Can the Tigers return to winning ways on Wednesday night?

Worksop Town manager Kyle Jordan will be eager to return to the winners’ circle in the third round of the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup against Ecclesfield Red Rose at Sandy Lane. With league action at the weekend, we can expect a few changes to the Tigers squad.

This is our most successful competition, having won the tournament on 12 occasions and finishing runner-up a staggering 21 times. Jordan & co will be eager to go far in this competition, as this is one in which we could go all the way. The final is played at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground, a chance to play at a Premier League venue being another attractive prospect.  The squad members that were here last season will have fond memories of lifting the NCEL Cup in front of a thousand Tigers fans and they will be hoping to experience something similar at the end of this campaign.

Blast from the past:

Worksop Town love this competition with many memorable triumphs, so let’s have a rewind to a couple of  great finals where the Tigers lifted the trophy.

Worksop Town 3-2 Frickley Athletic, 2011/12

This was the last time the Tigers won the tournament, after a mouth-watering but tense five-goal thriller. Confusion in the Worksop defence between goalkeeper Mario Zaccardi and central defender Marc Roberts left Frickley striker Brad Grayson to tap into an empty net to give Frickley the early advantage.

Fans’ favourite Jamie Jackson replied ten minutes later. The ball was played through and Jackson scored from the angle 15 yards out. The Yorkshire club took the lead for the second time five minutes before the interval, as a great delivery into the Worksop box found former Tiger Cecil Nyoni, who had his first attempt on goal saved by Ziccardi but his second effort was too much for the Worksop shot-stopper.

However, the Tigers scored again on the stroke of half-time. Striker Owain Warlow hit a low fizzing shot from 20 yards that flew past the helpless Frickley keeper. That old cliché of it being the best time to score proved to be right, with Worksop snatching the winner in the second half.  That man Jackson bagged his second of the game and it was a well-worked goal. Second goalscorer Warlow’s cross landed on Jackson’s head six yards out, and his bullet header gave the Tigers their 12th taste of success in this tournament.

Worksop Town 2-1 Doncaster Rovers, 2002/03

Worksop Town beat now League One Yorkshire giants Doncaster Rovers. Steve Ludlam was in charge, and his son Ryan scored one of the two Worksop goals, after Mark Barnard struck Worksop’s first. Ludlam kept his composure to step up and score the winning penalty in the 88th minute.

Many of the Worksop favourites will remember that fantastic day and will be hoping that we can get one step closer to the all-time record in this competition, currently held by both Sheffield Wednesday and Frickley Athletic with 14 wins each.

Our opponents:

Ecclesfield Red Rose 1915 are a county team and will have been licking their lips at the prospect of a third-round tie at Sandy Lane against one of the giants of the tournament. Despite the difference in footballing levels, this can prove to be nothing on the day as Red Rose will look to frustrate the Tigers.

Underdogs are not to be taken lightly and with a team with nothing to lose it could be a deadly combination. The Yorkshire side have already played in this competition and beat Wombell Main 2-1 in the second round. This will give Red Rose the confidence to come down to Sandy Lane and give a performance to be proud of. It’s without doubt that being a brick against the talented Worksop attack will be a key plan for Ecclesfield to frustrate and try and catch the Tigers with a sucker punch.

This could be a real thriller and a chance for some of the fringe players and Under-21s to stake their claim in Kyle Jordan’s plans. To Jordan’s credit he has given the youngsters a taste of the tough senior football that lies in front of them. Players like Morton, Holland and Under-21s skipper Jones could show what they’re made of after already featuring in the senior side. A good crowd will no doubt turn out to roar the Tigers on the way to, hopefully, a successful finish and to put the trophy back on the mantelpiece for the 13th time.

By Luke Atherton

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