Words: Devon Cash
Whilst the country is in the midst of a world-wide epidemic due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we thought we would treat supporters and welcome them to reminisce about that monumental 22-game winning run which helped propel the Tigers up the table, clinch the league title, and win the NCEL League Cup. We will also hear from certain individuals about the games and the run itself.
We start at the very beginning… game one, of course!
Back in January 2019, the Tigers faced a trip to Bradford to play against Thackley AFC, who had a very good home record, especially against Worksop.
Worksop Town had a slow start to the fixture and on eight minutes Dan Broadbent played a pinpoint ball through to the feet of Jack Normanton, who took the ball in his stride before tucking the ball under David Reay.
At half-time, it seemed the Tigers were in for another frustrating half, however, the team-talk geed the visitors up and ten minutes after the restart, they were back on level terms.
Kyle Jordan picked out the run of Craig Mitchell at the back stick, and the forward steered a header towards goal and past Luke Wilson in the Dennyboys’ net.
Town kept chipping away at the home side’s back line until eventually that wall was smashed down as Matt Sykes was thwarted in the area by Adam Marsh. Sykes picked himself up and rifled the ball home from twelve yards.
Sykes then bagged his second in added time as the winger ran onto a Calum Ward flick-on before sliding the ball under Wilson for 3-1.
Obviously, no-one would have predicted that the Tigers would then go onto win 21 straight games; however, the result was a huge step in the right direction with a resilient display in that second period which signified the change in momentum that would carry through the rest of the run.
It is interesting to note that before that game, Worksop were sat in ninth and twelve points away from first-placed Yorkshire Amateur.
Former Worksop full-back Michael Trench had this to say on the run, as well as the competition for places:
“First things first, I was on the bench… I wasn’t too happy. Hilly [Lee Hill] got injured, which was unfortunate for him as it was quite a bad knock. I seemed to use the frustration of being on the bench in my favour. I thought I did well.
“The lads pulled through and picked up, the work rate picked up and we went on to win 3-1 in the second half – quite comfortably too, in my opinion.
“First half, we were really slow, the tempo was slow, we were a bit lazy, sloppy passing, but after the second half started, we definitely picked up and improved.
“To be part of the squad that won the double was unbelievable. It was hard for me because of when Hilly came in and I had to fight for that place, but you can’t change a winning side.
“It was absolutely unbelievable to get such a fantastic record of 22 wins on the trot and I don’t think that will ever be beaten, personally. If I am right, it is a record for the league, so there are no other words to really explain that 22-game winning streak.
“I think fighting for that spot with Hilly didn’t improve me as a player, but it did improve me mentally. It was hard knowing that I probably wasn’t going to be playing during that winning streak and the lads didn’t look like losing. Mentally it made me stronger as I knew my time would come and I got the chance to play in the League Cup Final, which was really nice.”
Next up for the Tigers was a home game against Athersley Rec.
Please feel free to share your photos and videos with us throughout this period of remembering this historic streak! Use the hashtag #The22 to get involved.