|Jesus Martin-Farina puts Railway 1-0 up|
Glasshoughton Welfare 1-1 Harrogate Railway
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Glasshoughton Welfare manager Rob Hunter was delighted after his side nearly stole a late victory against Evo Stik Division One North side Harrogate Railway.
The Northern Counties East League Premier Division outfit had fallen behind late-on in the first half when Railway’s striker Spanish striker Jesus Martin-Farina scored.
But a Joel Freestone penalty levelled matters with 19 minutes remaining and Railway had to survive a barrage of Glasshoughton attacks to earn a draw.
Joe Jackson almost scored and Greig McGrory had a goal-bound shot saved and despite not winning, Hunter was very pleased with the result.
“We probably should have won it, we had more chances in the last 20 minutes than they did,” he told Sports Performer.
“We probably should have had three or four goals (at the end) so I’m really pleased with the run-out. I’m getting to know (Harrogate boss) Billy (Miller) really well now. He helped me out with a couple of players last year and he brought a really strong side. He only had one or two players missing from his starting eleven.
“It was fantastic for us to get a draw against an Evo Stik side to start with, but as much as anything, I had four or five players who played 90 minutes for the first time. The ones who played 90 minutes are not here on Saturday. Liam Tuck is not here and Blaine Kellett is at a wedding on Saturday.
|Glasshoughton's James Beaston|
“Ally Wilson was outstanding tonight and he is away for Saturday. Ally was head and shoulders above everyone and that’s a lad who hasn’t kicked a ball for eight months. He was playing for Glasshoughton last season and did his hernia.
“Other players that I was really pleased with were Ben Clayton who has come from the West Yorkshire League and did tremendously well. He tried to man-mark Rob Youhill which is never an easy job.”
Railway were the strongest side in the first half when Railway boss Billy Miller had his big guns playing – the likes of experienced midfielders Paddy McGuire and Simon Parkes showed their quality.
Glasshoughton had the first chance of the match when captain Daz Young saw his powerful strike tipped over the crossbar by goalkeeper Chris Barrow.
|Glasshoughton captain Daz Young climbs above Simon Parkes|
That was Welfare’s last chance of the first half and Railway struck with one of their first opportunities of the game. Tinotenda Chibharo broke clear on the right-wing and played a flat cross into the path of Martin-Farina who was able to roll the ball into the net, despite the attempts of the Glasshoughton defenders.
Railway’s control on the game began to slip in the second half when multiple changes were made by both sides. The introduction of lively striker Freestone provided problems for Railway as Welfare were looking threatening.
And with 71st minute mark approaching, Freestone broke away from Radcliffe. As the pair ran into the box, the former Harrogate Town defender made a needless challenge – the only black spot for him during a fine game – leaving the referee with the only option of awarding the penalty.
Freestone took the spot kick himself and sent former Farsley AFC goalkeeper James Wilson the wrong way to level the scores.
At the other end, Chibharo fired wide from distance before Glasshoughton took control for the last five minutes.
Welfare should have scored from Liam Tuck’s cross, but Joe Jackson put the ball wide of the post from only a few yards out.
Tuck, himself, then went close with a volley from the edge of the box.
And in the final minute, McGrory’s strike from 20-yards was palmed by Australian stopper Wilson and Freestone looked certain to score the winner from the rebound. However, the striker got too much power on the ball and it went high and over the crossbar.
For Railway boss Miller, fitness was the main target. He said: “For us, we have played three games since we came back two weeks ago and the first five games are aimed at getting miles on our boots.
“We’re not interested in the results. If we get the win like we did on Sunday against Emley that’s fine, 1-1 is fine, we’re happy with that.
“We changed the shape of the team and used 19 players and I think the eleven that started tonight did well. There are lots of positives – the performances of Craig Radcliffe, Robbie Youhill and Tino.
“We probably had four or five missing tonight, Nathan Cartman, Billy Williams, a really good centre-half among them, so in terms of where we want to be, we are where we want to be at this stage.
“We play again on Thursday and then on Saturday so by Saturday, we’ll start looking at the 22-23 players we have got and maybe start whittling it down a bit.”
Railway visit Daisy Hill tomorrow night (Thursday), while Glasshoughton welcome Lincoln United to Leeds Road on Saturday.
Glasshoughton Welfare: Hagreen, Donnelly, Kellet, Clayton, Wilson, Reece Chappell, Beaston, Young, Carley, Tuck, Ward. Subs: Freestone, Headley, Hirst, Jackson, Edwards, McGrory.
Harrogate Railway: Barrow, Wood, Hunter, Youhill, Maloney, Parkes, McGuire, Chibharo, Martin-Farina, Radcliffe, Curtis. Subs: Wilson, Barylski, Moke, Williams, Hanney.
Referee: M Dywer
Man of the match: Robbie Youhill (Harrogate)