Ferguson pounces to clinch important win for Glasshoughton

Equaliser: Andy Horbury.
Equaliser: Andy Horbury.

Glasshoughton Welfare dug deep to beat play-offs rivals Selby Town 2-1 to move to within two points of the top six in Toolstation NCE Division One.

Ryan Ferguson’s hour mark winner completed a great turn round after Glasshoughton had been outplayed in the first half.

Joe Dale gave Town the lead in the seventh minute and the visitors were cruising until Andy Horbury’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time changed the whole outlook.

The big victory ends a perfect month for Welfare who have won all four of their league matches to continue their rise from no mans’ land to the brink of the play-offs.

They did not look to be heading for another win in the first half, however, as a Selby team full of attacking intentions took their early lead through Dale’s cool finish from the edge of the box and carved Welfare open on numerous occasions.

Liam Flanagan hit the post with a free-kick before going through on goal only to miss. Dale then hit the post with a shot from distance.

When Dale was brought down by new Glasshoughton keeper Jacob Collier they had a great chance to double their lead, but Charlie Clamp blazed the spot kick wide.

Soon after Collier made a brave block and Welfare levelled from a rare attack as Horbury netted his 12th goal of the season when his powerful strike took a deflection and looped over Selby’s ex-Glasshoughton keeper Paul Hagreen.

Welfare never looked back. They were much more solid in the second half and more dangerous going forward. Their winning goal came on the hour as Connor Rollinson and Horbury combined to set up Ferguson, who beat Hagreen to the ball to score into the empty net.

Tom Carr then rattled the crossbar with a free-kick and at the other end Selby also saw an effort hit the bar, but that was one of few moments where Welfare were really threatened in the final half-hour.

Joint Welfare manager Darren Holmes said: “Selby are a really good side and I’m sure they will feel that they deserved better, but credit to all our squad for sticking together.

“We have fantastic team spirit at Glass and that was evident. I’m absolutely thrilled to get the three points and it keeps us right in the chase for a top six place.”

Glasshoughton face two tough games now as they host third-placed Grimsby Borough this Saturday (3pm) and visit fourth-placed Yorkshire Amateur next Tuesday (7.45pm).

Former Ossett Albion manager Richard Tracey has joined the coaching staff at Glasshoughton Welfare, lending a hand to Darren Holmes and Lee Vigars at training and in matches.

Since leaving Ossett in October after four solid years in charge, Tracey had been helping Thackley in a similar capacity until the departure of Chris Reape. His new role suits him because of his day job as a senior member of staff at a school.

Holmes and Vigars must be thrilled to get him on board because of his huge contacts book and experience in the game. Tracey played in the Football League for the likes of Macclesfield Town and Carlisle United and when he dropped into non-league he turned out for Bradford (Park Avenue), Ossett Town, Frickley Athletic and Stocksbridge Park Steels.