Guest heads Hemsworth MW to victory in promotion clash

Nick Guest, headed late winner.
Nick Guest, headed late winner.

It was the late show as Hemsworth MW came up with a big effort on Saturday to overturn their Toolstation NCE Division One promotion battle away at Clipstone FC.

Welfare were one down with three minutes to go, but in a thrilling finish hit back to win 2-1 to deliver a big blow to opponents who started the day as perhaps favourites to go up.

Although down in fourth at the start of play, Clipstone could have gone top with a win and have at least two games in hand on all their rivals.

They were on home soil and were one of only two teams to have beaten Hemsworth in the league this season, but Welfare were unbeaten since September in the league and were in the mood to maintain that record.

Clipstone applied early pressure with their long ball tactics, but the defence of Rob Tonks, Sam Colbear, Jack Steers and Cameron Clark ensured that Jack Bentley was relatively untroubled between the sticks.

Hemsworth’s work rate enabled them to gain a foothold in the game and they were dangerous on the counter attack with Nash Connolly being the main supply to the front pairing of Nick Guest and Dom Blair.

Welfare created the first real opening when Blair flicked on for Guest who had to take his shot early and toe poked a goal bound shot which the keeper got down to make a smart save.

Next to test the keeper was Blair as he volleyed Guest’s knock down, but the keeper came out on top once again.

Clipstone failed to create anything of note, while Hemsworth attacked again with Connolly cutting inside and teeing Wilson up just inside the box only for him to screw his shot just wide.

The second half followed the same pattern, Hemsworth playing the football and Clipstone hoofing it forward and feeding off scraps.

Guest and Blair’s movement and willingness to run in behind was causing the slow Clipstone defence all sorts of problems and the keeper had to be alert to race out and thwart Guest.

Hemsworth looked the more likely team to take the lead, but they were hit with a sucker punch on 67 minutes. Matty Ord collected the ball wide left and waltzed round two Welfare defenders before slipping the ball past Bentley into the corner of the net.

This setback rocked Hemsworth a little and Clipstone had a good spell in search of another goal, but the defence held firm.

Wayne Benn felt it was time to ring the changes. Harry Viggars and D’arcy Pugh replaced Whitehead and Connolly as the manager went for broke in an attempt to get back into the game.

Viggars nearly got through as he controlled and spun in one movement, but the defender stretched out a leg to get the vital interception.

With time running out Guest latched onto a ball in the channel and was fouled just outside the box to the side. The resultant free-kick was drilled by Wilson and nestled in the stanchion giving the keeper no chance and sending the travelling supporters wild.

Hemsworth went in search of the winner and got it from a corner swung in by Blair when Guest rose highest at the back post to head home.

The result lifted Welfare back up to third in the table and they are three points behind new leaders Pontefract Collieries with a game in hand.

Hemsworth were due to be in action again away to Hallam on Tuesday night, but the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch..

They are back at home this Saturday when they take on ninth-placed Louth Town (kick-off 3pm), with who they drew 2-2 back in September.