Tigers beat the Miners in slim victory as they aim for 90 points.
Worksop Town beat mid-table Garforth Town at Sandy Lane on a scorching hot Saturday afternoon. The Tigers got the early goal to settle the nerves and were unlucky to not make it 2 or 3-0 with the chances they had.
Garforth almost gatecrashed the celebrations from last weekend’s continued promotion party. A great move down the right by Sam Barker, who beat right-back Deegan Atherton, meant the he could play a devastating cross which fell to attacker Colley, who squandered a great chance to put the visitors’ noses in front.
However, the champions opened the scoring in the 10th minute. A great pump up-field by Worksop ‘keeper David Reay was met by Craig Mitchell who rose highest and flicked the ball into the path of striker McDonnell, whose first touch set him up to drive the ball past the Miners ‘keeper Toby Wells.
McDonnell almost doubled our advantage in the 20th minute. A pinpoint cross from the left by Matthew Sykes fell to McDonnell, who unfortunately couldn’t convert his effort on goal, instead sending the ball over the bar.
Garforth should have drawn level. Defender Max Pemberton lost the ball halfway in the Worksop half after some great work off the ball by striker Daniel Williams. The target man surged forward and lined up an effort, which Matt Reay got a toe-end onto, meaning that Williams had to delay his chance as the angle got more acute. He aimed for the gap in between the post and goalkeeper, but Dave Reay got down to turn it wide.
Despite the Miners having some great chances, Worksop looked in control for the majority of the first half. With only a few minutes to spare before the interval, an excellent delivery from left-back Lee Hill across goal only needed a touch, but Ross Goodwin was a few seconds too late as he couldn’t get on the end of the cross.
The early stages of the second half started with Worksop looking comfortable in possession and attempting to carve out numerous chances, but the resolute Garforth defence kept their attacks at bay.
The first real chance of the half for the Tigers came in the 65th minute. A beautiful ball into the box from experienced midfielder Steve Woolley reached the head of McDonnell, who manufactured a lovely header towards goal that was matched by ‘keeper Wells, palming the ball out for another corner.
Another golden opportunity passed the home side by. Another fantastic delivery from Woolley met the head of Lee Hill at the back post who could only steer his effort into the side-netting.
Worksop started to turn the temperature up a notch in the final stages of the game. There was more great work down the left, this time from from substitute Kyle Jordan who whipped a beautiful ball into the Garforth box. Hill was causing problems in the box as his bullet header towards goal was parried away from the target by Wells.
Garforth almost put the ball into the back of their own net. Craig Mitchell made a great run down the right to take two opposing players out of the game, before swinging in a delightful ball towards Lee Hill in the centre. This caused confusion between Wells and his defender Lee Turner, who attempted the clearance, resulting in the ball being poked towards goal, but somehow the goalkeeper produced a point-blank save to tip the ball over the bar.
From the resulting corner, the Tigers should have put the game to bed. Woolley’s corner landed on the head of Hill, whose attempt was headed off the line by a Garforth Town defender, only to fall to Goodwin whose effort hit the bar and out for a goal kick.
The full-time whistle eventually went to put an end to a frustrating afternoon for the Tigers, who just couldn’t seem to get the ball in between the sticks.
Line-up: D. Reay, Atherton (Jones), Hill, Woolley, M. Reay, Pemberton, Patterson (C), Goodwin, Sykes (Brunt), Mitchell, McDonnell (Jordan)
Unused subs: Ward, Townsend
Goals: McDonnell (10’)
By Luke Atherton