NCEL: Knaresborough Town showed Hemsworth too much respect - Stansfield

Hemsworth top NCEL Division One by eight points and were too strong for Knaresborough Town on Saturday (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)
Hemsworth top NCEL Division One by eight points and were too strong for Knaresborough Town on Saturday (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)
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Knaresborough Town boss Paul Stansfield criticised his players for affording too much respect after they were blown away 6-1 by the NCEL Division One title favourites on Saturday.

Hemsworth Miners Welfare made it a sorry afternoon for Knaresborough with a performance befitting their status at the top of the table.

Gary Collier’s seventh strike of the season midway through the second half was the only consolation for Stansfield’s men.

Stansfield said: "It was a bad day have we have to put it to bed and move on. If you dwell on it, it consumes you.

"When we won 6-0 the other week it didn't make us a great side, and losing 6-1 doesn't make us a bad one.

"We just gave them too much respect and weren't engaging ourselves in the battle. That allowed them to dictate. Good players will do that.

Gary Collier scored Knaresborough's only goal midway through the second half (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Gary Collier scored Knaresborough's only goal midway through the second half (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

"You can’t afford to take a backwards step. You have to play on the front foot, but to do that you need to have possession of the ball. We never had that."

The defeat was Knaresborough’s heaviest defeat since their rise into the Northern Counties League but was little surprise against a side vying for promotion.

Hemsworth have hit the net an astonishing 74 times in 13 home matches this season and Stansfield said they had set the bar for Knaresborough’s squad to reach.

He added: "They are an excellent side with five or six players that are Evo-Stik quality. They will go up. They are the best team in the league and that’s what we have to aspire to. That’s the benchmark. If we were to get somewhere near that next season we wouldn't be too far away.

Knaresborough boss Paul Stansfield was more than impressed by the league leaders (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Knaresborough boss Paul Stansfield was more than impressed by the league leaders (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

"The front four they had were very, very good. They were clever and never gave us a minute’s peace."

Knaresborough remain in ninth place ahead of two home games in four days next week.

Resurgent Grimsby Borough head to Manse Lane on Saturday. Stansfield will freshen up his first team on Saturday but ruled out wholesale differences in his selection.

‘Boro can then look ahead to the North Yorkshire derby against 12th-placed Selby Town on Tuesday evening. The fixture was rescheduled from the Christmas period.

Selby sacked manager Dave Ricardo and his assistant Bill Gill at the start of this month, a decision which Stansfield admitted his surprise at.

Nigel Emery and Ruben Pearse have taken over as joint managers on an interim basis until the end of the season and saw their new side draw 2-2 against Bottesford Town on Saturday.

Grimsby also have a new manager at the helm and have had a number of close results against sides above them in recent weeks.

The 18th-placed side beat Dronfield Town 3-1 on Tuesday, after a late equaliser denied them victory over Eccleshill United on Saturday.