An impressive-and deserved- fourth in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division, Knaresborough Town will be hoping to renew acquaintance with the “win” column after two consecutive defeats either side of New Year – but they’ll have to be at their best this weekend to take anything from Brett Marshall’s 12th-placed Staveley Miners Welfare, who have suffered just one loss in a dozen competitive fixtures and put eight goals past Hall Road Rangers last weekend – plenty for Town’s player-coach Colin Heath to think about ahead of the trip to Inkersall Road.
“We had a good lead-up to Christmas with results; then the two since Christmas have not gone our way,” Colin admitted to TBG’s Editor Craig Kendall. “In the first game (at home to Bridlington) our performance wasn’t good enough. Last week (at Penistone) I think we played well. For sixty minutes we were really in the game and, as I said previously, I thought we could have gone on and won the game. We were probably a bit flat for the last twenty-five minutes once we’d gone behind.”
Colin is naturally wary of the Trojans, “It’s another hard challenge for our side,” he acknowledged. “They’re a team scoring goals – with lively players up front who are in the goals again – so we need to put in a strong performance. We should take heart from last week – at least those sixty minutes. I don’t think we need to panic or anything; the lads just need a bit of belief against the stronger teams and we’ll hope to get a result on Saturday.”
Colin agrees that Staveley aren’t the only side beginning to hit their straps. “I think there are a lot of teams coming into form,” he noted. “There are a lot of teams still to be in the shake-up towards the top, to be honest with you. It’s going to be an interesting second half to the season. They’ve (Staveley) only lost one in twelve, but I think we can still cause them problems as well. We’ve got the attacking ability. It’s a big word in football – ‘belief’ – but if our lads believe just a little more that we can compete with the top teams and beat the top teams, we should be looking to get a result there on Saturday.”
“We’ll have a good training session tonight (Thursday) and hope to go there on Saturday and be positive – and look to get back to winning ways.”