Super sub Matty Sykes steals all three points for the Tigers.
Although Worksop soaked up wave after wave of Penistone attacks, the Nottinghamshire side looked a real threat on the counter-attack and had several close shaves during the course of the game.
The Tigers manufactured a last minute counter-attack that involved both substitutes Matt Sykes and forward Steve McDonnell. As Worksop broke away, the latter was brought down in the box and up stepped the former to slot the ball into the back of the net.
The early stages were scrappy for the Tigers. Worksop contained the Penistone attack early on with the hosts unable to find the formula for an early goal.
The Church continued their dominance for the majority of the first half; however, Worksop caught the Yorkshire side on the counter-attack which resulted in a corner for the visitors. Skipper Danny Patterson played a lovely curling ball back into the box; centre-half Steven Wankiewicz chested the cross down into the path of Connor Brunt, who hit a fierce shot agonisingly wide.
The Tigers carved open another chance moments later, again on the counter-attack. Kyle Jordan held the ball up well and shrugged off two defenders. His run on goal didn’t reap the rewards he deserved after getting the advantage over the last defender. The ball fell onto his left foot and the experienced forward couldn’t steer his effort on goal.
The visitors looked really dangerous on the counter. Another clearance from the Tigers fell to Jordan whose clever flick put Brunt through. The striker pulled back on his run to square the ball to Jordan who was situated deep inside the Penistone box. Unfortunately, the ball to Jordan was blocked by a Church defender and fell back to Brunt who couldn’t find a Worksop player with another cross and the chance had gone.
The second half started the same as the first with the South Yorkshire side dominating possession, but Worksop’s back-line stayed too disciplined for the hosts.
The Tigers’ first great chance came just after the hour mark. A beautifully-timed cross from full-back Deegan Atherton fell to the back post and caused havoc for the hosts’ defence. They failed to clear their lines and the on-rushing Michael Trench ran onto the loose ball, hitting a beautiful effort on goal which was blocked by Danny Howes.
The closing stages would prove to be an important part of the game for the Tigers, with the scoreline still goalless. The best chance for Penistone Church fell to midfielder Kieran Ryan. A through-ball to Ryan put the striker on goal where he tried to tuck the ball under keeper Dave Reay, who matched the effort on goal with a terrific save.
Moments later, the Tigers got a deserved finish to the game after a terrific performance. Striker Steve McDonnell ran towards goal deep in stoppage time. James Young tripped McDonnell as he entered the box giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot. The responsibility was in the hands of the other substitute, Matt Sykes. The forward stepped up and answered the pressure by tucking the penalty past keeper Chris Snaith to steal all three points from under Penistone’s nose.
The game finished on a sour note with both teams coming together after the final whistle. The referee dished out four red cards after the ugly scenes.
Kyle Jordan and Michael Trench (Worksop Town), and Brett Lovell and Sam Scrivens (Penistone Church) received their marching orders for their part in the aftermath.
By Luke Atherton
Goals: Sykes (pen 93)
Worksop Town: D. Reay, Atherton, Trench, Taylor, M. Reay, Wankiewicz, Pemberton, Patterson (C), Brunt (Sykes), Jordan(McDonnell), Woolley
Unused subs: Royles, Moxam, Robinson