NCEL: Mixed week for Armthorpe Welfare ahead of ‘six-pointer’

Liam Radford
Liam Radford

Armthorpe Welfare failed to build on a promising start to their week as they slipped to another defeat.

Michael Carmody’s side were beaten 2-0 at Church Street by Thackley, which came just five days after what was probably their best performance of the season to come from behind to earn a point from a 1-1 home draw against AFC Mansfield.

Welfare were behind after just five minutes when the much-travelled Gary Bradshaw’s turn and shot from the edge of the box gave keeper Adam Stevens no chance.

Armthorpe recovered from the early setback with Darren Mansaram forcing the visitors keeper into a fingertip save from distance then strike partner Liam Radford was just inches away with a 20-yard effort.

Three minutes before the interval Welfare were back on level terms.

Mansaram put Craig Aspinall in the clear to score with a fine shot from the edge of the box.

Armthorpe felt aggrieved not to have had a couple of penalties.

Gary Collier appeared to be upended then they had a good shout for handball turned away.

Steve Lyons did have the chance to give Welfare the win when getting in on goal but was thwarted by a smart stop from the Mansfield keeper.

Thackley arrived third in the table, having won six of their last nine league outings, so it was never going to be an easy task for Armthorpe to record a second league win of the campaign.

After an evenly contested first half, the visitors edged in front on 69 minutes when Dan Broadbent was given too much room in the area to place a shot into Adams Stevens top corner.

Armthorpe’s hopes of salvaging a point were ended 15 minutes from time as Ryan Farrell added a second.

Carmody’s side face a trip to neighbours Parkgate this weekend in what is already being labelled as a six-pointer.

The Steelmen are propping up the table with just two points from the opening 14 games, three behind Welfare with three games in hand.

Like Armthorpe the hosts also have a new man at the helm in Graham Nicholas after Steve Adams stepped down last week following their poor start to the season.

Armthorpe won the corresponding fixture 1-0 last season with James Walker scoring the only goal midway through the second half.

And how Carmody would love a repeat of that scoreline as Welfare bid to narrow the six-point gap on safety and fourth bottom Retford United.