Glasshoughton Welfare 1-1 Hallam
Star Glasshoughton Welfare attacker Ashley Bell had a mixed day after scoring his side’s opener before harshly seeing red in the second half of the draw with Hallam.
Bell gave promotion-chasing Glasshoughton a half-time lead, but shortly after Sam Fewkes had levelled for Hallam, he was shown a second yellow card for delaying the restart.
It meant Glasshoughton’s attempts to snatch all three Toolstation NCEL Division One points were heavily hindered and Hallam finished the stronger of the teams.
The draw keeps Welfare in the mix for the prized top four places, and once again underlines just what a remarkable job Darren Holmes and Lee Vigars have done this season.
With one of the lowest budgets in the league, the pair have rode out a difficult summer and successfully rebuilt their side into one of the best in the league.
Even more astounding is that without key players Mat Zaniewski, Josh Vamplew, Craig Tonkinson and stalwart captain Adam Walsh, Welfare are still holding their own – further cementing Holmes and Vigars’ place in pole position as favourite(s) for manager(s) of the year.
Seventeen-year-old goalkeeper Lewis French was superb again, bellowing his teenage years. The fairly make-shift back four in front of him were absolutely brilliant, with three youngsters Nick Lalousis, Matt Cunliffe and Danny Youel, along with Fidel Mholo making sure Hallam’s extremely dangerous pair Sam Smith and Jordan Turner rarely had a true sniff.
Free kicks and long throws were Welfare’s party pieces. Mark Ferguson’s long throws were a menace for Hallam’s defence, but it was a free kick that helped the deadlock be broken on the half hour mark.
Ryan Hallsworth’s free kick from just inside Hallam’s half dropped in the right area in the middle of the penalty area. Bell leapt and beat James Leverton to the ball to score.
Hallam came to life towards the end of the first half, with Turner causing the bulk of the problems because of his ability to get behind defenders.
But the visitors drew level thanks to a stroke of luck nine minutes into the second half. Whilst there nothing much he could do about it, Lalousis handled and referee Michael Corbally awarded the penalty. Smith sent his effort to the right of French, hitting the post. The ball sprang back towards Smith where Fewkes was waiting to fire past French, who had done well to restrict the angle.
Then came Bell’s early departure. The winger had been cautioned rather harshly for a foul in the first stanza. His second indiscretion for blocking the restart deserved more leniency, but with Referee Corbally perhaps cautious of the observer in the stand, he was quick-as-flash to show his cards rather having a quiet word.
The un-necessary sending-off killed the contest for the crowd. Welfare seemed to settle a point, especially when Nathan Perks was substituted.
Hallam huffed and puffed and were certainly the more likely to score – and nearly did when a close range header flew just over the crossbar in the last few minutes. But, in truth, the game just fizzled with a draw arguably a fair reflection.
What They Said
Glasshoughton Welfare joint manager Darren Holmes
“It was a really strong first half performance and we were really pleased at half-time. We were a little disappointed we did not come in at half-time 2-0 up.
“We had a couple of chances we felt we could have done better with. We didn’t really come out for the second half. We expected Hallam to come at us and they did.
“The sending-off has obviously put us under the cosh and we have struggled. We are a little disappointed we have not taken all three points, but on the whole a point when you consider Ash Bell was sent off, it is a good one. We’d have taken a point given that scenario.”
Hallam joint manager Ryan Hindley
“Glasshoughton did it right in the first half and they had a great game-plan and it worked. They are a good side and anyone who takes four points off Glasshoughton this year will be in with a shout.
“I thought we were really good in the second half. Our energy levels and how we got on the top side of them was really good. We just needed that end product, maybe from set-pieces.
“I can’t ask for more. The two games we had (since I came back), the energy levels and how we have performed have been where I want them to be.
“We did need a bit of luck (to equalise), but if you keep putting it in the right areas you get those opportunities. Am I disappointed? I feel it is two points dropped. We could have won it at the end.
“But coming to Glasshoughton, a side who work hard and work on their set-pieces which they’re very dangerous from, I’d take a point here.”
Glasshoughton Welfare: French, Lalousis, Cunliffe, Hallsworth, Mhlolo, Youel (captain), Horbury, Nelson, Ferguson, Perks (Boschie), Bell. Subs unused: Binsley, Silva, Walsh.
Hallam: Leverton, Clayton (Treasure), Staniland, Fewkes, Lawrence, Bradley, Booth, Bamforth, Smith (captain), Wilson, Turner. Subs unused: Roebuck, Greaves, Wonham, Wraith.
Who Was In Charge
Michael Corbally (7/10)
How Many Were There
Man of the Match
Danny Youel (Glasshoughton Welfare)