Glasshoughton Welfare 3-3 Athersley Rec
Joe Milner rescued a late draw for Glasshoughton Welfare in the helter-skelter battle with Athersley Rec.
Darren Holmes and Lee Vigars’ Glassy and Shane Kelsey’s Rec served up riveting Non League Football at Leeds Road and the crowd certainly went away entertained after watching two very hard-working outfits.
Having fallen behind initially, the Rec fought back and led twice and were on course for victory until Milner had the last word.
Rec perhaps started the brighter of the sides and were unfortunate not to strike first when home goalkeeper Lewis French superbly denied Lee Garside whose net-shredding effort seemed goal-bound.
Welfare’s mid-first half deadlock break came from the worst back-pass in recent Rec history. It left super stopper Aidan Tyas playing the role of ‘lamb to the slaughter’ as Mark Ferguson broke away and fired low and hard past the former Welfare goalkeeper.
Athersley responded quite quickly and in spectacular style as out of nowhere stalwart Jack Briscoe sent a 37-yard rocket into French’s left-hand top corner. Few will have matched the quality of the effort during pre-season.
With half-time looming, the Rec seized the lead. Quality midfielder James Thompson’s fine delivery from a free kick on the left was met by the giant former Worsbrough Bridge defender Jack Waldron who guided it past French.
The scores were level by the break though as poor defending from a corner allowed Glasshoughton defender Aaron Gray to head home from close range.
Parity in the second half lasted literally two minutes. Athersley broke down the right and a cross to the back-post gave Aiden Salmons a simple finish.
Glasshoughton, who brought on club favourites Gareth Hunter, Craig Tonkinson and one of Craig Elliott’s 2012 promotion legends Josh Corbett in the second half, had chances to equalise.
The Rec almost sealed it from corner, but Glasshoughton’s young and enthusiastic left-back Matt Cunliffe heroically put his small frame in the line of fire as he cleared a goal-bound effort off-the-line.
Cunliffe’s reward for his heroics was Milner’s 86th minute equaliser following a march down the left which seemed to be halted by Rec defenders several times. He made his way into the penalty area, but was in a seemingly harmless spot on the dead-ball line when he shot and struck gold to secure a draw for Glasshoughton.
Who Was In Charge
Jamie Rhodes (8/10)
How Many Were There
Man of the Match
James Thompson (Athersley Rec)