NCEL: Armthorpe survive relegation by the skin of their teeth

Steve Garner
Steve Garner
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Armthorpe Welfare have survived relegation from the NCEL Premier Division by the skin of their teeth.

Brian Johnston’s men were left biting their nails following a 2-2 draw at Garforth Town on the final Saturday of the season.

That result meant they were relying on Pontefract Collieries, who occupied the final relegation spot, failing to beat Handsworth Parramore on Tuesday night.

But Armthorpe were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief after second-placed Parramore ran out 6-1 winners - meaning Welfare finished the campaign just one point clear of the drop zone.

They were disappointed not to get the job done themselves after twice leading at Garforth.

Stuart Preston gave Welfare the lead with a 15th minute penalty after Matt Semley had been felled by the home keeper.

The home side were level just five minutes later when a long ball caught out the Armthorpe defence and Curtly Martin-Wyatt nipped in to score.

Welfare regained the lead just before the half hour mark when Steve Garner ghosted in to score at the back post.

However, Martin Wyatt’s header midway through the second half earned Garforth a point.

Maltby Main joint managers Spencer Fearn and Mark Askwith, along with coach John Stancliffe, have pledged their immediate future to the club for another season.

The trio have turned the club’s fortunes around since taking charge 12 months ago.

The Miners finished seventh in the Premier Division despite a 2-1 home defeat against Pickering Town in the final game of the season, their highest league position for 20 years.

Maltby chairman Wilf Race said: “Under their guidance the club has grown immensely and they are to be commended for their dedication and loyalty which has seen results improve beyond all expectations.”