Albion Sports 4 Nostell Miners Welfare 1

A late flourish saw Albion Sports coast to a comfortable home victory over struggling Nostell which catapulted them back into the top five of the Toolstation Northern Counties East Premier Division table.

There had been chances at both ends even before Albion – on a run of three consecutive defeats – opened the scoring in the sixth minute. Jaskran Basi, making his first start for the club, climbed to meet an Alex Cusack set-piece with a towering header that went in off the top of the post.

Nostell may have been left in the bottom two by the defeat but their spirit throughout the game belied their relegation placing.

With two lively forwards up front in Adam Frost and Annor Ferdinand, and dead ball specialist Will Hayton, they kept home keeper Aaron Brian on his toes.

And midway through the first half the visitors’ forwards got their reward. A wayward pass from right back Elliot Holmes was intercepted and the ball played through to Ferdinand, who slotted in from the edge of the area.

The equaliser came just a minute after Brian had tipped a 30-yard free-kick from Hayton over his bar. Albion left back Thomas Dugdale had received a stern ticking off from the referee for the foul that led to that free-kick.

Other chances followed for both sides but Albion were bossing possession without really doing much with it.

After the break, an early free-kick for Nostell almost went through to Frost and the slack defending continued as the next ball into the danger zone found Matthew Johnson, whose shot was parried on the edge of the area by Brian. The Albion keeper also blocked an effort from Frost on the follow-up.

Albion kept knocking at the door and soon after the hour-mark they got their noses back in front following a foul on Danny Facey. Dugdale delivered the free-kick to the near post and Facey forced it past Nostell keeper Ben Saynor.

Facey was on target again just four minutes later. The striker chased a through ball and beat Saynor to it before rounding the keeper and stroking the ball into the unguarded net.

Holmes came close to getting on the scoresheet soon after when he sent in a cross that took a slight deflection before being tipped over for a corner by Saynor.

There was some doubt about Albion’s fourth goal three minutes from time but only over who got the final contact. It was a good move by the home side, with Adam Jones and Cusack opening up the home defence before a Jones shot deflected off a defender’s hand and trickled over the line as Facey lunged in.

Facey claimed the goal, as did Brown, and he came close to another when he rattled the bar in stoppage time.

Albion boss Kulwinder Sandhu said: “I thought we deserved the win but we didn’t really start playing until the second goal went in.

“We had lost our last three but the confidence came flooding back after we went back in front.”