Glasshoughton Welfare returned to league football with a point to prove, but despite a much better display some poor defending cost them the points at home to Athersley Recreation in the Toolstation NCE Premier.
A 2-0 defeat saw Welfare drop into the bottom four with a big game to come away to near neighbours Garforth Town this Saturday (3pm).
In an end to end opening striker Kingsley Weatherald opened up the visitors’ defence to release Josh Prudhoe whose low shot went narrowly wide and at the other end Callum Mackie went close.
Welfare had the ball in the net in the 17th minute courtesy of visiting defender Jack Briscoe, but the referee cut short the joy, ruling an infringement on keeper Shaun Penn.
Welfare debutant Regan Fish then scythed through a static visitors only to clip the outside of the upright.
Home keeper Josh Archer was then called into action, bringing off a fine save to deny Recs’ Daniel Joynes, but on the half hour Welfare, defending a flag kick too many, succumbed to a simple goal, Daniel Manfredi being left oceans of space to float a header into the top corner to put Athersley ahead.
With their tails up Recs put the home defence under constant pressure and on the stroke of half-time got further reward when Kieran Scargil was left unmarked to fire a shot against the upright and Daniel Joynes had the quite simple task of heading the rebound into an empty net.
In the second half despite Jimmy Williams being required to block on the goal line and Recs’ Joynes striking the upright, Glasshoughton rose to the occasion, taking the game to the visitors.
But although they were by far the better side in the second period for all their territorial advantage and a deluge of half chances they were unable to find the net, the closest being when keeper Penn clawed a Matty Haigh screamer over.
Pontefract Collieries climbed up to third place in NCE Division One when they came away with the points from a 1-0 win at Teversal.
A 29th minute goal by Matthew Marsden proved enough to clinch a valuable win as Colls made it four wins from their first six league matches ahead of a home game against Rossington Main last night and another home game against Dronfield Town on Saturday.