Knaresborough Town struck by keeping crisis

Liam Gray - Knaresborough Town
Liam Gray - Knaresborough Town

Knaresborough Town face a goalkeeping crisis ahead of Saturday’s clash at promotion hopefuls Cleethorpes Town.

With number one Tom Ryder still three weeks away from fitness and reserve stopper Weston Murau suspended, boss Brian Davey has spent this week searching for a replacement.

The new stopper will need to hit the ground running, with Cleethorpes possessing one of the most deadly attacks in NCEL Division One.

They have mustered 74 league goals this season, and lie second, joint on 80 points with leaders Shaw Lane Aquaforce.

Boro will require a better performance against the high fliers after a poor 2-0 defeat at third-placed Bottesford Town at Manse Lane on Saturday.

Davey will have to decide whether to stick with misfiring forwards Seb Carole, Josh Garbutt and Colin Heath after a lacklustre display.

But his main troubles lie in goal, although club spokesman Ian Pickles was adamant the gaffer would find someone to fill the void.

He said: “The hardest thing is finding someone good enough, especially when playing against Cleethorpes on Saturday.

“When we left the club last Saturday, no one knew who was playing in goal next week. They are scrambling around trying to find a ’keeper for Saturday.”

Two second-half goals on Saturday ensured Boro failed to pick up points for the third consecutive game as they slipped down to tenth.

A free-kick led to the opening goal on 66 minutes and Bottesford’s Jack Start knocked the ball home after Boro failed to clear.

Bottesford clinched the points in the 80th minute when Nathan Smith slammed into the net.

Pickles said Davey’s Boro side were off-colour in a match they threatened the opposition goal just once.

And he tipped Bottesford to challenge at the top until the end of the season.

“They were the best team we have played this season in terms of working as a team,” Pickles added.

“If they keep playing like that, they have to have a good shot at going up.

“You could see they were a well-organised team and nobody was a weakness.”

Meanwhile, Knaresborough’s table topping reserves went down to their WYADivision One title rivals Robin Hood Athletic by a single goal.

The crucial goal came from a punt downfield which goalkeeper Ben Faulkner tipped onto the crossbar only for an on-rushing forward tap home.

This Saturday, the reserves take on Shelley in the West Yorkshire League Challenge Cup third round at Manse Lane (2.30 pm).