Mixed feelings for Glasshoughton after opening fixtures

Conor Glavin, on target for Glasshoughton Welfare against Worsbrough Bridge Athletic.
Conor Glavin, on target for Glasshoughton Welfare against Worsbrough Bridge Athletic.

Glasshoughton Welfare opened their new Toolstation NCE Division One season in mixed fashion with a victory and a defeat in their first two games.

After an encouraging 1-0 win at neighbours Selby Town last Saturday, they followed up with a 3-1 loss in their first home game on Tuesday night when taking on Worsbrough Bridge Athletic.

Saturday’s game was spoilt by a swirling wind at the Fairfax Plant Hire stadium as both sides struggled to put passes together and Welfare came away with the points thanks to a Tom Coyles strike midway through the first half.

Welfare gave competitive debuts to new signings Josh Bucknall and Elie Jr Akebeto along with dual registered Shaw Lane Polish goalkeeper Mateusz Zaniewski, who did well along with Bucknall, new captain Andy McManus, and man of the match Gareth Hunter.

Welfare started well as home keeper Jonathan Iveson took two attempts to hold a Conor Glavin free-kick and from a corner Akebeto swivelled but shot wide. At the other end former Glasshoughton player Danny Snaith fired a shot just over.

Akebeto fed a good ball to Morley on the left but his shot was well saved by Iveson.

Welfare took the lead on 24 minutes when a great ball from Lewis Akeister found Coyles on the right. He strode on and his initial shot was charged down but his follow up effort looped over the home defence and nestled in the net.

A minute later it should have been two as a Morley corner was missed by a number of players and as the half drew to a close Nick Kennedy fired just over for the home side and Morley hit wide for the visitors.

The home side were stronger after the break when Zaniewski made several saves, Coyles came up with a vital block and McManus showed great composure to take the ball off the toes of a Selby player who looked certain to score. A Liam Flanagan free-kick hit the post.

Late on Welfare should have put the game to bed with Ash Scothern lobbing over and substitute Fidel Mholo having the ball smothered by Iveson when he could have done better.

Welfare manger Darren Holmes said: “After working really hard in pre-season and putting in some really good performances it was very disappointing.

“We didn’t retain the ball very well causing our own problems and losing shape under pressure.

“The pleasing thing is we kept a clean sheet defended well in the last third and kept their chances to just two or three with our keeper only really having to make a couple of saves.

“We know we have lots of improvements to make if we are to make strides towards the top six and the lads know they can do lots better. It’s nice to put points on the board.”

Glasshoughton were quickly in action again on Tuesday night when they were up against Worsbrough in their first home game. They were without three of their strikers and trailing at half-time to Rob Boardman’s seventh minute effort.

Matthew Thompson made it 2-0 five minutes into the second half, but Glavin almost immediately pulled a goal back following a good run by Josh Morley.

However, Welfare’s hopes were dashed as Ben Grech-Brooksbank netted the visitors’ third on 65 minutes, cashing in on a mistake by Zaniewski.

Glasshoughton are not in action this weekend, but travel to play Eccleshill United next Wednesday (7.45pm).