Semley sends Glasshoughton Welfare on way to victory - and top six

Flying leap: Glasshoughton Welfare goalkeeper Matt Zaniewski comes off his line to make a flying save at AFC Emley. Picture: Mark Parsons
Flying leap: Glasshoughton Welfare goalkeeper Matt Zaniewski comes off his line to make a flying save at AFC Emley. Picture: Mark Parsons

Glasshoughton Welfare moved up to sixth place in the Toolstation NCE League first  division after a good 2-0 win at a sunny AFC Emley.

Matthew Semley and Gracyan Klimczak scored the goals, but Welfare missed a host of second half chances that should have made the game safer against a home side who played good attacking football.

As in the past few games, though, the Welfare defence was in good form and repelled all that was thrown at them.

In the absence of Darren Holmes and Lee Vigars, coach Richard Tracey took charge of the side against an Emley side who included Andy Horbury after he left Glasshoughton to join the hosts in midweek.

Welfare were initially on top with Semley seeing a header blocked and Klimczak mis-kicking the loose ball. Semley also hit a shot inches wide. Captain Gareth Hunter then put in a great cross that Lewis Pickering could not quite get his head to.

At the other end, Horbury shot over when well placed and missed a great headed chance.

Klimczak did well to beat two players on the edge of the area only for his final shot to go wide.

Welfare were indebted to goalkeeper Mateusz Zaniewski who, although unsighted, managed to tip a Jordan Townend free-kick round his post. From the resulting corner the visitors broke quickly, the ball reached Klimczak on the left and his chipped pass was headed past Adam Ledger by Semley.

Welfare came under pressure again with a Michael Tunnacliffe corner flashing just past the far post and Ben Burnett latching onto a fumbled Zaniewski ball only for the ball to be taken off his toes with the goal gaping.

As the first half drew to a close the home side were lucky when a hurried Ledger clearance struck Jack Knight but bounced just wide of goal.

The second half opened with Sam Pashley doing well to block a cross for a corner. The game then became feisty. Horbury was cautioned for kicking the ball out of the hands of Zaniewski and seconds later the former Welfare player was maybe lucky to stay on the pitch after a lunging tackle on Adam Walsh.

The game was threatening to boil over and Walsh tangled with Nathan Howe, resulting in a caution for Howe who, much to howls of protests from the home supporters, was then shown a red card for comments made to referee Peter Creagh.

The home side were putting the Welfare defence under even more pressure and a strong drive was blocked before Townend drove a shot wide from six yards out.

Glasshoughton made it 2-0 on 64 minutes with a great flowing move ending with Klimczak cutting in from the right and firing in from a tight angle.

In the closing stages Welfare had chances to put the game to bed. Ryan Ferguson put Semley in but he fired over the bar and then Seb Sokol, only on for seconds, raced through one-on-one with Ledger and somehow fired over after rounding the keeper.

A further two chances were missed with Klimczak through on goal only to dither and allow James Stafford to get a tackle in and Connor Howley seeming certain to score, but seeing his weak shot blocked.

After the game Welfare coach Richard Tracey said: ”Delighted to win in a difficult game against Emley.

“They kept the ball really well, but we kept our shape and looked a real threat on the counter attack. Both goals were excellent breaks with Klimczak crossing for Semley to head home and then Klimczak firing home for the second at the near post.

“For all of Emley’s possession they only drew Matt Zaniewski into one save from a free-kick early on and I am happy seeing us moving up to sixth in the table.”

Glasshoughton will be looking to climb the table further this Saturday when after a run of six away games they are back at home, entertaining Shirebrook Town (3pm).

n After a week off Hemsworth MW return to action in the Toolstation NCE Premier Division at Bridlington Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

With no league match since October 9, Wells have been knocked off the top of the table and are now down to fourth ahead of their meeting with Bridlington who are three points and two places behind Hemsworth.