Knaresborough Town came back from Clipstone with full points after a strange game which was massively influenced by a strong wind blowing almost directly end to end along the pitch.
Clipstone, unbeaten in 11 NCEL Division One matches prior to the clash, had the advantage of that wind in the first half and began strongly keeping Weston Murau very active in the ‘Boro’ goal.
After an early save with his legs, Murau kept out a shot from Kieran Watson and saw Lewis Jackson smash a shot against the post from the rebound.
Jason Edwards was next to fire in a volley over the goal, a feat he repeated soon after Clipstone went ahead, but before that point Murau made a fine stop as Watson broke clear of the defence to chase a high bouncing ball.
The opening goal arrived in the 21st minute when Rob Austin headed in from a right wing corner despite Murau’s valiant attempt to claw out the effort.
Two more saves were made from Jackson and Watson before the Knaresborough custodian saw some respite as the ball was kept at the other end and Will Lenehan and Dave Thomas headed wide from corners and Blaine Hobson broke through only to see Edward Eley save his shot.
The second half immediately saw a turnaround of fortunes as ‘Boro’ had the wind at their backs and Byron Littlefair’s shot was kept out by Eley.
Dominic Wilson thenfed a ball through to Colin Heath and he kept his calm and allowed the ball to settle slightly before hammering home the 52nd minute equaliser.
Nine minutes later, George Eustance wriggled into the penalty area only to place his shot against the inside of the far post and shortly afterwards, Eley saved from Littlefair and thanked his defenders who cleared Heath’s follow up off the line.
In the 67th minute, Wilson won the ball in midfield and found Littlefair on the left wing. He carried forward before feeding back inside to Wilson who fired home first time to put his side 2-1 up.
Knaresborough kept up the pressure and Littlefair forced another save from Eley and then Heath fired home in the 74th minute after Hobson’s lobbed centre from the right wing.
Murau had to save a long-range header as Clipstone briefly fought forward, but ‘Boro’ stayed composed and the defensive line of Dave Thomas, Matt Duerden, Will Lenehan and Nick Radcliffe held firm.
Late chances fell to Hobson twice and Eustance, but the victory proved to be one of the best performances of the campaign.
Knaresborough reserves went down to their second successive league defeat when Aberford Albion were 1-0 victors at Manse Lane on Saturday. The only goal came after six minutes and, with several regulars missing, Knaresborough were unable to claw their way back into the match.
On Saturday, Knaresborough take in Teversal at Manse Lane (Kick off 3.00 pm) while the reserves travel to Ilkley Town to play the team which took over top place in West Yorkshire League Division One at the weekend (kick off 2.30 p.m.)
On Tuesday (March 25th), the first team travel to Yorkshire Amateur at 7.45 pm and the following evening, the reserves play Featherstone Colliery at Manse Lane (7.30 pm kick off).