The visitors completed a league ‘double’ this afternoon as Selby Town were 2-1 winners at the M. Pilbeam Construction Stadium, writes Steven Pennock.
Selby edged a largely lacklustre game, enjoying most of the play in the first half and weathering Welfare’s higher tempo start to the second before scoring twice in quick succession in the 81st and 84th minutes with Craig Aspinall pulling a goal back a minute from time.
The Welfare side changed slightly with Steve Garner moving back into the centre of defence alongside Josh Bucknall with Josh Dodd coming back into the midfield. Craig Aspinall returned after suspension but had to be content with a place on the bench.
Luke Williams had Welfare’s first foray towards the Selby goal in the 4th minute but he cut in from the left before seeing his shot from the edge of the box deflected off Jordan Snodin and straight into the arms of goalkeeper Peter Lawrie.
Five minutes later Snodin set up Ryan Woodhead for him to shoot straight at Alfie Stevens-Neale from just inside the box as Selby started to threaten.
Stevens-Neale had to be alert to dive and push a low 30 yard free kick from former Welfare striker Gary Collier round the post on 16 minutes and another Selby free-kick on 34 minutes saw Josh Dacre head straight at Stevens-Neale from in front of goal.
Just before half time Darren Mansaram sent Williams away down the left but Lawrie was quickly out of his goal to clear before Williams could reach the ball.
Half time brought a change of strip for Selby with their black and white shirts deemed to be clashing with the referee’s black kit so Selby hastily borrowed Welfare’s red away shirts and donned those for the second half.
In something of a repeat of Wednesday’s victory over Swallownest, Welfare started the second half with more purpose. Three minutes after the resumption a quick throw in saw Paul Sherburn break into the box from the right but Williams couldn’t control Sherburn’s pass 6 yards out.
On 54 minutes Sherburn worked some space for himself just inside the box but Lawrie blocked his shot with the loose ball striking Mansaram in the face before being cleared and a minute later Mansaram played in Williams but he shot tamely wide with Lawrie to beat.
A Dodd free-kick two minutes later saw Sherburn send over a teasing ball from the right that somehow evaded everyone as it flew through a crowded 6 yard box.
A rare Selby attack so far in this half saw Dacre head a Will Ramsay free-kick over the bar when well placed on 58 minutes.
Craig Aspinall replaced Josh Paskell and a well worked Welfare move on 72 minutes saw Sherburn and Williams combine on the edge of the box for the latter to have his shot deflected wide.
Welfare made further substitutions with Matthew Graves and Leon Loftus replacing Mansaram and Lee Betts respectively as Bucknall moved to left back and Wesley to central defence as Loftus came in on the right.
However, after rarely threatening in this half, Selby took the lead on 81 minutes when Collier played in Woodhead who burst clear of Bucknall to steer the ball past the advancing Stevens-Neale.
Three minutes later Bucknall’s pass was intercepted and the ball played quickly forward for Chris Bilton to square the ball for Collier to fire in and make it 2-0.
Welfare gave themselves a slight glimmer of taking a point from the game with a minute left when Dodd played a great ball through to pick out the run of Aspinall who broke through the Selby back line and stabbed the ball past the out rushing Lawrie from 25 yards.
Unfortunately, there was to be no great grandstand finish and Welfare went down to a 2-1 defeat. However, with Harworth losing at home to Ollerton Town Welfare have now preserved their Toolstation NCEL 1st Division status.
Welfare : Stevens-Neale, K. Wesley, Betts (Loftus 78 mins), O’Neill, Garner, Bucknall, Dodd, Paskell (Aspinall 57 mins), Mansaram (Greaves 73 mins), Willaims, Sherburn. Unused subs. Simpkins, Laight.
Referee : Melissa Burgin
Attendance : 83