Tue 15 Feb N C East Prem
IN AN EXHILERATING ENCOUNTER WELFARE PRODUCED PERHAPS THEY’RE BEST DISPLAY OF THE SEASON AGAINST
IMPRESSIVE HIGH RIDING OPPONENTS WHO ARE TIPPED TO WIN THE TITLE.
Welfare were without Dobson, Nesa (injuries) and Arkle (work) and gave debuts to Academy defender Stuart
Holmes and former Farsley Celtic keeper Tom Morgan.
In a very fast opening spell on a very heavy surface things were even as both teams played some delightful
cut and thrust football, Morgan quickly showed his pedigree when racing from
goal to block bravely at the feet of the onrushing Steve Baxter and at the other end home keeper Carl Silburn needed two attempts
to gather from Carl Fox. Fox was involved in much of Welfare’s efforts, driving over when well placed and slipping Lee
Parker clear only to be denied by a last ditch tackle. Welfare were calling most
of the shots with the hard tackling Darren Leach and Jamie Thomson nipping in the bud most of the threatened moves by the
home men, and Morgan dealing competently with anything that beat the back four.
From the interval restart Welfare ratcheted things up even further and within minutes went agonisingly
close to opening the scoring Martin Woolford spooning over a pacey ball from Carl Fox from only six yards out, but the visitors
stayed on the offensive to go ahead, Lee Parker driving in with some precision from the edge of the area. Welfare were well
on top at this period and were unfortunate not to increase their lead, Shaun Constable driving a free kick narrowly over after
Andy Seed had been brought down on route to goal, Seed himself then jinking through only to see his effort glanced over by
the finest of touches from defender Dean McAuley, and when Jamie Thomson went on a mazy run round the defence to put in an
absolute perfect cross Parker headed over with the goal at his mercy. On a energy
sapping pitch Welfare were visibly tiring and after Town’s James Drinkall had headed narrowly over, the strength of
the home men at set pieces began to tell and the visitors were forced back to defend in depth, and just as it appeared they
had done enough, in the dying moments an hesitancy in defence allowed Brian Dutton to toe poke a shot which went in off the
upright to put Town level on 87 minutes. With almost the last kick of the game
Town’s Drinkall hit the underside of the crossbar with a thunderous drive, which really was justice has the all round
Welfare display had more than earned them the right to take something from the game.
Morgan, Stuart Holmes, Mark Newton, Shaun Constable, Paul Mattison, Jamie Thomson (Matthew Muscroft), Andy Seed, Darren Leech,
Lee Parker, Carl Fox, Martin Woolford, Ashley Fieldhouse, Gareth Liversedge.