Glasshoughton Welfare closing in on play-offs place

Pleased with win: Glasshoughton Welfare joint manager Darren Holmes.
Pleased with win: Glasshoughton Welfare joint manager Darren Holmes.

Glasshoughton Welfare claimed all three points at relegated Retford United to continue their fight for a top six place in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League.

Welfare dominated much of the game and ran out 2-0 winners, but failed to convert a number of chances that would have made their victory more comfortable.

However, the victory was the most important thing and if Glasshoughton can win again in their last game at Worsbrough Bridge Athletic next Monday night they will clinch a play-offs spot by finishing sixth as rivals Hallam and Selby Town both suffered defeats on Tuesday night to leave them now unable to catch Welfare unless Houghton drop points in their final match.

On a bumpy pitch and with the wind swirling Welfare opened well with Jamie Simpson feeding Ferguson, but he could not control the ball and James Gamble pounced to collect. James Kay then saw his dangerous cross headed away by the overworked home defence and Gamble did well to turn a 25-yard Rob Oldham shot for a corner. The keeper also foiled Simpson with his feet as it looked as though a goal was imminent and Simpson headed a Robert Marsh cross just wide.

Oldham, with a cross, then found Ryan Ferguson unmarked at the far post, but he volleyed inches wide.

The Welfare pressure proved too much for the home side on 27 minutes when a Kay low cross was fumbled by Gamble and James Dyson forced the loose ball home.

The hosts had a couple of chances as Zac Casburn headed a Callum Littlejohn free-kick into the arms of Mateuz Zaniewski and then fired into the side netting.

Welfare went two up a couple of minutes after the break when Simpson did well to slip his marker in the area and squared the ball to Ferguson 10 yards out, who knocked the ball home.

Welfare then seemed to sit back and Retford, hardly looking like a relegated side, certainly did not. Richard Williams broke through and only the feet of Zaniewski kept him out.

At the other end, Gamble saved at the feet of Dyson and Simpson volleyed just wide after meeting Simpson’s chip.

Simpson was twice upended as he went through on goal, but the resulting free-kicks were hit well over.

Casburn shot wide before he was foiled by a great block when one-on-one with Zaniewski, The big keeper then did well to smother a Littlejohn shot that came in low through a crowd of players and substitute Tom Brand fired just over.

Welfare’s joint manager Darren Holmes said: “Not our best performance, but it’s very difficult when it’s near the end of the season and the team is affected with suspensions and injuries to keep momentum going.

“Retford had nothing to lose and made it difficult for us all afternoon. We did create some very good chances but again struggled to convert and kill the game. Matt in goal made a couple of great saves..

“At the end of the day job done and it keeps the chasing pack needing wins to catch us. We will be working on a few things in training this week and hope to be back to full strength week on Monday for our must win last game away at Brigg.”