Paul Clayton was in unfamiliar territory last week, as Champions Knaresborough Town found themselves on the receiving end of consecutive defeats in Toolstation NCEL Division One. The Manse Lane Assistant Manager had demanded a response in his pre-match comments, starting with a tricky-looking outing at Dronfield Town yesterday-and it sounds like he got just what the doctor ordered, as first half strikes from Nick Black (17 minutes) and Colin Heath (25) saw off the home side in front of a crowd of 72 at Stonelow Road, writes Colin Muncie.
Paul told the Bootiful Game “I’m pleased with the three points and the clean sheet. It was very wet and the pitch cut up a lot. Fair play to Dronfield, who worked extremely hard and made it very difficult for us. We weren’t fluent but we have ground out wins and clean sheets (this was our 24th) all season and that’s what we did today. I have to say a big “well done” to Jack Carr from the u21’s, who came into the side for his first start and did really well. We lost Nick Black and Brad Walker to injury in the first half, but we re-adjusted and managed the game in the second half. I have to say we have lost some big players to injury in the last two months, which has been tough, but that’s credit to the players that have come in and helped us get over the line”.
It’s a trip to Sandygate for their last League game of the season, and Paul knows that three other clubs have a keen interest in the outcome, so his side will go to Sheffield to be competitive. “ On Monday, it’s a big day in the Division as three sides can still finish 2nd and 3 sides can still make the Play-Offs,” he said. “We are away at Hallam who are still in the mix for sixth place”.
“I would have liked an easier game for our 42nd game of the season but as usual in this league there aren’t any easy games” Paul warned, “so we’ll go to Hallam in the right frame of mind and try and get a positive result”.