Connolly fires home late winner for Hemsworth MW

Scorer: Nash Connolly.
Scorer: Nash Connolly.

Hemsworth MW left it late before claiming all three points in their Toolstation NCE Premier Division game at home to Staveley MW.

Last Saturday’s match looked to be heading for a disappointing goalless draw before Nash Connolly stepped up to score a late winner for Wayne Benn’s men.

The 1-0 victory maintained Hemsworth’s title challenge, keeping them in fourth place as they start 2019.

Mid-table Staveley started well and headed over from a corner before the hosts settled into their game and forced a succession of corners.

They came to nothing, but Wells came close when Harry Viggars sent a header wide after getting on the end of a Richard Collier corner.

Adam Wilson saw a shot saved and the Staveley keeper was in the action again soon after, doing well to keep out a thunderous strike by Collier.

At the other end Jordan Greaves tipped a Pugh effort over.

Both sides struggled to create clear opportunities after the break, although Collier saw a free-kick well saved and Bradley Dockerty was denied by onrushing keeper Wright.

Hemsworth did come up with a winner, however, in the 87th minute when Connolly smartly fired home following good work by Dockerty.

Manager Benn thought his side were good value for their victory.

He said: Staveley are a very good side, but we have managed to win ugly again and a second consecutive clean sheet is very pleasing.

“I think it’s a deserved win based on our second half performance. We were far from our best, but we kept asking questions, kept going and got our rewards in the end.

“I’m particularly pleased to have won despite having three big players suspended and a couple injured.

“These last couple of games have been a real squad effort and the lads that have stepped in have done very well.”

Hemsworth are away to another mid-table side when they face Athersley Recreation in the league this Saturday.