Spirited Glasshoughton test leaders

Andy Horbury, on target for Glasshoughton Welfare.

Glasshoughton Welfare could not make it back to back victories, but put up a spirited effort away to runaway Toolstation NCE Division One leaders Knaresborough Town on Tuesday night.

Andy Horbury and Mitch Wilshire had chances to give Welfare the lead just before and after half-time, but goals in the last 15 minutes from Tom Hesketh and Blaine Hobson saw ‘Houghton’s three game unbeaten run come to an end.

The Welfare goal was under siege for the first half-hour and the overworked defence had to show great courage to block several efforts on goal.

Mateus Zaniewski, in goals, handled the ball well on the greasy pitch and he parried a thunderous Dom Wilson free-kick away. The keeper also did well to push away a cross come shot in a crowded area.

Dan Thirkill hit a shot across goal and he later headed a good chance wide.

Just before the break Horbury did well to win a 50-50 ball and he bore down on goal, but home keeper Dan Atkinson thwarted his shot with an outstretched leg.

Welfare had the home defence rocking at the start of the second period and Atkinson did well to block an effort from Wilshire as he broke through with only the keeper to beat. Horbury’s follow-up effort was deflected for a corner.

Despite coming close to breaking the deadlock a number of times, Welfare fell behind to a 74th minute long range strike from Tom Hesketh which gave Zaniewski no chance.

Six minutes later the home side sealed the game ultimately from a mistake by Zaniewski. The big goalkeeper made a hash of a free-kick from the edge of his area. The ball went to a home player and although it was won back by Welfare it was lost again and Blaine Hobson kept his cool to slot past Zaniewski.

After the game a disappointed joint Welfare manager Lee Vigars said: “We didn’t deserve to lose that game. At 0-0 and into the second half we were the better side and it looked like we could go on and win it.

“That first goal killed us because it was totally against the run of play. However, we never stopped working for 90 minutes again.”

Glasshoughton were in good form last Saturday when they beat FC Bolsover 2-0 at the TJs Travel Arena.

Rob Oldham struck a goal of the season contender to seal a first home win of the campaign for Welfare.

They had to ride out a storm after coming under pressure in the first half before going ahead when Andy Horbury’s flick-on sent frontman Mitch Wilshire away and he finished coolly.

Bolsover offered little in response and early in the second half Welfare made it 2-0 as Oldham, their recent signing from Worsbrough Bridge, attacked down the left and from 25 yards, unleashed a fantastic shot that sent the ball flying into the top corner of the net.

There were chances for more goals as Connor Rollinson was inches away from adding a third and Oldham let off another thunderbolt in the last few minutes which unluckily came back off the inside of the post.

Glasshoughton’s game management in the last half-hour was excellent with the introduction of substitute Lewis Akeister being a key moment as the tactical move made their midfield rock solid as they saw out the game well for a win that moved them up the table.

They have shown good improvement in recent weeks, but will now have to cope without inspirational forward Ryan Poskitt for four games after he received a suspension.

Glasshoughton are without a game this weekend, but are in action next Tuesday at home to East Yorkshire Carnegie, who are just above them in the table (kick-off 7.45pm).

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