Glasshoughton Welfare got their new season off to a reasonable start on Saturday when visiting last year’s high flyers Hemsworth MW in their opening game in the Toolstation NCE Division One.
A battling 1-1 draw away to their neighbours gave Mick Norbury his first point since taking over as manager in his first game in charge as Glasshoughton began their rebuilding process following relegation last term.
Hemsworth are tipped to do well this season on the back of a fine campaign last time when they were only just pipped by Pontefract Collieries for promotion to the Premier.
They started this game on the front foot with Will Kemp forcing debutant Welfare keeper Matt Stables into a great flying save early on.
A corner was headed over by Nash Connolly before Stables made another fine block.
Welfare eased into the game and came back when a shot from Tom Carr was brilliantly tipped over by Hemsworth keeper Chris Snaith.
At the other end, Kemp forced Stables into a fine save and the same player then beat the keeper with a thunderous shot from 35 yards. The ball bounced down to Ryan Pleasants, but Stables again managed to block the shot.
Welfare had another great chance after 33 minutes. Several players combined with great passing and the ball was worked to Josh Prudhoe who shot just wide.
Just before half-time Dom Blair and Adam Wilson combined well for the visitors only for Stables to foil them.
The second half started with Welfare well on top and numerous chances went begging.
Danny Middleton shot against the legs of Snaith, then Josh Morley overlapped on the left, but both Middleton and Danny Cawley were unable to capitalise.
Prudhoe had a shot tipped round the post and from the corner Snaith blocked Prudhoe’s overhead kick.
Cawley and substitute Tom Coyles both hit shots wide before Middleton again saw an effort blocked by the legs of Snaith. Cawley then found himself one-on-one with Snaith, but again the keeper saved with his legs.
The sucker punch came on 70 minutes when Stables made his only mistake. He missed a free-kick from the left and Jason Yates tapped in to put the hosts ahead.
Robert Tonks should have made the game safe just after, but he scuffed his shot wide.
In the last couple of minutes Snaith again blocked an effort by Middleton before, in the fourth minute of injury-time, Cawley went through on goal and was tripped by Snaith in the area.
Cawley slammed away the resulting spot-kick, although the keeper got a hand to the ball, to give Glasshoughton a point their efforts had deserved.
New manager Norbury said: “A point away from home on the opening day is always good especially at Hemsworth where a few people are tipping them for success.
“They are a good organised side with plenty of pace.
“My lads knew they would have to work well and they did.
“With a bit better finishing we could have had all three points.
“I’ve got a good set of lads in the dressing room who want to do well and if we keep working and believing we are going to be okay.”
Glasshoughton were in action again on Tuesday night when they beat Lincoln Moorlands Railway 4-3 in a dramatic first round League Cup tie.
Welfare were 2-0 down after 30 minutes before a Danny Cawley penalty made it 2-1 at half-time.
Lincoln looked to be cruising when they got a third, but with six minutes left a John Forsyth header and an own goal took the tie into extra- time and Del Pollock scored the winner on 103 minutes.
This Saturday Welfare are in FA Cup action when they host Runcorn Linnets in the extra preliminary round (3pm). They are also at home next Tuesday to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic in the league (7.45pm).