Words: Devon Cash
Welcome back to our new series “The 22”, a feature that aims to entertain you whilst we get through this hard time in the country.
We tune into game two of the run when the Tigers welcomed Athersley Recreation to Sandy Lane, as Worksop looked to get some consistency under their belts and put a ‘small run’ together — an understatement, looking back on it!
The game was welcomed after a midweek 3-1 away victory at Thackley AFC, where the Tigers showed great attacking intent to come from behind to win – they seemed to take that momentum and implement it into the first-half at Sandy Lane.
Worksop opened the scoring in the second minute as Steve McDonnell chipped the ball into the path of Craig Mitchell, who poked the ball beyond the ‘keeper.
Then two minutes later, Worksop doubled their advantage as Steve McDonnell netted his first ever goal in Amber and Black as the powerful forward was on hand to lap up a spilt ball from Dan Morton.
A quarter into the game, the Tigers added a third from the spot. The penalty was awarded when Steve Woolley’s free-kick struck the hand of an Athersley player in the wall. Kyle Jordan stepped up and fired home from twelve yards out.
The Penguins were reduced to ten men when Dale Bettenor was dismissed for a heavy and high challenge on McDonnell.
Matt Sykes added a fourth before the break, after a dazzling run down the left where the winger rifled an effort across goal and into the top corner from out wide.
Athersley got a goal back early into the second half. Kieron Scargill gave the visitors a lifeline after a lung-busting run from the right-hand side, the winger cutting inside and lifting the ball over Worksop ‘keeper David Reay.
The game fizzled out and the Tigers came away 4-1 winners.
Winger Steve McDonnell is this game’s featured player, penning his thoughts on scoring his maiden goal for the Tigers, as well as the run:
“It was the first game that we switched to a 4-4-2 with me and Sykesy [Matthew Sykes] on the wings and I think it transformed our season.
“We had pace on either wing and there was much more dynamism in our play.
“To get my first goal for the club was a real honour. You get a good feeling every time you score, but for Worksop it means more because of the fanbase watching you every week.
“The support from the fans is what makes the club and it is what draws the players in. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible.
“It is a weird one because at the time you never really think about it [looking back at the 22-game winning run]. We were just focused on the next game.
“It just seemed so easy to win and I never thought we would lose.
“Looking back on it now, it’s such a massive achievement that I think will never be matched.”
Please feel free to share your photos, videos and memories with us throughout this period of remembering this historic streak! Use the hashtag #The22 to get involved.