It’s many congratulations to Knaresborough Town, who clinched promotion from NCEL Toolstation Division One with their 1-1 draw with nearest rivals Eccleshill United at Manse lane yesterday; and as Knaresborough Assistant Manager Paul Clayton sipped on a congratulatory sparkling water, he already had one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Dronfield-and the League title, writes Colin Muncie.
Stephen Bromley put Knaresborough in front after 14 minutes in front of a splendid 233 –strong crowd ; and even Antony Brown’s 89th minute penalty for the Eagles didn’t put too much of a dampener on the celebrations in North Yorkshire.
Paul told the Bootiful Game “That’s the first half of the job completed today, with other results going our way. However, we now want to win the league- so we can really enjoy tonight but we have got to be back on it on Tuesday. The players have been absolutely superb all season and they deserve the promotion. We have a quality set of players who all stick together and work for each other and that has been a big strength for us throughout the season”.
Reflecting on the ninety minutes, Paul told us “ As far as today’s game goes, I think both teams were very anxious and it showed in some of the play, especially in the first half” he admitted “ One bit of quality from Rob Youhill got us the goal, which was finished off by Steve Bromley. I thought that might settle us down a bit but it didn’t. We had a good chat to the lads at half time and we created two or three really good chances in the second half but we didn’t finish them. Robbie was a threat every time he got the ball and we should have really got on the end of some his balls across the box. The goalkeeper made a really good save from a great free kick from Dan Clayton which was met with a good header from Dan Thirkell.
Commenting on that late penalty award, Paul told us “Eccleshill’s number nine (Brown) is a real handful and they play into him a lot. He’d had a great battle with Will Lenehan all game, with both of them grappling and pulling each other; then in the 89th minute, the referee, for some reason, decided to give them a penalty out of nothing. He had let them get on with it all game!”
Paul felt that his team had some stand out performers. “It was frustrating we never won the game but I’m really happy that we got the result. The back four and keeper dealt with everything they could throw at us; they never really created a clear cut chance but were always a threat as they get the ball in the box at every opportunity. We had to make an early sub as Conor (Donoghue) had to go to hospital with a suspected broken collar bone. Harry (sub) did really well with Dom (Wilson) and Brad (Walker) in the midfield and Steve Bromley worked hard up top. Really proud of them all, as everyone all work hard for each other”.
Paul had kind words for the visitors-and the spectators “ I have got to say Eccleshill were great after the game, congratulating us, so we really appreciate that- play hard on the pitch but be right off it” he said “ It’s been a great season so far, but it’s not over yet, and it’s onto another difficult game on Tuesday. We would also like to thank the 233 that came to watch today, as we really appreciate your support”.
“It would be great to see you all at the last home game of the season against Yorkshire Amateurs on Saturday 21st April”.