Match Details: Knaresborough Town 3 – Grimsby Borough 0 (NCEL Div 1)
Goalscorers: [Knaresboro] Fraser Lancaster (35), Fatlum Ibrahimi (65), Ben Parkes (77).
Destination: Manse Lane, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8LF.
Competition: ‘Toolstation’ Northern Counties East League (Division One)
Ground Overview: Formed in 1902 and traditionally in the West Yorkshire League in recent years, Knaresborough made the step up to the NCEL in 2012, and it was at this point their previously basic ground was upgraded from a railed off pitch to a stadium fit for Step 6 of non-league and the NCEL. This has included installing a 73-seater stand across the halfway line on the far side of the ground, a small covered standing area in one corner by the ground entrance, and improved clubhouse / function room and changing rooms, and well as a reyt bobby dazzler set of floodlights. It’s a ground which is best enjoyed on a nice sunny day, so one can take advantage of the outdoor table seating while enjoying a wholesome snack or hot beverage from the tea hatch. Sadly, today was overcast and drizzly, but the non-appearance of the sun was soon trumped by the appearance instead of celebrity blogger Reynard The Fox from the excellent (though currently suspended in time) Reynard’s Hunting Grounds , which was always in my Top 5 reads when I first started The Dribbling Code back in the glory days of non-league football blogging. With his own blog now on a fairly natural hiatus, Reynard has spent the last couple of seasons following and photographing Grimsby Borough games instead. I suppose you could say this is the opposite of glory seeking, given that his boyhood heroes Leicester City are currently doing quite well apparently. Anyway, here’s some ground pics:
Match Report: The away side were up against it from the moment their goalkeeper Brad Beattie got badly injured early in the game, after coming off second best in a 50/50 challenge where the Knaresborough fella had mistimed it badly and left raking studmarks all down the poor keeper’s leg. Despite protestations from the home dugout area, it always deserved the yellow card the referee brandished. With no substitute keeper on the bench, he managed to carry on, though could barely walk or kick the ball for a while afterwards, and had to limp through the rest of the game like a wounded soldier. Further up the pitch, Grimsby were playing some neat stuff in midfield, but lacked penetration upfront and any sort of end product. I couldn’t quite work out what formation they were playing – at times the only two players they had forward were both out wide, meaning that whenever one of them got the ball, there was no-one making a move towards the box for them to cross to.
Grimsby managed to hold out until the 35th minute, and even then it took a defensive mix up to break the deadlock, with K’boro’s Fraser Lancaster latching onto a back pass and firing past G’boro’s limping last line of defence to make it 1-0 to the home side at the interval.
Knaresboro began to pile on the pressure more in the second half, though it took the award of a penalty just after the hour mark to provide the next pivotal moment in the game. Facing a one-legged keeper I was expecting only one outcome, however Hopalong Beattie guesed correctly, falling to his left and palming the ball away from danger. Sadly though, the only onrushing player was a Knaresborough one, and the rebound was easily dispatched into the onion bag by new signing from Harrogate Town, Fatlum Ibrahimi, to make it 2-0. Meanwhile at the side of me, Reynard’s contribution to the swear box was increasing, as he bemoaned his team’s lack of back up for the struggling goalkeeper. When one of them made another unwanted backpass a few minutes later, the swear box flashed up its ‘full’ sign. Soon after this, a neat Knaresborough passing move saw Ben Parkes’ 77th minute finish make it 3-0 and the last significant action of the game.
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