Glasshoughton Welfare strengthened their play-offs push with victory at Ollerton Town on Monday night.
Welfare travelled to Nottinghamshire after holding onto their sixth place in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League with a 2-0 win away to FC Bolsover last Saturday and came up with another victory as their hosts were comfortably beaten.
First half goals from Ryan Ferguson, Tom Carr and Andy Horbury had Houghton well in control at the break and although Gavin King pulled one back for Ollerton it was the visitors who had the last word with Ferguson’s second clinching them a 4-1 success.
Welfare were quick out of the blocks and ahead on four minutes through Ferguson’s header. Ten minutes later it was two following a great strike by Carr.
However, Carr’s night was ended on the half-hour when he received a red card for kicking out at Liam Cooper.
Although down to 10 men Welfare still created chances and they added a third goal on the stroke of half-time as Horbury outpaced the home defence to slot home.
Ollerton were more of a threat in the second half and Polish goalkeeper Mateuz Zaniewski came up with some good saves. He was beaten from the penalty spot after Sam Pashley looked to have been harshly adjudged to have fouled, but Welfare scored again five minutes from time when Ferguson scored from Tom Hullock’s angled pass.
The result left Glasshoughton in sixth place – the last of the play-off places – and they are five points ahead of seventh-placed Hallam, who have three games in hand.
Conor Glavin hit his 19th and 20th goals of the season to seal a win at Bolsover at the weekend, but the victory should have been by a much bigger margin as numerous chances went begging to leave joint managers Darren Holmes and Lee Vigars looking on in amazement.
In the opening stages Rob Oldham fired an effort just wide and at the other end Matt Zaniewski made a low save from Cory Goodwin.
Welfare took the lead on seven minutes after Andy Horbury broke through only to see his shot blocked by the legs of home keeper Ryan Hopkins. Seconds later Horbury received the ball back and he fed Glavin who side footed home.
A second should have followed as Glavin chested the ball to Horbury, but the tall striker’s tame shot was easily gathered by Hopkins.
Welfare had other chances as Ferguson shot wide, Glavin volleyed wide and Horbury found himself with only Hopkins to beat only to dither on the ball for the opportunity to be lost.
Glavin then played Horbury in, but once again he could only find the legs of Hopkins.
Bolsover came close when a cross saw Alex Marsh slice the ball just over his own crossbar as he attempted to clear.
Another opportunity was missed just before half-time as Horbury got on the end of an Oldham free-kick, but he steered his header wide.
As the second half opened Welfare had a lucky escape as Callum Lytham’s 25-yard shot struck the bar. Just after Will Harcourt should have brought the scores level when he miskicked and a relieved Zaniewski managed to drop on the ball.
At the other end, both Glavin and Horbury hit shots out of the ground and Adam Walsh headed an Oldham corner onto the roof of the net. Horbury was unlucky when his snap shot hit a post, but Welfare got their second when Ferguson was upended 30 yards from goal and Glavin, as he has done a number of times this season, hit his trademark free-kick past the despairing Hopkins.
Soon after Glavin hit another effort wide.
Sam Pashley, who had shown great composure in the Welfare back four throughout, then made a great last ditch tackle before a combination of Zaniewski and Pashley managed to block an effort at the far post.
As the game drew to a close visitors’ substitute Jamie Simpson saw his fierce drive hit the side netting.
After the game joint Welfare manager Lee Vigars commented: “We asked for a reaction from our lads and we got it.
“FC Bolsover are fighting for their lives and right from the off they got into our faces and gave us no time on the ball.
“But credit to the lads, they withstood the early pressure and then took control of the game.
“Conor Glavin has scored another couple of goals and could have had at least a couple more. As a team we’ve missed a bagful of chances, which wasn’t great, but the fact we were creating them in the first place bodes well.
“It’s a massive week for us with three games in the six days. That will be extremely difficult so it was important to pick up maximum points and we did.”
Glasshoughton were due to travel to play Worsbrough Bridge Athletic last night as they attempt to play catch-up with fixtures that have been postponed.
They are back at home this Saturday when entertaining Division One leaders Knaresborough Town and round off their regular league season with two further games, against mid-table Swallownest at home next Tuesday then away to bottom of the table Retford United on April 21.