IN a disappointing first-half performance Old Boys conceded three goals in a lacklustre display to their North Yorkshire rivals, writes Julian Prior.
Leading the line up front Richard Heins and Kevin Sanasy, across the midfield Peter Kuleczko, Damian Place, Chris Wdowczyk and Richie Banks, while the back four comprised of Johnny Haigh on the right, twin centre-backs Ian Brock and Joe Nalson, and finally on the left Luke Johnson with Jason Hibbert between the posts.
From the off Old Boys did not seem at the races, showing an inability to cope with crosses, particularly from the left-hand side, which led to them conceding goals.
The central midfield was struggling to cope with the quicker play of an ebullient Knaresborough, beaten by the pace and numbers coming forward.
Towards the end of the half Old Boys did seem to perk up and missed a couple of chances, one in particular from a corner allowed them a couple of free shots on goal, unfortunately the last effort by Johnson was blasted over the crossbar.
Changes were needed for more energy in midfield, a will to win, and improved link ups were asked for and during the second half delivered.
The introduction of Jake Broadbent into the middle provided the dynamism and platform for Heins, Kuleczko and substitute Matt Richardson to push forward.
Wide midfielders contributed more, supporting the forwards and defending where necessary and, for long periods of the game, the Brighouse side took charge but couldn’t achieve the breakthrough required.
Pushing forward was inevitably going to leave gaps and this proved to be so, Knaresborough increasing their lead halfway through the second period.
However, heads didn’t go down and with Banks pushing forward on the left and Haigh supporting the attack on the right, Old Boys slowly prised the away team defence open.
At last a goal for the home side cam when some good work by Richardson on the right was followed by a pinpoint pass into the skilful feet of Broadbent.
He dribbled past one defender and put the ball under the Knaresborough keeper into the back of the net.
However, although Old Boys pushed forward for the rest of the game they couldn’t score again and the game ended with Knaresborough claiming the spoils.
So, following a stalemate against Hunslet last Wednesday – a match they should have won – and this loss against Knaresborough, Old Boys need to step up to the mark if they are to avoid finding themselves involved in a battle at the bottom of the table.