Despite taking a 15th minute lead through Liam Radford ten-man Welfare went down to a 3-2 defeat away at FC Bolsover with Josh Dodd finding the net for Welfare’s second goal, writes Steven Pennock.
Manager Mike Carmody was without Gary Mundy who was unavailable at the last minute but Josh O’Neill returned to the side with Steve Garner dropping back into the defence.
Faced with a strong wind, rain showers and a bobbly pitch, conditions were far from ideal for both sides but it was the home side who settled first with Lewis Warwick hooking an 18 yard shot wide following a long throw from Nicky Darker.
Welfare responded with Radford finding Craig Aspinall in space as he burst into the box but Aspinall’s angled 15 yard shot was deflected wide.
Alfie Stevens-Neale came to Welfare’s rescue on 8 minutes when Cameron Hough was clear inside the box but Stevens-Neale brilliantly denied him.
Welfare took the lead on 15 minutes when Leon Loftus played a great ball through for Radford who did brilliantly to hold off two defenders before lifting the ball over the advancing goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
However, the lead was short lived as another long throw from Darker pinged about inside the Welfare box, before former Welfare striker Adam Lee pounced to score from close range.
Bolsover ‘keeper Adam Ledger had a let-off on 23 minutes when he let a speculative 25 yard shot from Loftus squirm under his body but he recovered to smother the ball on the line.
Dodd then cleared off the line with Bolsover desperately appealing the ball had crossed the line, before they took the lead on 29 minutes. Welfare again failed to clear their lines which enabled Hough to seize on a loose ball to fire a well struck shot into the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards.
Welfare came close to grabbing an equaliser just before half time when Lee Betts sent over a cross from the left which Radford stabbed just wide of the near post.
Just before the hour mark the injured Steve Garner was replaced by Alan Jackson who filled in in defence whilst Paul Sherburn replaced Chris Simpkins.
On 61 minutes Bolsover extended their lead when Hough’s cross from the right was headed in by Jacob France. Three minutes later Welfare’s task got even harder as Craig Aspinall was sent off following an off the ball incident with Jack Warwick who only received a yellow card for his part in the tussle.
Jack Warwick worked his way into the Welfare box on 69 minutes and was tripped by Jackson with referee Melissa Burgin having no hesitation in awarding the spot-kick but Stevens-Neale kept Welfare in the game by brilliantly diving to his right to keep out Brett Lucas’ penalty.
Being a man down seemed to re-galvanise Welfare and they pushed forward with Radford going close on 71 minutes but his first time 20 yard volley flew straight at Ledger. Two minutes later Sherburn did well down the right for Loftus to play the ball into the box for Radford who’s shot on the turn came back off the crossbar, but Dodd was on hand to head into an empty net.
This gave Welfare hope but other than Sherburn being impeded by a clumsy challenge inside the box on 83 minutes Welfare failed really to threaten an equaliser.
Welfare : Stevens-Neale, Loftus, Betts, O’Neill (Paskell 78 mins), Garner (A. Jackson 58 mins), Laight, Dodd, Aspinall, Radford, Williams, Simpkins (Sherburn 60 mins). Unused subs. Mundy, Greaves
Referee : Melissa Burgin
Attendance : 50
Bolsover Manager, Matthew Chatfiield, was elated to not be bottom of the league for the first time this season. “Well our first target has finally been hit, get off the bottom of the league table, psychologically this is a massive step for the club.”
“However it’s only the start of where we want to be come the end of the season, all I know with this bunch of players we have now, they will give everything until their are no more points to play for.”
“The game itself wasn’t the prettiest, I felt we deserved to win the game. We had a glorious chance saved in the first 10 minutes that I felt we could have scored from, we then conceded from a ball over the top and miscommunication from the back led to their players putting the ball in the back of the net, which was a good finish.”
“We then reacted well, scoring shortly after and then again soon after that which I felt settled our nerves down. We then scored 15 minutes into the second half and then the game went to be honest. They got a lad sent off, and then we got a penalty which the goalkeeper saved which I felt gave them a massive boost and they scored shortly after, as then as you can imagine they kept on pushing for the equaliser.”
“We had another great chance to finish the game late on when Lewis got in between the centre-back and goalkeeper but just headed wide. So safe to say I was glad for the final whistle.”
“Armthorpe moved the ball well, and to be honest one of the better sides for that. They have a great management team, and I have a lot of time for them as you can tell they have a vast knowledge of the game and I wish them all the best for the season.”