Glasshoughton Welfare restore pride with battling draw

Glasshoughton Welfare's Matthew Haigh (left), who was a scorer against Thackley.
Glasshoughton Welfare's Matthew Haigh (left), who was a scorer against Thackley.
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Glasshoughton Welfare produced a much improved performance as they battled to an honourable 1-1 draw on Tuesday night in a quick return fixture against a Thackley team that had subjected them to a heavy defeat just over a week ago.

Thackley applied early pressure on the home defence with Chris Davey going close and Paul Whiteley hitting the woodwork.

But Welfare gradually weathered the early storm and following a spell of pressure which produced a series of corners they took the lead on the half hour mark, Matthew Haigh forcing home through a packed goalmouth.

Despite the poor slippery conditions both teams contributed to an entertaining game with some fine football, but as the game went on Thackley were looking the better side and levelled in the 56th minute from a Thomas Dugdale free-kick from the edge of the penalty area which somehow eluded both the defensive wall and keeper Josh Archer.

From then on it was backs to the wall for the home men, but they rose to the task and defended magnificently against an eager attack looking for the winning goal to earn a valuable point and boost morale after some bad recent defeats.

A jittery defence was Welfare’s downfall as they crashed 6-1 to sprightly visitors Albion Sports in a league game on Saturday.

Opening in torrential rain, Welfare were presented the first opportunity almost from the kick-off, but although Kingsley Weatherald got round visiting keeper Ed Hall the striker lost his feet and was unable to put the chance away before Hall recovered to save.

Both teams played some entertaining football in the first half and Welfare were more than unfortunate to be trailing at the interval to the tune of four goals, most of those arising through their inability to defend soundly.

Following a dubious corner the hosts were put under a bout of pressure and keeper Josh Archer was repeatedly called into action, firstly blocking out what appeared to be a close range goalbound shot from Danny Facey before recovering quickly to deny Facey again from the rebound.

Archer then held onto a fierce shot under the crossbar from Asif Hussain as Welfare struggled against the pace of Ferdinand Annur and after Karl Hall and Lee Elam had both missed chances it was no surprise when Elam glanced a header into the path of Facey, who went on to angle low across Archer to give the visitors a 22nd minute lead.

Albion looked to build on this lead and despite Welfare playing some fine football they were undone further, two goals coming in quick succession through Hall and Facey on the half hour mark.

When shortly before the interval a succession of missed tackles allowed Facey in to complete his hat-trick Welfare went in at the break with a mountain to climb.

They resumed looking more solid at the rear, but feared the worst when conceding a penalty only for keeper Archer to rise to the occasion again, turning the spot kick on to the upright to save the home men’s blushes.

For a period Welfare came back into the game, reducing the areas when new signing James Mackie beat two opponents to cross for Kingsley Weatherald to force home to reduce the arrears.

But any hopes Welfare had of making a comeback were soon dashed as after Facey had headed a sitter over the bar Hall was allowed oceans of room to stoop and head home to increase Albion’s lead.

In the closing period Annur then found space to drive home past the unsighted Archer to complete Welfare’s misery, although they had played a lot better than the final score suggested.

This Saturday Glasshoughton face a trip to the east coast to play Cleethorpes Town in the NCE Premier (3pm). They are also away to Nostell MW next Tuesday (7.45pm).