Ambers back to winning ways against Knaresborough
The new look Ambers beat Knaresborough Town 1-0 ....
It was a much changed Ambers line up that took the field to face a difficult task, with 3rd placed Knaresborough Town visiting just seven days after that horrific result at Bottesford. There were debuts for keeper Jan Budtz, midfielder Rikki Paylor who stood in at centre back and striker Waide Fairhurst, whilst Josh Davies made his first home appearance, and there were recalls for Alex Rippon and Jamie Green.
It was a very strong opening by The Ambers, with a teasing cross from Jake Currie evading everyone including Town keeper Rushworth and just missing the far post, before some excellent wing play by Rippon led to Currie collecting his cross on the run and turning it in from the tightest of angles to put The Ambers 1-0 up after just 11 minutes.
Handsworth then created chance after chance with some fine possession play carving open the opposition at will, but efforts from Fairhurst, Davies and Ollie Fearon missed the target in quick succession before Rushworth saved well from Green.
Town gathered themselves and began putting their own decent moves together but chances were at a premium and Budtz and Paylor were having the quietest of debuts thus far. There was a blow for The Ambers after half an hour when the impressive Currie landed awkwardly and had to be carried from the field, leading to Danny Buttle entering the fray and Fearon pushing further forward.
The visitors continued to probe and Black had a half chance with an overhead kick after Walker’s strike was deflected into his path, but the effort was just off target and in Handsworth’s next attack, Buttle forced an excellent save from Rushworth with a fiercely struck shot from 30 yards.
The second half started with Town firmly on the front foot and playing with much more purpose, but The Ambers stood up well and continued to stretch the visitors when they got the chance, with Buttle seeing plenty of the ball.
Youhill was looking more and more dangerous on the right for Knaresborough and after he rolled a decent effort wide after a strong run, he then fired in a cross which Walker met at the front post with a clever flick, only to find Budtz in the way.
The Ambers fired back and Rippon sent Fairhurst clear on the right with an excellent pass, but the bustling striker was unlucky to see his fine drive miss the back stick. It was then Town’s turn to go close, Walker firing over from the edge of the box before an inswinging free kick bobbled along the six yard box with no finishing touch applied.
It was a really intriguing game now as the minutes ticked away and Rippon thought he had sealed it for The Ambers as he raced onto a Fearon pass but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the target. With both sides introducing new legs from the bench, the high pace continued and Town sub Stewart watched his header land on top of the bar, although Budtz looked to have it covered. The last chance of the game went Town’s way when Stewart found Bromley in the box, but Budtz saved the header comfortably and The Ambers saw out the four minutes of injury time with no further scares to secure a much needed and deserved victory against a very good team.