Struggling Athletic well-beaten by Knaresborough

Wetherby Athletic goalscorer Josh Wilson chases the ball down during his side's defeat to Knaresborough Town Reserves. Picture: Pete Arnett

Wetherby Athletic goalscorer Josh Wilson chases the ball down during his side's defeat to Knaresborough Town Reserves. Picture: Pete Arnett

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Wetherby Athletic’s hopes of avoiding relegation from the West Yorkshire Football League’s Premier Division suffered another blow whey lost 4-1 to Knaresborough Town Reserves.

Their sixth consecutive league loss leaves the rock-bottom Tangerines 10 points adrift of safety, and boss Mark Forster conceded that his side did not deserve to take anything from Saturday’s encounter.

“It was probably a fair result,” he reflected.

“I think that we gave them some terribly soft goals with bad passes and missed clearances, and while our goal was a good one, it’s only the second that we have scored in five league matches and that’s the problem.

“We play some lovely build up football and can’t find the net at the end of it.

“We showed a little bit of fight at the end of the game and got a goal which I think we deserved. I am disappointed as we are better than that, but we just didn’t get going in certain areas.”

The opening period of the game was a fairly close until the 22nd minute when Knaresborough’s Conor Donoghue found Brad Walker inside the penalty area and he squeezed home his side’s first of the day.

Athletic gloveman Mike Recchia was called to make the save of the match in the 36th minute when a well struck Michael Harper free-kick was caught and held at full stretch high to his right.

Minutes later, Recchia produced another good save low down to his left after Town broke through the Wetherby backline.

There were no more goals before the interval, but Knaresborough doubled their lead four minutes after half-time.

Walker crossed for Roman Neal who fired home at the second attempt after Recchia made a fine save to keep out his initial effort.

The Tangerines pushed for a way back into the game and Joe Dorkings sent over a dangerous cross that Josh Wilson managed to connect with in an acrobatic fashion, but his shot spun high and over the crossbar.

Knaresborough then put the game out of Wetherby’s reach in the 58th minute, when a reverse pass found Jim Bradley and he finished well for 3-0.

Fraser Branton added number four when Recchia, struggling with the recurrence of a rib injury, spilled the ball into his path.

With a minute remaining, Wetherby pulled one back when Dorkings’ shot from the left of the area was pushed clear by the Town keeper and Wilson produced an impressive diving header at the back post to power the ball into the back of the net.

Right-winger Matt Forster was named Athletic’s man of the match.