Hemsworth MW took a giant stride towards the Toolstation NCE Division One title when they came away with three points from their away game against their closest challengers last Saturday.
Harry Viggars emerged as the hero with the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time to give Wayne Benn’s men a narrow, but massive 1-0 victory at AFC Mansfield.
The result gave Hemsworth revenge for a home defeat against Mansfield earlier in the season. They were also making it four wins on the trot and went 11 points clear with a game in hand as well.
The five sides directly below Mansfield all won, but Wells are in a great position now with 12 games to play.
It was tight at Mansfield, but after a cagey opening Hemsworth had the first sight of goal with skipper Jason Yates getting in a good strike saved by keeper Jason White.
Danny Williams fired a 25-yarder over for the hosts before Viggars looped a header over. Keeper Chris Sneath came to Wells’ rescue on 25 minutes as he superbly turned the ball behind for a corner after Jake Park had got his head to Ryan Williams’ cross. Danny Critchlow got an effort in at the other end, but was off target and the half ended goalless.
In the second period the first chance fell to the visitors after White had raced out of his box only to half clear, but the lob that followed nestled on top of the net not in it to Mansfield’s relief.
Hemsworth were slowly turning the screw and White had to save twice from close range before a third effort flew over the bar from Critchlow.
Welfare then came up with their winning goal on 80 minutes when Viggars netted his third of the season from a low driven cross.
Mansfield threw on an extra striker for the closing stages, but it was the visitors who came closest to another goal when Critchlow got the better of two defenders only to send his shot wide.
This Saturday Hemsworth will be hoping to keep their winning run going, but face another test when they play host to third-placed Shirebrook Town (kick-off 3pm).
The first meeting between the teams this season was a close affair in September with Welfare having to come from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw so they will not be taking anything for granted in the return at the MDC Stadium.
Hemsworth are also in action next Tuesday when they try again to play their “away” game against Hull United, which has been moved to be played at Welfare’s ground. Kick-off is 7.45pm.
The two teams have already met at the MDC when Hull drew 1-1 back in August.