Hemsworth MW’s long unbeaten run in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League was ended in emphatic fashion as they crashed to a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Louth Town on Saturday.
Wayne Benn’s men had not lost a league game since September 23, but they delivered a poor performance to be well beaten by opponents who started the day four places below them in eighth spot.
The result saw Welfare drop down to sixth with all of their rivals winning, although if they can quickly get over the setback they still remain right in the thick of the promotion battle, six points behind leaders Pontefract Collieries with a game in hand after the weekend’s matches.
The young side suffered a rare off-day against Louth after making a poor start from which they failed to properly recover.
Louth were ahead after just five minutes when keeper Jack Bentley could not hold onto Jordan Smith’s cross and Jack Wightwick crossed for Carl Martin to open the scoring.
Hemsworth initially responded well and top scorer Nick Guest came close to meeting a cross by Nash Connolly.
Guest then hit the crossbar with a fine shot, but Welfare fell further behind just before half-time when Jamie Coulson was allowed space to size up a shot that beat Bentley from the edge of the box.
Hemsworth were determined to hit back after the break, but for all their possession and territorial advantage they struggled to break down a solid Louth back line that protected their goalkeeper.
The visitors broke out of defence on 65 minutes and came up with a crucial third goal as a back pass by Sam Colbear was intercepted by Coulson and he set up Smith to make it 3-0.
Welfare’s day was then summed up when they let in a fourth, Greg Andrews scoring with an amazing effort from half-way that sent the ball sailing over Bentley into the net.
Despite putting on three substitutes in a bid to turn the game round, Hemsworth could not make any headway this time and saw their fantastic 19-game unbeaten league run ended.
Welfare will be aiming to bounce straight back to winning ways this Saturday when they host Knaresborough Town (kick-off 3pm).
Benn’s men will be looking for a double over mid-table Town, having beaten them 3-0 away in October.
They are also in action next Tuesday as they travel to play 16th-placed Worsbrough Bridge Athletic (kick-off 7.45pm), with who they surprisingly drew 2-2 at home in November.