NCE League: Hemsworth MW and Frickley Athletic end season on a high note

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​Hemsworth MW ended their much improved campaign with a cracking home victory in their last match of the season in the Premier Division of the Toolstation NCE League.

​A 4-2 success against Maltby Main all but clinched an eighth place finish for a team that had to go right down to the wire to win a relegation battle in the previous season.

They were trailing at the break after Toby Kenyon opened the scoring for Maltby on the stroke of half-time.

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Nash Connolly equalised after being set up by Reece Kral, but Sam Ackroyd restored the visitors’ lead before a big finish saw Wells take all three points with three goals in five minutes.

Kelan Swales celebrates scoring a goal for Frickley Athletic against Goole. Picture: John HobsonKelan Swales celebrates scoring a goal for Frickley Athletic against Goole. Picture: John Hobson
Kelan Swales celebrates scoring a goal for Frickley Athletic against Goole. Picture: John Hobson

All three were scored by Andy Horbury with a quickfire hat-trick after he came off the subs’ bench to make a huge impact.

The first saw him produce a powerful header after meeting Sam Kilner’s cross, his second came three minutes later from Connolly’s low cross and his treble came when he burst past several players before curling a shot into the top corner.

It was a great way to finish a season in which Hemsworth have collected 55 points from their 38 league games.

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Frickley Athletic also ended their Premier Division season well as they beat Goole 2-0 to record their first victory under recently appointed manager Pat McGuire.

It was also the Blues’ first home win of 2023 and they have ended in 17th position in a difficult campaign of rebuilding following relegation.

​Harrison Davison-Hale made a couple of saves early on as Goole looked to make the running in their bid to avoid relegation.

But Frickley’s player of the year Lewis Binns was unlucky to see his header rattle the bar and Kelan Swales was denied by the keeper.

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Frickley were ahead just before half-time when Swales, back from injury, raced clear to score.

Goole tried hard to hit back, but the hosts doubled their advantage when substitute Wade Ripley finished coolly from Josh Haigh’s knock down.

The final margin could have been bigger with several further chances not taken, but the management team were pleased with the display and victory.

McGuire said: “It’s a pity this win didn’t come earlier, but it’s about us building and getting stronger game by game.

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"I’m delighted for the players that they got a clean sheet and a win.

"We said that if we were not prepared to come and fight we would get rolled over because they were fighting for their lives, but I am delighted we finished in that form.”

The season may be over, but McGuire is now getting on with the job of preparing for next season to try to make sure the club enjoy a better 2023-24 campaign.

He added: “There is no rest. We need to make sure we are proactive and we’re not picking up the pieces. We want to be making contact with players and attracting the right kind of player to the club.

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"It’s not just about their ability, it’s about their character and how they fit into how we want to build and set up next year. How they are going to help the young lads that we’ve already got in and want to keep hold of and build with.”

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After ensuring their survival from relegation in Division One last week, Glasshoughton Welfare finished their campaign with a respectable draw against a Harrogate Railway Athletic side heading into the play-offs.

Although the match ended goalless it showed again how strongly Welfare have finished a campaign in which they looked to be in deep trouble at the start of 2023.

They have ended in 16th place, four points above the relegation places and will be looking to kick on next term.