Worksop shine in Lincolnshire to go top of the league.
The Tigers extended their run of successive wins to 11 games in a tale of two halves as they beat Bottesford Town 3-2. Our hosts went into the interval two goals to the good as Martin Pembleton and Lewis Bemrose looked to crash the promotion party. The Tigers had other ideas in the second half, as two Matthew Sykes goals and a last-minute Steven Wankiewicz goal sent the Tigers to the top of the league.
Worksop were playing catch-up from the opening moments of the game. A great through-ball from Kieron McCafferey fell into the path of striker Jack McMenemy who was through on goal; his finish beat the outrushing David Reay in the Worksop goal, but Tigers defender Lee Hill managed to scoop the ball off the line and out for a throw-in.
After 14 minutes Bottesford scored in somewhat out-of-the-blue fashion, drawing first blood courtesy of a fluky, perhaps wind-assisted Pembleton goal. ‘Keeper Reay thought the ball was going out of play after Pembleton’s cross, but the shot-stopper saw it loop into the far corner of the goal.
Worksop’s best chance of the game so far came in the 22nd minute. Recent signing Lynton Karkach produced a lovely run and a devastating cross to the back post, which fell to the foot of Sykes who couldn’t fire his effort on target, his effort palmed away for a corner by ‘keeper Jonathan Douglas in the Poachers’ goal.
After surging forward the Tigers got caught flat-footed at the back. A mis-kick from full-back Deegan Atherton put striker McMenemy through; he squared the ball to Rose, who had just come on due to an injury to Lee Ridley, and the substitute finished into an empty net.
With the two sides settled, both teams playing physically, and the wind at times making the ball run out of play, chances were few and far between and the Tigers got a chance to re-group and start again in the second half.
The first chance of the second half fell to Worksop. A lovely delivery from the left-hand side fell to winger Sykes, but his lovely delivery into the box couldn’t find a Tiger and the ball was cleared to the edge of the box. The ball was put back into the Bottesford box where Karkach hit a low effort that went agonisingly wide of the hosts’ goal.
Moments later that man Sykes almost got Worksop back into the game. A lovely ball to the back post from skipper Danny Patterson found the winger, his bullet header forcing Douglas into a terrific save.
Worksop managed to get back into the game on 63 minutes. A shot from Sykes at the back post seemed to have gone over, but the man in authority pointed to the spot after a follow-through on Worksop’s top scorer from Jack Bowskin. Sykes stepped up and smashed a lovely finish into the back of the Poachers goal.
Shortly after, there was a great opportunity for Worksop to draw level, from a switch of play instigated by Patterson who squared a great ball to full-back Atherton; his first touch set up a lovely cross from the Under-19 product, meeting the head of Karkach who couldn’t find the target.
There was late drama as Worksop’s constant pressure on the Poachers’ defence paid off. Substitute Ross Goodwin hit a dangerous low ball towards the Bottesford goal, which fell to the feet of Sykes who smashed home a lovely finish to draw the two sides level.
There was yet more drama as Worksop snatched victory in the dying stages of the game. The Tigers pumped another terrifying ball into the Bottesford box, a goal mouth scramble in the hosts’ area ensued and up stepped Worksop-born Steve Wankiewicz to poke the ball into the net, sparking wild celebrations as he ran into the jubilant travelling Worksop fans.
Line up: D. Reay, Atherton, Hill, M. Reay, Wankiewicz, Woolley, Patterson (C), Mitchell (Ward), Sykes, McDonnell (Goodwin), Karkach (Jordan)
Unused subs: Brunt, Pemberton.
Goals: Pembleton (14), Bemrose (42); Sykes (63 pen, 87), Wankiewicz (90+7)