Knaresborough Town sit fourth in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division. This weekend they welcome Eccleshill United, promoted with them last season, who sit eighth in the table but are only 4 points adrift of the North Yorkshire club. It’s certain to be a close match-up at Manse Lane, and Town player-coach Colin Heath acknowledges that not only that the visitors are in fine fettle, but that past experience suggests that there won’t be a great deal between the sides, writes Colin Muncie.
“I was just looking,” Colin admitted to TBG. “I think they’ve gone a run of ten games without losing. We know them really well and we’ve known them over many years that we played against them. Many moons ago, we played against them in the League Cup Final. It will be a hard game; when a team is on that sort of a run, it’s for a reason. Make no bones about it; it’s a tough game for us, like every game is at the moment.”
Looking at the wider perspective, Colin feels that the destination of the League title is less clear than ever. “This League’s a strange League,” he noted. “It looked like Yorkshire Amateur might run away with it but you just never know. This season, it seems like everyone is capable of beating anyone and there are still teams in it who are probably going to come from the pack, who maybe have games in hand or get stronger as the season goes on. It’s going to be an interesting second-half to the season.”
Colin feels that the match with the Eagles will be evenly matched, and he’s glad to be back on home turf after conceding, late on, to miss out on three points at Staveley last weekend. “Eccleshill will be well-organised, competitive and it won’t be an easy game,” he acknowledged. “You never expect to play them and have an easy game. It’ll be tough and we’ve got to be ready for that. We’ll hopefully get back to winning ways; we’ll train well tomorrow night and look forward to the game on Saturday. It’s good to be at home; it feels like we’ve been away quite a lot in the last few weeks but we’ll look forward to it.”
Colin was aware of the fact that Eccleshill have only recorded four League clean sheets this season, but wants his team to get back to the first-half dominance they showed before the turn of the year. “Earlier in the season – at home especially and including the FA Cup run – we blew away teams in the first half,” he reminded TBG.
“We didn’t give them a chance and we need to get back to that, where we put ourselves in that position at half time where we can be really solid and look after a lead. We were pretty fearless at the start of the season, playing really well and getting lots of chances – and taking them.”