NCEL: Armthorpe Welfare climb out of Premier Division drop zone

James Walker
James Walker

Armthorpe Welfare made it three wins in eight days with an impressive 3-2 victory at high-riding Clipstone.

Welfare’s latest win saw them climb out of the Premier Division bottom two.

The win at Clipstone, which saw Welfare make amends for a 6-1 defeat in the reverse fixture in late August, followed hard on the heels of an excellent 5-3 League Cup triumph at Retford United five days earlier.

It was a tie that saw Armthorpe overcome a 2-0 deficit to lead 3-2 with goals from James Handley, Stuart Preston and Craig Aspinall.

However, it looked like Welfare were up against it when they had goalkeeper Mateusz Zaniewski sent off in first half stoppage time for denying a goalscoring opportunity, which saw former Armthorpe player Adam Lee equalise from the resultant penalty.

It was Johnston’s men though that went through against the odds with second half goals from Dave Buck and James Walker direct from a corner.

Welfare continued their good run with another fine performance to claim maximum points at Clipstone.

It was a game that saw James Walker become the first Armthorpe player to score a hat trick in almost 12 months.

Walker rifled in the first from 15-yards after a corner had been half cleared to give Welfare a 48th minute lead.

The forward then curled in a free-kick from an acute angle following a foul on Buck to double the advantage on 57 minutes.

He then completed his treble seven minutes later from the penalty spot after Buck had been brought down to make it 3-0.

Clipstone reduced the arrears through a deflected Brad Jones shot on 70 minutes with Oli Ryan pulling another back eight minutes from time with a goal that owed a lot to the blustery conditions.

However, Johnston’s side held on to record a first away win in the league since the opening day of the season.

This weekend Armthorpe will aim to continue their improvement when they host Staveley MW.

Welfare have a decent record against the Derbyshire side at Church Street, having won two and drawn two since Staveley won promotion to the Premier Division in 2011.