Through a combination of missed chances and opponents who belied their basement position, Glasshoughton Welfare had to pull out all the stops to win 4-2 at Nostell MW on Tuesday night.
With a newly appointed manager Nostell had drafted a flurry of newcomers into the side and got off to a dream start to the Toolstation NCE Premier Division game when a long punt up field found Kevin Morris unmarked to sweep past visiting keeper Paul Hagreen.
Welfare responded positively, sweeping away to present Greig McGrory a half chance which was put wide.
They were determined to cancel out their previous laxity and found parity as Liam Tuck bored in from the left to drive across former Glasshoughton keeper Jordan Robson into the far corner.
Welfare were able to settle from this and on the quarter mark went ahead. Robson was unable to hold Tuck’s low drive and Callum Ward was on hand to sidefoot home.
They were somewhat shaken, however, when the home men levelled, the usually mister reliable keeper Hagreen misjudging a low cross, allowing Nostell’s Morris to net his second goal.
The early drama was not finished as the visitors quickly went back in front when Danny Middleton picked up from outside the area and hit a screaming drive to beat Robson all ends up to make it five goals in the first 20 minutes.
Not surprisingly play slowed somewhat into the second period with Welfare’s leading scorer Ward directing a number of clear headers the wrong side of the post.
Nostell were reduced to 10 men after Wayne Ball was dismissed, but they continued to look a decent outfit and it was not until late on that Welfare were able to score again. Substitute Joel Freestone ran at a retreating defence and turned inside to drive a crisp shot under Robson to clinch hard earned points against plucky opponents .
Glasshoughton brought home a point from a goalless draw at Parkgate on Saturday.
On probably the best surface in the league, shared by Rotherham United reserves, they gained a creditable share of the points in a lively game.
After Parkgate’s Scott Preece had put the game’s first opportunity wide the home men were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty, but Welfare responded with Rob Pell going close with a glancing header and Kieran Corley putting an effort wide.
With two evenly matched teams play was end to end with both keepers brought into play and Corley again went close with a swerving low shot that scraped the upright.
Welfare keeper Hagreen was forced into dashing out and handling outside the area, for which he received a caution, and from the resulting free-kick Welfare’s wall was adequate against a fierce low drive by Scott Lowe.
Glasshoughton then built a beautiful move of slick passing covering the length of the field, but Tuck screwed the final shot wide. Pell was leading the line in fine style, but after opening up the visitors’ defence opted to shoot instead of laying off to possibly better placed colleagues.
Parkgate’s Jamie Hopkins opened up the visitors’ defence but coming in from an angle drove into the side netting and when Andy Dawson produced a screamer of a shot Hagreen at full stretch pulled out all the stops to touch over to safety.
In the closing period Hopkins fired across goal only for Welfare to somehow hack clear off the line and ensure they held out for a draw.
Welfare were bouncing back from a 5-2 defeat at Athersley Recreation last Wednesday when they were undone by their former player, Lee Bennett, who scored four goals.
The visitors started well enough with Middleton firing wide and Daz Young missing an easy chance. Reece Chappell denied Kieron Scargill by clearing off the line, but it was Recs who opened the scoring, Bennett on target after looking offside.
Welfare came back strongly and when on the half hour Young forced keeper Darren Shirt to tip round the angle the Welfare captain finished the job off from the resulting corner. The joy was shortlived as Bennett took advantage of the referee missing a handball to strike past Hagreen.
Worse was to follow on the stroke of half-time when Bennett chipped Hagreen to complete his hat-trick.
In the second half Ward drove a low free-kick just wide and then when clear on goal could only muster a weak shot which barely troubled Shirt. But after putting Steven Edwards on Welfare got back into contention as Young cut infrom the left and hit a perfect low angled shot into the net.
The visitors were then put back under pressure and conceded again as Bennett latched onto a long punt downfield to drive past Hagreen. In response Pell struck a good shot against the upright, but it was Recreation who had the final say when Daniel Jones struck.
This Saturday sees Glasshoughton at home to Armthorpe Welfare in the FA Vase second qualifying round (3pm) and next Tuesday they entertain Worksop Parramore in the league (7.45pm).