Worksop win the league in style.
Four first-half goals secured the title for the Tigers, beating ten-man Albion Sports to cruise to our first promotion since the 1997/98 campaign. The goals came from a brace for Matthew Sykes, a Steve McDonnell one-on-one, and a wonder goal from Lee Hill which settled the game.
Worksop came out of the traps running in the few moments of the game and had a goal disallowed. A great ball into the box caused absolute chaos; full-back Lee Hill latched onto the loose ball and put it into the back of the Lions’ net, only for it to be chalked off.
Worksop continued to dominate the play and posed a real threat playing the attacks out wide. The high tempo was causing real problems for Albion.
After the constant bombardment of the Albion defence, the Tigers got themselves a penalty in the 26th minute. A great move down the right resulted in a late tackle from the hosts on Sykes. Up stepped the talisman, who rifled the penalty into the roof of the Albion net to notch up his 30th goal of the season and send the Worksop fans into raptures.
Another great move from the right saw a beautiful ball into the box head to striker McDonnell, who beat the offside trap and took a terrific first touch, leaving the big man to poke the ball past the goalkeeper to give the Tigers some breathing room.
Just minutes later, the Tigers added a third goal, and what a goal it was. Worksop received a free-kick 30 yards out, and up stepped full-back Hill, who rifled it into the top right-hand of the goal to give Albion a massive mountain to climb.
The hosts’ day went from bad to worse, as striker Keita received his marching orders after a late tackle right in front of the referee, who reached for his pocket for a straight red card.
It was game, set and match before half time. Worksop drove forward yet again and got their just rewards; Sykes received the ball, took on two players and matched that with a fantastic finish to make the Worksop fans really believe that it would be their day.
The second half started with a calmer tempo. Worksop looked in control by stopping the Albion attacks and holding up the ball to frustrate our hosts.
Moments later it was almost five to the good. A great move down the right saw Sykes run towards goal, playing a lovely ball across goal, where midfielder Ross Goodwin smashed a lovely one-touch strike that ricocheted against the Lions’ crossbar.
Substitute Kyle Jordan almost got himself on the scoresheet on the stroke of full-time. Goodwin was slipped down the left where the hard-working midfielder drilled a ball into the middle where Jordan was situated, but the forward poorly fired his shot wide of the mark.
It didn’t matter; the full-time whistle went moments later to send the Tigers into the Evo-Stik League.
The scenes at the end of the game were remarkable and will live long in the memories of all who cheered on the Tigers.
Line-up: D. Reay, Atherton, Hill, Woolley (Pemberton), M. Reay, Wankiewicz, Patterson (C), Goodwin, Sykes (Ward), Mitchell (Jordan), McDonnell
Unused subs: Trench, Townsend
Goals: Sykes (26, 43), McDonnell (35), Hill (37)
Red cards: Keita (40)
By Luke Atherton