Hemsworth MW recover from early shock to stay in title hunt

Eddie Cass gets to the ball first ahead of Steve Smith in Hemsworth MW's game against Harrogate Railway Athletic.
Eddie Cass gets to the ball first ahead of Steve Smith in Hemsworth MW's game against Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Hemsworth MW recovered from the shock of conceding first as they kept the pressure on the leaders in the Toolstation NCE Premier Division.

After victories in their previous three games Wells travelled confidently to face second from bottom Harrogate Railway Athletic, but were given a surprise when their hosts were awarded a penalty that Albert Ibrahimi put away on 16 minutes.

But Wayne Benn’s men quickly recovered their composure and went on to hit back to win 3-1.

Hemsworth had the first sights of goal with Bradley Dockerty sending one shot wide and seeing another saved by the home keeper.

Harrogate, who had let in eight against leaders Penistone Church the previous week, went ahead with their penalty, but were only able to hold on to their advantage for three minutes as Richard Collier finished well after good build-up work by Eddie Cass and Dockerty.

A great chance to double Wells’ tally followed a minute later when Steven Jeff sent Nash Connolly in behind the home defence, but his shot went agonisingly wide.

Connolly went close again from a Jeff cross and Collier sent a half-volley wide following further excellent build-up play involving Adam Wilson, Yates and Collier.

A big shout for a penalty fell on deaf ears and somehow the game stayed level up to half-time.

Hemsworth dominated the early exchanges in the second period and were finally rewarded when receiving a penalty this time, which Yates put away.

More opportunities then went begging as Seon Ripley could not find the net after a great run by Dockerty and centre-back Harry Viggars could not converted from close range after coming up front for a corner.

Declan Parker brought a save out of the home keeper before the third goal that had been threatened arrived with Cass shooting home from a cross by substitute Adam Knight.

Wells looked set to further increase their lead when awarded their second penalty and the third spot kick of the afternoon. But Yates saw his effort well saved by keeper Joe Wilton.

It remained 3-1 to the final whistle, although Hemsworth had one more good chance when Knight put Connolly in, but the skipper’s shot was saved by Wilton and substitute Sydney Santos fired wide.

The victory inched Hemsworth two points closer to the top of the league as leaders Penistone Church were held to a 2-2 draw at Bridlington Town.

Six points still separate the sides with Yorkshire Amateur three points ahead of Welfare in second place after they won 4-0 at Albion Sports.

Hemsworth are on their travels again this Saturday when they take on Thackley, who currently stand in 16th place in the Premier Division. Five successive home games then await Wells in March as they look to keep their title dream alive.

Hemsworth MW, meanwhile have been drawn at home to Handsworth Parramore in the quarter-finals of the NCE League Cup with the date for the last eight tie still to be arranged.