NCEL round-up: Armthorpe Welfare set for vital derby double-header
Armthorpe Welfare will go into their festive double header against relegation rivals Retford United on the back of a 3-1 home defeat against sixth-placed Albion Sports.
Michael Carmody’s side go to Retford on Boxing Day (2pm) with the return fixture at Church Street a week later on Monday, January 6.
Armthorpe are sat one place outside the bottom three on goal difference from Retford whom occupy the last of the three relegation places having been thumped 13-0 at AFC Mansfield last weekend.
Carmody will be demanding maximum points from his troops against a Retford side that have lost ten of the last 11 league outings, with their solitary victory coming in a 3-2 home win against Maltby Main last month.
Despite the setback against Albion Sports, with two wins from the last three, Armthorpe will go into the relegation showdown in good spirits having put in a decent performance against a team that had lost just once in their previous eight league outings.
Welfare fell behind in the 17th minute when a free-kick found its way to the far post where Albion’s top scorer Danny Facey tapped in.
Amrthorpe though hit back to equalise with a penalty on 34 minutes. Danny Mansaram was pulled down in the area leaving Liam Radford to coolly send the keeper the wrong way from the spot.
The goal raised hopes of a third win on the spin with Welfare enjoying a good spell before and just after the interval and they might well have taken the lead had Craig Aspinall not slipped at a crucial moment.
However, the visitors regained the lead on 67 minutes when an attack down the left finished with a low cross into the box that Michael O’Brien tucked home.
Armthorpe struggled to create any clear cut openings in the latter stages and it came as no surprise when Albion put the result beyond doubt with the third in the first minute of stoppage time. An attack was only half cleared and when the ball dropped to Facey on the edge of the box he tucked the ball inside the near post for his 18th goal of the season.
Rossington Main can count themselves unlucky not to have taken a point from Division One promotion chasers Pontefract Collieries at Oxford Street.
Collieries arrived third in the table and just a point outside the top two automatic places.
But Rossington had matched their high-riding opponents all the way and looked set for a well deserved point until Chris Wood pounced in the last minute for his 20th goal of the campaign to give the visitors a hard earned 1-0 victory whilst stretching their unbeaten run to nine games.
Although Rossington will feel hard done by, the performance gave them encouragement heading into Boxing Day’s trip to Shirebrook Town where Main will go in search of a first league win in 17 games.
Langwith Road has not been the best of hunting ground for Rossington who have lost the least three league meetings there since a Dean Jones goal gave them a 1-0 victory back in September 2012.
The corresponding fixture last season was a high scoring affair with Rossington finishing on the wrong end of a 6-3 scoreline.
Meanwhile, Rossington have signed former Armthorpe striker Henry Sibenge from Premier Division side Worksop Town.