Welfare opened their pre-season friendly matches with a well deserved 1-1 draw against Evo-Stik East Division side Frickley Athletic at the M. Pilbeam Construction Stadium, writes Steve Pennock.
The Welfare starting eleven had a familiar look to it with just one new face in the shape of forward Jordan Buckham and it was Welfare who started on the front foot, going close after only 2 minutes.
A poor clearance from Frickley ‘keeper John Stancliffe gave an opportunity to Josh Dodd but his lofted shot was not quite high enough, being caught by Stancliffe who redeemed himself.
Four minutes later Gavin Allott burst clear for the visitors and lifted the ball over the advancing Adam Stevens but Steve Garner was on hand to clear off the line.
On 11 minutes Frickley were awarded a penalty following as foul but Stevens brilliantly denied Allott from the penalty spot.
Welfare went agonisingly close on 23 minutes when Dodd’s cross from the left was met first time by Buckham but his effort rebounded off the post with Standcliffe stranded.
Both sides made changes at half time with two of Welfare’s substitutes being involved in the opening goal on 47 minutes. Alan Jackson flicked the ball on for Luke Williams who played the ball inside to Jason Kearsley who steered a first time shot in off the right hand post from outside the box.
Stevens was called into action again on 70 minutes when he tipped an angled shot over from close range but Welfare could have sewn up the win on 84 minutes when Jackson saw his close range shot go just side of the upright following a scramble.
Two minutes from time Frickley drew level when Welfare failed to clear their lines and the bell fell invitingly for Nicky Darker to arrow a 25 yard shot into the top left hand corner.
Welfare : Stevens, Hogg, Simpkins, O’Neill, Garner, Waldron, Dodd, Brook, Mansaram, Williams, Buckham. Subs. Loftus, Roberts, Bucknall, Fletcher, Crisp, Quinn, Emery, Kearsley, Jackson.
Frickley : Stancliffe, Smith, Algar, Maguire, Ible, Liversidge, Allott, Patterson, Gray, Walton, Hazel. Subs. Watt, Darker, Mears, Carrick, Hayden, Race, Bool, Fern, Szanto, Palmer.
Attendance : 93