On a beautiful autumn afternoon and an equally impressive playing surface an improvement to recent form saw Glasshoughton Welfare comfortably collect maximum points from a 3-1 win at Heanor Town in the Toolstation NCE Premier Division.
In an end to end opening Kieran Corley snubbed an early chance for Welfare by driving past the upright after being put in a good position.
A mad goalmouth scramble soon after saw home keeper James Baker somehow without knowing block on the line to deny the visitors an early breakthrough. Then when the keeper finally appeared to be beaten Corley’s shot hit the side netting.
On the half hour Joel Freestone spooned a shot wide, but just prior to the interval he made amends by sweeping in after Darol Lucas had put Corley to the bye line.
Welfare forced an early corner in the second half only for the Town keeper to bring off a magnificent save to deny Daz Young. They did go further in front 10 minutes in, however, when Lucas made good ground down the right flank to find leading scorer Callum Ward, who forced home the cross despite being under severe pressure.
Welfare were then presented with the opportunity to make the game safe when awarded a penalty, Freestone being felled en route to goal. But a somewhat weak spot kick was superbly saved at the foot of the upright by custodian Baker.
Town appeared to take heart from this miss but before they were able to inflict any damage Welfare nipped any retaliation in the bud by going further ahead, Lucas looping over a static home defence allowing Daz Young to steal in and head over Baker.
Although in the 83rd minute Kieran Debrouwer pulled one back for the home team Welfare continued to be in control well enough to seal a well deserved victory.
This Saturday Welfare host Thackley (3pm) and next Tuesday they are at home to Ossett Albion in a first round West Riding County Cup tie (7.45pm).
Glasshoughton Welfare under 19s came out on top 3-2 at Hemsworth in a competitive friendly.
It took them until the second half to come to terms with the physicality of the game, but they were never behind and finished the stronger side.
Without two regular strikers, Ben Chisholm was given a run out up front and opened the scoring from Liam Moore’s cross.
Hemsworth equalised from 30 yards when keeper Matty Potts lost sight of the ball under the floodlights, but Welfare were back in front with Joe Nicholson’s blistering free-kick.
Although the hosts levelled again it was Glasshoughton who sealed victory through Nicholson’s second.
Best for them were winger Moore, centre-back Connor Betteridge and midfield trio Nicholson, Ryan Bladen and Reece Sheldon.