Glasshoughton Welfare’s hopes of a top 10 finish in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League suffered a blow as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Eccleshill United at a warm Leeds Road ground.
The story of the game was one of chances taken and chances not taken and Welfare, not for the first time this season, fell into the latter category.
It opened badly for Welfare when they fell behind with only two minutes on the clock. After a free-kick was cleared by the visitors’ defence Marcus Edwards latched onto the ball in the home half and knocked it past onrushing keeper Jordan Bradshaw into the net.
Welfare attempted to hit straight back and a Connor Glavin free-kick just cleared the crossbar. A corner was then headed just wide by Olly Maude.
The hosts did equalise on 11 minutes when Nathan Keightley was brought down by keeper Mark Bower inside the area and Adam Hayton stepped up to clip the resulting penalty home.
Eccleshill responded and had a couple of good chances with Charlie Flaherty lashing well wide and Chris Lever shanking the ball past the post.
Welfare had a great opportunity for a second goal on 30 minutes when man of the match Andy Horbury was fouled in the area to bring about a second penalty, but this time Bower blocked Hayton’s spot kick.
Horbury then caused the keeper to stretch at his post to collect a header.
Just before the break Bower saved with his feet from Keightley, but at the other end Matt Mathers headed a corner just wide and Matt Stor volleyed wide.
As the second half opened Andy McManus did well to block Edwards away, but three minutes in Eccleshill went ahead when a high ball was headed back to Flaherty who fired past Bradshaw from six yards.
Welfare did not give up and a good move saw Maude’s volley well tipped over the bar by Bower. Keightley prodded the ball wide as Bower closed him down and the striker saw another effort brilliantly palmed away by the busy keeper before he launched another effort high over the bar.
Tempers became frayed and referee Thomas showed a number of players yellow cards, including Welfare’s Louis Akeister who received two within a minute and was subsequently sent-off.
The visitors got the clinching goal on 76 minutes when another high ball into the area could not be cleared and Edwards volleyed home from a yard out.
After the game Welfare joint manager Lee Vigars said: “Missed chances again cost us what would have been a very important three points.
“We played some attractive football in the first 45 minutes and should have been leading at half-time but for Adam’s missed penalty. A couple of lapses at the back in the second half coupled with the sending off of Louis left us with an uphill task. Still lots to play for despite this setback.”
Glasshoughton face a tough league game this Saturday, away to an AFC Emley side looking to clinch promotion in their last match. They are also in action next Tuesday when they play their NCE League Cup semi-final away to Penistone Church.