Relieved Ollerton Town celebrated a case of job done after securing safety from relegation in their debut season in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League.
Despite a poor start to the campaign, when they lost their first seven games, Ollerton have long had a healthy cushion over the bottom two in the First Division. But any lingering nerves were finally laid to rest on Saturday with a 1-0 victory at home to mid-table Glasshoughton Welfare.
The result lifted them up to 16th in the 22-team table, and now they will be using their final three games to finish as high as possible before hoping to avoid the dreaded ‘second season syndrome’ next year!
Glasshoughton came to town in a rich vein of form, but Ollerton were always the better side and should have scored more. As it happened, the only goal of the game came five minutes into the second half. Sam Dockwray picked up the ball in midfield and after charging forward, he played a pass over the top for Lewis Bingham, who cut in from the left and bent a shot into the bottom corner.
Both Bingham and Chris Hewitt also had efforts cleared off the line after finding a way past visiting goalkeeper Jordan Bradshaw, while Dockwray saw a dipping volley saved and both Brandon Shaw and Greg Tobin headed good chances over.
Later in the piece, striker Kyle Ludlow hit a powerful volley just too high before Mark Carter’s flicked header found the grateful hands of Bradshaw.
Glasshoughton’s threat was limited, but they nearly punished Ollerton for not killing them off when a cross from the right found Elliott Williams for a free header. Thankfully, Scott Gretton pulled off a fine save.