Welfare are denied in dramatic finish

Hilliaro Serrao, on target against Maltby Main.
Hilliaro Serrao, on target against Maltby Main.

In a pulsating end to end game Glasshoughton Welfare had to settle for a point after sharing six goals for the second time this season in a home match in the Toolstation NCE Premier.

Four of the goals came in the final quarter as the game against Maltby Main came to an exciting finish, but the visitors’ late equaliser ensured a point apiece.

Welfare made a poor start as before they had time to settle they were a goal down, Main’s Nicky Darker nodding home a third minute flag kick.

Maltby almost doubled the lead, but keeper Paul Hagreen was alert to a deft chip by Craig Gladwin.

Welfare regrouped and on their first sortie looked for a penalty decision as Dalton Harris appeared to be fetched down in the area.

Russell Headley then hit a snap shot narrowly over as Glasshoughton clawed their way back into the game, but Main were still looking dangerous on the counter attack as the pace of Gladwin took him clear only to drive well over.

Both teams were playing open attacking football with both keepers being kept busy and almost on half-time Welfare got on level terms, a series of attempts being blocked on the Main goal-line before Matt Donnelly finally forced home to take the teams in at the interval all square.

From the restart Welfare threatened from a long free-kick, but keeper Jamie Bailey got a last desperate hand to turn Donnelly’s touch on round the upright.

With the game finely balanced Welfare’s Headley skimmed the crossbar with a fierce free-kick and as the game began to tick on toward a probable draw Hilliaro Serrao lifted home spirits with some delightful footwork to pick out Harris, who put the home men into an 80th minute lead.

Welfare were looking comfortable in the closing minutes, but a Main through pass caused home keeper Hagreen to charge out in a rush of blood and misjudgement of the situation, leaving Robert Brannigan the simplest of tasks of slotting into an empty net to put the visitors level in the 86th minute. The drama did not end here, however, as after a length of the field build-up Serrao drove in from a tight angle to give Welfare what appeared to be the winning goal.

But in added time, in the 92nd minute, Brian Cusworth took advantage of an hesitant defence to once again put the visitors on level terms and take the game to an honourable draw and a share of the spoils for both sides.

This Saturday Glasshoughton entertain Athersley Recreation in another NCE Premier Division contest (kick-off 3pm).