Knaresborough start life in the Premier Division with win at Albion Sports
Albion Sports (1) 1 Knaresborough Town (0) 2
Team: Liam Corbett; Dan Thirkell, Gregg Anderson, Sam Cook, Laurence Hunter; Ben Cohen (Dom Wilson), Ben Parkes, Brad Walker, Dan Coupland (Rob Worrall), Luke Stewart (Josh Garbutt); Colin Heath. Sub.(not used): James Baggott.
Knaresborough Town emerged from a shaky start to life at Step 5 of the Non-League Pyramid to record an opening day victory at Albion Sports.
Albion Sports had all the early pressure as Knaresborough struggled to string two passes together and goalkeeper, Liam Corbett was called upon to make a last ditch tackle to deny Albion the opener as a back pass fell short.
Ombeni Ruhanduka shot narrowly wide as did Jamal Stewart before the former headed in a left wing cross to make it 1-0 in the 12th minute.
The goal shook the Premier Division debutants, but it was still some time before they settled down and Colin Heath shot wide from Brad Walker’s centre following Dan Thirkell’s through pass.
Luke Stewart was wide and Ben Cohen’s shot saved before Gregg Anderson’s header was cleared from the line from the following corner kick.
Walker then threaded a pass on to which Heath ran before firing his shot against the top of the crossbar.
Ben Parkes shot wide after a quick break from defence, Cohen broke clear only to see another effort saved by Ashley Ontiri and Walker was again wide as the visitors ended the half on top and aggrieved that the equaliser had not been grabbed.
After the break, Cohen cut in from the left only to see Ontiri tip over and substitute Rob Worrall brought a good save from the goalkeeper following a corner kick.
In a rare home attack, defensive misjudgement came close to gifting Albion a second but the ball was eventually scrambled away.
Corbett had to save well as Stewart cut in from the left and fired toward the Knaresborough goal, but the deserved leveller came in the 56th minute when Worrall found Heath who fed in Walker to score from a narrow angle.
Corey Mortimer shot over from a free kick but Knaresborough soon countered as Parkes slammed a distant shot against the top of Ontiri’s bar and to safety for the home side.
Walker then cut in from the right wing into a gap created by Heath’s run to the right side and when many expected a pass, he fired left-footed into the top corner for a cracking winner in the 74th minute.
Heath’s shot was saved and Knaresborough were able to hang on as a late Dean Bartle effort flew wide and Town were rewarded with all three points.