Words: Devon Cash
Harry Vince’s penalty secured a late win for Stamford as the Daniels beat Worksop Town 2-1 at the Zeeco Stadium.
Tendai Chitiza opened the scoring for the home side just moments after Worksop were controversially denied a penalty. Steven McDonnell levelled up the game with 15 minutes to go, however Stamford won the game from the spot with four minutes remaining to hand Worksop their sixth defeat in their last eight league games.
The strong winds of Storm Jorge gave this fixture a clichéd “game of two halves” feel with Stamford benefiting from the tough conditions in the first half.
Cosmos Matwasa had the game’s opening chance when the winger ran onto a ball over the top, however his effort was blocked by the chest of David Reay.
On the 20-minute mark, Worksop had a major penalty shout turned away. Lynton Karkach lifted the ball into the area where the opportunity looked like it had passed until McDonnell sprinted through to take the ball away from goalkeeper Dan Haystead, who subsequently brought down the forward. Worksop instantly looked to the man in black for a decision: his verdict, no penalty.
Moments later, Stamford took the lead as a mistake from Ben Rhodes allowed Chitiza to power forward before sliding the ball under an out-rushing Reay.
Stamford continued to prove why they are second in the table as they peppered the Tigers’ goal with efforts from Rob Morgan and Sean Wright, however Worksop rode their luck a little and went into the break behind by just a single-goal margin.
The second half favoured Worksop slightly, as the wind allowed players such as McDonnell, Matt Sykes and Freddy Tracey to run onto balls over the top – it was just about getting the right amount of weight on it.
McDonnell instigated the opening chances of the second period, shooting over from a very tight angle before teeing up Lynton Karkach who sliced wide from the edge.
Chitiza was yet again proving to be a real handful for the Tigers, as the winger seemingly had the freedom of the left-hand side. On the hour, he cut in from the left, drove into the area, but saw his attempt saved by the legs of Reay.
Moments later, Reay produced another fantastic save as the ‘keeper got down to parry Dec O’Hare’s effort after the substitute found himself clean through on goal.
Worksop levelled up the game with around 17 minutes remaining. Deegan Atherton produced a fantastic cross from the right which was glanced into the bottom corner by McDonnell for his first goal in five games.
Reay then produced a magnificent double save before Haystead managed to palm Sykes’ stinging free-kick wide of the target.
With five minutes to go, Worksop’s hard work was undone as they conceded a penalty when Steven Wankiewicz, who returned from a four-game ban, dived into a challenge in the area, bringing down Ollie Brown-Hill in the process. Without hesitation, the referee pointed to the spot. Vince stepped up and sent Reay the wrong way to put the second-placed side back into the lead.
Worksop pressed for the final stages, however the Daniels held on to go within five points of league leaders Leek Town.
Goals: Chitiza (25’), Vince (86’); McDonnell (73’)
Worksop Town: Reay, Rhodes, Woolley, Pemberton, Atherton, Wankiewicz, Karkach (Haydock), Brownell, Tracey (Brunt), McDonnell, Sykes
Unused Subs: Kay, Jordan, Templeton