Ripon City’s run in the League Cup came to an end on Saturday as Knaresborough Town Reserves snatched a late winner to reach the semi final.
Steve Donoghue side started brightly and took a second minute lead when Phil Myles got in the way of Michael Harper’s clearance to open the scoring.
Former Ripon player Rob Mortimer pulled the sides level after 62 minutes with a free header from a corner before substitute Chris Fairhurst fired in a last minute winner.
It’s been six weeks since Mike Bligh’s side strolled to a 5-1 victory over Ripon and Donoghue believes the result and performance signals his side’s improvement.
He said: “I said last week that the game will be a mark of progression since that heavy defeat and we were set up well in the first half.
“Bligh has done a fantastic job there and they are a good team but, in the first half, we were the better side.
“At 1-1, towards the end of the game, we were still catching them on the break and even when they scored Ben King still had a great chance but the ‘keeper made a good save.
“We never gave up, even towards the end of the game of the game. I was really pleased with the performance and we matched them in every way.
“If we can get that second goal in matches then it would take the pressure off us in these games.”
While Knaresborough can now focus on a semi final clash against Hunslet Club or Carlton Athletic, Ripon turn their sights back to Premier League survival.
With relegation rivals East End Park and Brighouse both picking up a point over the weekend, Donoghue believes his side cannot afford to lose against Bardsey on Saturday.
He said: “Everyone at Knaresborough said there was a massive difference in our game but what we want to do is take this to Bardsey. If we can play like I know we can then we will get something.
“Since they got knocked out of the County Cup they seem to have become very hit and miss. It just depends which team turns up on the day.”
Boroughbridge’s relegation woes deepened on Saturday as they lost 3-1 at home to Otley Town. Toby Harris hit a hat-trick within 31 minutes before a Stephen Coles consolation.