Boss Clare bemoans summer departures as Louth Town slip to heavy home defeat


Visiting striker Craig Heard helped himself to a four-goal haul as Louth Town slipped to a second successive defeat at home to Knaresborough Town on Wednesday.

A youthful Town side were made to rue missed chances as Knaresborough ran out 5-2 winners at Park Avenue, just days after the White Wolves had lost their opening game 2-0 at Cleethorpes Town.

The size of the defeat however did not reflect the overall balance of play and was largely down to the excellent finishing of visiting striker Heard.

Town had gone ahead through Matt Kennedy before coming back to 2-2 after falling behind. But Heard had the final say with three goals in the final 16 minutes.

And Town boss Daryl Clare bemoaned the loss of 10 players over the close season, claiming their departures ‘destroyed what we built last season’.

The game almost had an explosive start when Knaresborough’s Hobson broke clear only to blaze high and wide.

This acted as a wake-up call for the home team and the White Wolves duly took the lead on six minutes with a coolly taken goal from last year’s top scorer Matt Kennedy following a superb through ball from Daryl Clare.

The young White Wolves players were proving more than a match for the visitors yet it was Knaresborough who snatched an equaliser through skipper Liam Grey after 16 minutes.

An entertaining game ebbed and flowed with Kennedy going close for Louth and Ian MacTaggert making a smart save at the other end.

As the half wore on though, mistakes began to creep into Louth’s play allowing the visitors to come more into the game and to create chances.

On the stroke of half time Knaresborough managed to take advantage of one of these mistakes to score through Heard and go in 2-1 up at the break.

An unhappy Daryl Clare made a change at half-time introducing Josh Harley and the change paid immediate dividends as the young forward swivelled in the box to score and bring Louth back on level terms.

For the next 20 minutes it was Louth who looked the more likely to score.

Kennedy, Danny Stevens and Callum Hyland all went close but as the chances went begging Heard made them pay by breaking away to score his second goal of the evening to put his side 3-2 up.

This was a little harsh on Louth but proved that taking their chances when they come along is vital if they are to go on and win games.

Danny Marshall had a well struck shot saved as Louth strived to get back level but it was Heard who had the final say scoring twice in the closing stages to take his personal tally to four and to give the final scoreline a flattering and distorted look.

Louth have a crop of extremely talented youngsters but are in need of a couple of experienced heads to help them fulfil their potential.

Manager Daryl Clare said afterwards: “At present we are full of commitment and the lads are giving everything, they can’t give any more.

“In all honesty we’re just lacking a bit of quality and depth in the squad.

“I feel for myself, Carl Forman and the players who have stayed local to the club because the 10 who have left for various reasons have destroyed what we built last season.

“On a positive note, the young players are doing a fantastic job and as the season progresses they will find their feet and get even better.”

Louth have an important game on Saturday when they travel to Barrowash Victoria in the FA Cup.

A victory would not only boost confidence but also be a welcome boost to club funds.