New boss Norbury happy with Welfare’s pre-season progress

Adam Walsh, back for Glasshoughton Welfare.
Adam Walsh, back for Glasshoughton Welfare.

Glasshoughton Welfare manager Norbury was well satisfied with his team’s effort last Saturday when his improving side gained a 3-1 win at Leeds Road against higher division Athersley Recreation.

The visitors, from the NCE Premier Division, fielded six first team regulars along with some of their reserve players and this pre-season game was a fair test for Welfare a week ahead of the big kick-off in the league.

First half goals from Danny Cawley and Iain Blackburn gave Houghton a half-time advantage and after Kay Hancock pulled a goal back for Athersley a volley from trialist Scott Weston saw the hosts clinch the win.

Welfare had ex-Halifax Town scholar Ellis Halpine in goal and just after he had a clearance charged down they went to the other end to open the scoring in the eighth minute. Athersley goalkeeper Aarron Tyas made a hash of a clearance and tried to recover, but Cawley went round him and poked the ball home.

Athersley came back and Scott Allcock headed just over before Hancock forced a great tip over from Halpine.

Del Pollock had a shot charged down for Welfare before the lead was increased on 27 minutes with a great individual goal from Blackburn. Picking the ball up 30 yards out, he jinked his way past four Athersley players before shooting under Tyas.

Play was then end to end. A free-kick into the Welfare area caused problems for the defence and the ball was poked wide then Allcock should have done better with a free header which he put wide.

Great through balls then by Welfare’s Danny Middleton and Josh Morley saw Tyas just beat Blackburn and Cawley respectivelly to the ball.

Early in the second half, Middleton had a free-kick blocked and the rebound fell to Morley whose fierce shot was well saved by Tyas.

Athersley went straight to the other end and Hancock lobbed Halpine to reduce the arrears.

Matt Stables then replaced Halpine in the home goal and after flapping at a free-kick he pulled off a good save low to his right to prevent the visitors equalising.

Seven minutes later Welfare went 3-1 up. Great work on the right by Cawley saw him fire a cross into the area and substitute Weston, with his first touch of the game, volleyed home from six yards.

Danny Snaith then shot wide for the home team before Hancock for the visitors broke through but with only Stables to beat he scooped his shot wide.

Welfare had a few chances in the closing minutes with Regan Fish crossing for Josh Barratt to head wide and Joe Bedford shooting wide before Cawley controlled the ball well only to shoot into the hands of Tyas.

This was a good performance from Welfare with big defender Adam Walsh, returning from injury, looking impressive.

Norbury’s side were further tested on Tuesday night in their final pre-season game when they entertained Evo-Stik Premier side Frickley Athletic and came from behind to earn an encouraging 1-1 draw.

Glasshoughton open their NCE Division One campaign away to Hemsworth MW on Saturday (3pm).