Two James Popplewell goals in two second half minutes earned Glasshoughton Welfare a share of the points from a hard fought 2-2 draw at a cold Penistone Church in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League.
It looked bleak for Welfare as they went in at half-time two down, but a much better second half performance saw them claw the two goals back and with a glorious chance missed with virtually the last kick of the game they really should have gone home with all three points.
Due to players being unavailable because of injuries, suspensions, and work commitments Welfare had to make changes. Young full-back Lucas Middleton made his first start as did Kris Fawcett while Del Pollock returned to the team and big centre-half Leon Cusworth also returned after a long standing injury.
It was a horrible start when inside the first minute hesitation in the defence saw the ball played across the area and Danny Joynes gave Mark Suttle no chance from 10 yards.
From the restart Fawcett hit a shot into the arms of Adam Rhodes, but Penistone could have increased their lead twice. Welfare were unlucky on 20 minutes when a delightful chip over the keeper from Popplewell saw the ball strike the post and bounce away. Del Pollock then broke into the area but his weak shot was blocked by Rhodes.
After this Welfare rode their luck when a shot just cleared the bar and another just went wide.
On 38 minutes Penistone got a second in slightly controversial circumstances. Josh Morley seemed to receive a bad head injury in a tackle but referee Justin Carpenter allowed play to continue and Fearon broke into the area to knock the ball into the net.
Within two minutes of the second period starting Penistone had a goal disallowed for offside. Welfare keeper Suttle who, had shown good confidence and handling in his second game for the club, then kept his side in the game when he did well to tip a Joynes shot onto a post.
The comeback started in the last 20 minutes as Pollock went close then found Popplewell who beat Rhodes from the edge of the area.
A minute later Popplewell got his second he nipped in front of Rhodes to meet a cross and clip the ball home.
The last 10 minutes proved frantic. Pollock was through on goal but was brought down as he shot for goal. His resulting free-kick was collected under the bar by Rhodes.
At the other end the Welfare defence had to withstand a number of free-kicks and corners and Middleton brilliantly headed off the line.
In the last few seconds Fawcett could have won it when he broke free, but with only Rhodes to beat the young striker hit his shot over.
Welfare joint manager Craig Wilkinson said: “It is a good point in the end against a decent side. It was a game of two halves and we were really poor in the first. We changed the shape in the second half and were a lot better.”
Glasshoughton are at home this Saturday against Eccleshill United, kick-off 3pm.