McManus heads Glasshoughton Welfare into next round of FA Vase

Glasshoughton Welfare's Andy Horbury.
Glasshoughton Welfare's Andy Horbury.

Glasshoughton Welfare progressed to the next round of the FA Vase with a fine performance on the 4G surface at Widnes.

A first half Andy Horbury header gave Welfare the lead and although the hosts levelled in the second half, captain Andy McManus sealed the win on 87 minutes with another header.

With Josh Morley and Connor Rollinson unavailable Mike Brearly came back into the side and young Jack Overton made his first start for the club. Josh Bucknall replaced Adam Walsh in defence.

In the impressive Halton Stadium Welfare started well although there was a small concern when a Luke Edwards cross shot landed on the roof of Arran Murphy’s net.

Horbury headed a free-kick into the hands of home keeper Richie Mottram. However, the big striker was not to be out done again and on 11 minutes he glanced a pinpoint Conor Glavin free-kick into the corner of the net.

Shortly afterwards McManus headed another free-kick over, and again another Glavin effort caused confusion in the home defence with the ball striking the body of Mottram.

The home side were hardly bothering the Welfare defence although Chris Lomax hit an effort over the bar and Alex Marsh did well to block a goalbound effort just before the interval.

Widnes started the second half much sharper and Lomax headed just over before a deep cross to the far post was headed down into the ground by Alex Davies and the ball bounced up and over the crossbar.

The home side equalised on 65 minutes when a great cross from the right was glanced past Murphy by Andy Gillespie.

The home side were now testing Welfare and Lomax hit a shot just wide. Josh Bucknall then came to his side’s rescue with an acrobatic block of a dangerous ball across the area with a home player behind him ready to pounce.

Ten minutes from the end Murphy made a good low save to deny Michael Burke.

Welfare soaked up the pressure and clinched the winning goal in the 87th minute with a controversial goal. A home player delayed taking a throw-in and was penalised by the referee for time wasting. He awarded the throw to ‘Houghton and long throw expert Tom Carr speared the ball in towards the near post for McManus to glance it home through a crowd of players.

Despite home team appeals the goal stood and Welfare easily saw out the last minutes to earn a home tie in the next round.

After the game Glasshoughton coach Greg Beswick commented: “The lads showed resilience.

“We held our shape really well and frustrated the opposition to little chances. Andy Horbury was brilliant for us, he took his goal well, worked tirelessly and their back line couldn’t deal with him.

“I feel the lads should take confidence from this result.

“Even when they equalised there was around 20 minutes to play and we showed the togetherness and the character that we have as a group, to keep going and we took our chance when we got it”

Glasshoughton are back in action in the Toolstation NCE League this Saturday when they travel to play Campion in a Division One match (3pm). They are also in action next Tuesday, at home to Armthorpe Welfare (7.45pm).

Welfare will host AFC Darwen in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase on Saturday, September 23.