In-Form Glasshoughton Welfare moved into the top half of the Toolstation NCE Division One table as they extended their winning run to four matches with a fine 3-0 success at a cold Sandygate Lane on Saturday.
A hardy 118 spectators saw an entertaining end to end game against Hallam that was a lot closer than the final score suggests with the Welfare defence made to work hard for the win.
Great performances came from Andrew McManus, Adam Walsh, Louis Akeister and in particular goalkeeper Matuesz Zaniewski who pulled off three fantastic saves in the first half to help make it a third successive clean sheet for Houghton.
Alex Marsh was instrumental in the win with two fine free-kicks leading to Welfare goals.
The game opened in difficult conditions and both goalkeepers, Zaniewski and Andrew Sneath found the greasy ball hard to catch on a wet pitch.
In the early minutes Sneath did well to save an effort from Andy Horbury while at the other end Tom Roebuck hit an effort just over.
Conor Glavin hit the post for Welfare when Sneath dropped a cross and the keeper did well seconds later to claw another effort over. Sam Fewkes then hit an 18-yard shot that Zaniewski palmed away
Zaniewski struggled to hold a cross, but recovered to save well for a corner from which he again blocked an effort with his body. From another corner home striker Mitchell Dunn somehow headed over when stood on the goal line.
Welfare took the lead on 31 minutes when McManus got his head on the end of a Marsh free-kick to send the ball over Sneath into the net.
In added time Zaniewski produced a brilliant save to tip away a James Read drive.
The home side opened the second half on top and Zaniewski did well to tip a dangerous cross ball away. Then a combination of the keeper and McManus blocked a shot. Chris Wood hit an effort just over and another effort from the home side clipped the crossbar.
Welfare had a glorious chance to increase the lead when Sneath dropped the ball at the feet of Horbury, but he hit the chance over from two yards.
Hallam were not out of it and Zaniewski had to be alert a number of times. But Welfare increased their lead on 78 minutes when another great Marsh free-kick was headed home at the far post by Horbury.
Horbury turned provider on 89 minutes as he put substitute Reece Horn through and the youngster shot under Sneath for his first goal in senior football.
Welfare joint manager Darren Holmes said: “The lads, to a man, worked tirelessly for 90 minutes and defended in numbers. We scored with chances at key points.
“Matt, in goal had a busy first half and showed his worth.
“The conditions were horrible, but we stuck to the game plan and got what we deserved.
“We can now look forward to our first midweek without a game for some time and we go again next Saturday.”
Glasshoughton, now up to tenth, host third-placed Eccleshill United this Saturday.