Glasshoughton Welfare’s recent improvement was left behind as they suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Hallam at a cold and windy TJs Arena.
After two good performances in their previous Toolstation NCE Division One outings against Rossington and Selby Town, they were looking to build further against a team that they had beaten away earlier in the season.
But Tom Roebuck set the visitors on their way with a 19th minute goal and Sam Smith clinched the points with a second half header. Apart from a couple of first half chances, Welfare were hardly in the game in one of their worst performances of the season.
Both sides had early chances in the first 10 minutes. Welfare were under pressure from the off having to defend a couple of corners and it looked as though Smith would be the first to capitalise for the visitors when he only had Jacob Collier to beat from six yards yet inexplicably he allowed the keeper to save.
Jack Waddle then shot wide, but at the other end Welfare should have opened their account. Nathan Perks played Matthew Semley in and with only stopper Josh Chapman to beat, he delayed and the keeper was able to clear.
The visitors attacked strongly again with Mitch Husbands seeing his volley go over.
The pressure told on 19 minutes when Collier appeared to claim a header, but suddenly the ball was on the ground and Roebuck poked it home.
Welfare were unfortunate not to level when Ryan Poskitt saw his well struck shot strike defender Jack McCarthy and deflect away.
As the first half ended the home defenders were under pressure having to clear a number of well worked free-kicks.
Welfare created hardly any chances during the second half although the keeper had to be quick down at the feet of Bowman after a quick free-kick. Hallam were out to put the game to bed and came close when a delightful ball across the six-yard box could not quite be latched onto by Jake Currie at the far post. They got the clinching goal, however, on 70 minutes when Smith nodded in at the far post from Sam Fewkes’ corner.
It could have been worse for Welfare late on when a Reece Treasure free-kick struck a post and rebounded into the face of Collier before being cleared.
Joint Welfare manager Lee Vigars said: “Very disappointed with our performance.
“We just didn’t get going at all and have pretty much handed the points to Hallam.
“We were a million miles away from the way we played and battled against Selby and Rossington and that’s what’s the most gutting thing about it.
“That said, we could have been in front early on when Matt Semley has gone clean through and hesitated when one-on-one allowing their defender to get back and clear, then moments later Ryan Poskitt has had a shot cleared off the line.
“But full credit must go to Hallam who on a poor surface and with a strong wind all afternoon have come over to our place and worked tirelessly for the full 90 minutes. They will clearly be right up there come April.
“From our point of view we’ll look back at individual performances which simply weren’t good enough and maybe look to change things up for the visit of Skegness Town next week.”