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REPORT: Hallam 5 Armthorpe Welfare 2

Welfare suffered their third successive defeat as Hallam ran out 5-2 winners at Sandygate this afternoon with Welfare’s goals coming from Liam Radford and Luke Williams, writes Steve Pennock.

Playing up the pronounced slope in the first half Welfare got off to a fantastic start, taking the lead in just the third minute with Liam Radford firing in his 44th goal for the club from the edge of the box after Jordan Buckham’s initial shot had been parried by goalkeeper Andrew Sneath.

Hallam hit back with Adam Stevens being well positioned to collect a header on the line ten minutes later and within a minute Stevens was called into action again, this time saving with his legs from Kieran Watson.

Watson shot wide on 15 minutes before Hallam’s pressure told and Mitch Husbands hooked in the equaliser following a corner on 19 minutes. A minute later and Welfare found themselves behind when Radford was dispossessed following a throw-in and the ball was quickly played forward for Watson to break clear and fire past Stevens.

Welfare responded with a well-worked move ending with Buckham firing just over the bar from 20yards on 23 minutes but Welfare pressed the self-destruct button on 31 minutes when Steve Garner lost the ball to Watson just inside his own half with the striker taking the ball on and firing in a shot which Stevens blocked but Ben Thornton was on hand to blast home the loose ball.

Alan Jackson headed just over the bar following a cross from Buckham on 32 minutes but Stevens was again in action on 37 minutes, getting down well to push away a low 20 yard shot.

Josh Dodd then saw his powerful 35 yard effort fly straight at Sneath before Welfare were awarded a penalty in the 42nd minute following a foul on Williams inside the box. Radford took the spot-kick but Sneath pushed his low effort away but Williams was on hand to ram the ball into the net from close range.

Two minutes into stoppage time Radford was played into space on the right of the box and he fired a low shot past Sneath but agonisingly wide of the far post.

Josh Bucknall had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside as he headed a Dodd free kick past Sneath on 54 minutes but at the other end Stevens deflected a low angled shot from Thornton just wide of the far post on the hour.

Hallam restored their two-goal advantage on 61 minutes when Watson tapped in at the far post after a cross from the right had been flicked on.

The Welfare goal had a let off on 65 minutes when another good block from Stevens was followed by a goalmouth scramble before Lee Betts managed to clear off the line.

Two minutes later the ball was played over the top for Williams to chase with Williams being blatantly brought down off the ball but incredibly the referee chose to take no action.

Welfare then lost Betts through injury with Chris Simpkins replacing him and on 76 minutes Hallam wrapped up the scoring when Thornton found the net from close range following another corner.

Welfare kept going though and Garner saw his shot from just inside the box deflected just wide following a Dodd free-kick on 78 minutes and in stoppage time Radford played in Williams shot inches wide from 16 yards.

Welfare : Stevens, Larcombe-Loftus, Betts (Simpkins 72 mins), O’Neill, Garner, Bucknall (Lumley 62 mins), Dodd, Radford, Williams, Buckham, Jackson (Finley 75 mins). Unused subs. Hyde, Bedford.

Referee : Mr. L. Bramley

Attendance : 273

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