Glasshoughton Welfare bounced straight back from their recent cup exit to take the points in back to back home games against Armthorpe Welfare and Winterton Rangers in the Premier Division of the Toolstation NCE League.
Despite being reduced to 10 men for the whole of the second period against Armthorpe on Tuesday night Glasshoughton ground out a 1-0 win in a scrappy encounter after winning more comfortably 3-1 against lowly Winterton on Saturday.
The results lifted them up to 12th place and in a tightly compact top half they are only seven points behind Brighouse in third.
Houghton started slightly the brighter side against Armthorpe, man of the match Russ Headley being dominant from the off, laying on a header which Daz Young put wide.
In reply Armthorpe’s Daniel Taylor crashed a low shot just past the upright.
But following a period of midfield play Welfare scored the only goal of a drab game on the half hour mark. Visiting keeper William Biggs palmed down a corner kick for Daz Young to thankfully knock home.
Apart from home keeper Paul Hagreen making two excellent saves late on to effectively win the points for the home men the only other talking point surrounded the match referee, who appeared to make two incorrect decisions that could have crucially impacted on the final result.
In the first instance Headley went clear to round Biggs and looked to have been brought down by the keeper, but much to everyone’s surprise the Glasshoughton player was given a caution, presumably for diving when everyone was anticipating the goalkeeper’s dismissal and a spot kick for the home men.
Then just before the interval the referee dismissed Welfare’s James Beaston for alleged use of an elbow in a challenge.
In the second period 10-man Houghton were up against it, but the visitors failed to make use of the extra body and some stout defending and excellent goalkeeping saw them hang on to take the most welcome points and avenge an earlier season FA Vase defeat at the hands of the South Yorkshire outfit.
The result of Saturday’s game against Winterton was slightly in the balance up to the interval, but Welfare ran out 3-1 victors for only their second home success.
Glasshoughton were presented with a first minute opportunity to take the lead, but Daz Young failed to beat visiting keeper Dan Wailing when through one-on-one.
They stayed on the attack for Matt Donnelly to head over and a fine header by Young to be well saved by Wailing.
Welfare were playing some neat, tight football and from Russ Headley’s cross Rangers were forced to block on the goal-line on consecutive occasions.
As the home men stayed on the offensive Liam Tuck drove over and Headley lifted a glorious chance over. When Headley was brought down on the edge of the area James Beaston’s goal-bound free-kick was superbly turned round the angle by the athletic Wailing to keep the visitors in the game up to the interval.
From the turn round Welfare more or less took control, going in front after only 10 minutes when Rangers were unable to cope with the pressure, culminating in Lewis Trice helping the ball into the net in a packed goalmouth for an own goal.
From then on Welfare never looked back. Some five minutes later they virtually made the points safe when Dalton Harris chipped in what appeared to be a cross with the ball eluding everyone to strike the far upright and finish in the net.
Hilliaro Serrao replaced Young and within minutes the Venezuelan was on the scoresheet, hitting a perfect screamer into the top corner from some 20 yards out which gave Wailing no chance and paid back some of the Welfare manager’s belief in the striker.
Although Rangers continued to plug away with their recent ex-Football League signing Robbie Start looking dangerous on occasions and actually netting a late consolation goal, Welfare finished well in command to take the points.
This Saturday Glasshoughton continue their run of home matches when they entertain Albion Sports, who are in ninth place, three points above Welfare. Kick-off is 3pm.
They are also in action next Tuesday away to championship challengers Brighouse Town in the league (kick-off 7.45pm).