing club captain Matt Duerden, goalkeeper Jack Rushworth and Blaine Hobson through suspension, while Will Lenehan is travelling.

Duerden will return when Boro host Westella VIP this Saturday, with Rushworth available for selection for Wednesday’s trip to Dronfield Town.

Stansfield added: “I’m still really positive and not particularly worried. It will take time to change mentaility and the players to get used to the way I do things.”

Meanwhile, Town’s Reserves begin their West Yorkshire League campaign under Simon Brooker on Saturday with a trip to Wyke Wanderers.

Stansfield said the new reserves boss was aiming for a top half finish, but more importantly developing players for the first team squad.

“If lads are playing well in the reserves, they will come into the first team”, he added.

“We want to have that pathway right through the club.

“Getting players into the first team is as much as a success to Simon, so a top half finish would be fantastic.”