Glasshoughton Welfare rounded off their pre-season campaign on Tuesday night with a good win at NCE Premiership side Garforth Town.
A brace of goals midway through the first half from the revitalised Ash Scothern set them on their way and an early second half effort by new signing Elie Jr Akobeto sealed the win. A Luke McCrum consolation was too little too late for the home side.
With first choice goalkeeper Jordan Bradshaw still injured Welfare fielded trialist Ash Wood between the posts and he made several fine blocks to keep his side ahead.
Injuries last season seemed to blight Scothern’s form, but the experienced striker is looking revitalised and he came close to a hat-trick.
Young Tom Coyles drove an effort over before Welfare took the lead on 22 minutes as a great cross field ball from Josh Morley was picked up by Scothern on the right and he ran on before driving it past the keeper.
Two minutes later a Connor Glavin free-kick was headed across goal by Andy McManus and once again Scothern was on hand to force the ball home.
Garforth changed virtually all of their starting 11 while Welfare made numerous changes during the second half. They increased their lead on 50 minutes when Glavin did well to charge down a clearance from the keeper and the loose ball fell to Akobeto who drilled home.
The strong home side hit back and Wood made a great block at his near post before a high cross was bundled in by former Welfare man McCrum.
Delighted Welfare joint manager Lee Vigars said, “I’m really pleased with tonight’s performance. There were plenty of positives to take from the game and some outstanding individual performances also. We’ve finished the pre season campaign with three tricky games against higher opposition so to come away from Garforth with a 3-1 win certainly gives the group a boost heading into the opener at Selby on Saturday. Ash Scothern continues his hot streak with another brace and it was also great to see Elie Akobeto get off the mark following a strong game leading the attack.”
Welfare welcomed Midland League side Coventry United to the TJs Arena last Saturday
They were missing a number of players, but in an entertaining encounter gave a spirited performance despite the 4-1 score line against their higher league opponents.
Welfare were under the cosh early on and a free-kick from visitors man of the match Craig Reid sailed just over the bar.
Welfare had 18-year-old goalkeeper Kieran Hartley making his first appearance and he showed great agility to tip away a strong drive from Lewis Rankin. Shortly after he did well to palm a header away.
Welfare came close when a 25-yard Connor Glavin drive was parried away by keeper Ash Malotra who then saved the follow-up with his feet.
Coventry took the lead on 35 minutes when a poor clearance from Hartley found Lewis Rankine and he lobbed the ball into the net from 18 yards.
Young Hartley redeemed himself minutes later when he pushed a goal bound effort over his cross bar. Josh Bucknell then did well to block away another effort and just before half-time Hartley came to his side’s rescue again, tipping a Reid downward volley over.
Welfare were under pressure early in the second half. Rankin shot just wide and Kyle Barnett saw his towering header go over. Two goals in a minute round the hour mark saw Coventry take control as Reid cut in from the right before hammering a shot into the far corner then Reid prodded past Hartley.
Welfare got a goal back on 67 minutes when a Josh Morley free-kick fell to Andy Horbury who turned and fired past Malhotra.
As the game entered its final stages Hartley pushed a shot from Dominic Areaney onto a post and then made a good low save. Seconds before the end a long ball caught the Welfare defence out and Rankin latched onto it before knocking it home.
Glasshoughton now play their first NCE Division One game when away to Selby Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm). Their first home game quickly follows next Tuesday as Worsbrough Bridge Athletic are the visitors to the TJs Arena (7.45pm).