Surprise packages Glasshoughton Welfare successfully crashed the Toolstation NCE Division One play-offs party after winning the ‘Show Your Support for Luce’ Day game at Worsbrough Bridge, with Connor and Calan Rollinson’s “mam” Lucille watching on from the stands
James Dyson and Andy Horbury goals clinched a 2-0 success and booked a tie at Grimsby Borough next Wednesday (7.45pm) after Glasshoughton edged out Hallam and Selby to finish in sixth place.
Almost 150 people turned out on an emotional night for the long-awaited fixture, used as fundraiser and awareness day for acute myeloid leukaemia, the most severe form that Lucille has been fighting since October.
Based on early-estimates, over £1,000 has been raised, with funds spread across three charities – Leukaemia UK, Bloodwise and Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital. The JustGiving page for Leukaemia UK remains open for donations.
Calan led Worsbrough out as captain, while Connor, who was hailed as his side’s man of the match by his team-mates, walked out with five members of his Pontefract Pirates Disability Football Juniors team.
Welfare, meanwhile, got down to the task of winning their biggest game since sealing promotion in 2012.
Somewhat fittingly it was Connor who had the first chance and it was his brother who cleared it! Houghton did settle nerves with an early goal as Dyson headed home a cross by right-back Alex Marsh.
Other chances came and went and Connor Glavin was only denied by a brilliant save by Aiden Tyas. But destination play-offs would be eventually secured when Horbury broke clear and calmly fired past Tyas for his 20th goal of the season.
The final whistle sounded and Glasshoughton celebrated their play-offs position, while Calan and Connor embraced their “mam” – concluding a night of huge pride for the family and Welfare.
Joint Welfare manager Lee Vigars said: “Can’t tell you how proud I am of this squad.
“We were written off as ‘also rans’ in pre season and after 14 games were probably living up to that title. Poor form and a few underlying issues were holding us back early on, but we made some necessary changes and from November onwards our form has been outstanding –and to finish in the top six after 42 games is nothing more than these lads deserve.
“We don’t have the high earners, the superheroes etc. What we do have is an honest group of lads who work tirelessly and back each other up 100% all of the time.
“We can now go to Grimsby next week and enjoy the occasion without any pressure at all. No matter what happens this has been a superb season for us and we’ll look back with immense pride when the season eventually comes to an end.”