Thackley AFC rekindled their play-off aspirations with a resolute 2-0 win on the road at Manse Lane against Knaresborough Town yesterday. The squad faced several challenges with key players such as Matty Dempsey (suspended), Lewis Morgan (ill), and Corey Billy (minor injury) unavailable. Consequently, Harry Parsons shifted to central defence alongside Liam Hudson, while George Green returned to the starting lineup in midfield. The entire team delivered an exceptional performance, particularly Parsons and Green who exhibited commanding displays.

In the first half, Thackley battled against the wind, with both teams striving to adapt to the challenging conditions. Knaresborough Town sought opportunities behind the defence, while Thackley focused on maintaining possession. Despite the conditions, Thackley managed to create promising chances. However, stout defending and goalkeeping thwarted their early efforts.

As the half progressed, Knaresborough Town exerted pressure, forcing Thackley’s defence to remain vigilant. Moments of concern arose, particularly when Parsons, who had been solid in defence, required treatment for an elbow injury. However, he bravely continued despite discomfort. Thackley’s resilience paid off when they seized the lead just before halftime. Green’s astute pass found Grech-Brooksbank, who calmly slotted past the keeper to give Thackley the advantage.

The second half saw a shift in momentum as Thackley now had the wind at their backs. This advantage was evident when Wilson’s clearance found Donovan, who nearly capitalized on the opportunity. Thackley continued to press forward, creating dangerous opportunities. Their persistence was rewarded with a spectacular goal, as Donovan volleyed home from Green’s cleverly laid-off free kick.

As the game progressed, Thackley remained organized defensively, thwarting Knaresborough Town’s attempts to mount a comeback. Subsequent substitutions aimed to maintain Thackley’s energy levels and secure the victory. Despite a late scare, Thackley held firm to clinch a crucial win.

The victory rejuvenates Thackley’s hopes for a playoff spot, injecting renewed optimism into the team and supporters alike. With three games remaining, Thackley remains in contention, thanks to the collective effort of the management team and players who delivered a commendable performance, scoring two excellent goals and preserving a clean sheet.