NCEL: Armthorpe sink into Premier Division drop zone

Armthorpe's Jonathan Mirfin closes down his man against Pickering.
Armthorpe's Jonathan Mirfin closes down his man against Pickering.

Armthorpe Welfare slipped back into the relegation zone after a 3-2 home defeat against an in-form Pickering Town side.

The result saw the Pikes chalk up a seventh league win in an eight-match unbeaten run, while for Armthorpe it brought up just a second defeat in their last six.

David Buck challenges for possession

David Buck challenges for possession

Welfare made a poor start, conceding two goals inside the opening 16 minutes.

Mitch Hamilton gave the visitors a 13th minute lead by getting on the end of a free-kick into the box to slot home from close range.

It did not take long for Pickering to double their lead with Hamilton again the scorer after weaving his way past three defenders.

Armthorpe were unlucky not to pull one back just before the break when Billy Parkhouse saw his effort beat the keeper but not the post.

Billy Parkhouse has his eye on the ball.

Billy Parkhouse has his eye on the ball.

However, Parkhouse was involved in the goal that saw Welfare pull it back to 2-1 eight minutes into the second half when his challenge for a cross saw the ball bounce in off a Town defender. Pickering soon restored their two-goal cushion when Matt Turnbull got on the end of a cross in the 63rd minute to nod home.

Armthorpe hit back immediately with a superb headed goal from Darren Mansaram from a corner.

Brian Johnston’s men, however, could not come up with an equaliser.

And with relegation rivals Parkgate pulling off a shock 2-1 home win against promotion hopefuls Cleethorpes Town and Brigg Town winning 3-0 at Athersley Recreation, Welfare find themselves back in the Premier Division’s bottom three.

Armthorpe make the short trip to Retford United on Saturday. They have not lost on their last two visits to Cannon Park. Indeed Welfare have lost just two of the last eight meetings between the sides.