First-half goals from Derry Robson and ex-Tiger Charlie Dawes were enough to seal all three points for the Derbyshire side. Substitute Andrew Gascoigne grabbed a late goal with four minutes to play, setting up a nervy last few moments of the game.
The visitors grabbed an early lead inside the first minute. Worksop lost possession deep inside the Tigers half and winger Nathan Curtis surged forward with the ball. He cut the ball inside to Robson who hit a looping effort that was too much for shot-stopper Dave Reay, whose first touch was to pick the ball up from the back of the net.
On the half-hour mark, Worksop winger Lynton Karkach instigated an attack with a wonderful leap into the air to met a Dave Reay goal kick. Karkach’s header met the feet of Woolley whose effort resulted in a corner. Woolley’s delivery ended up back out to the playmaker, and he drove into the box to hit a fierce shot that was deflected away from the Belper goal.
Ex-Tigers striker Dawes came back to haunt his former team on the stroke of half-time. The visitors picked the ball up in the middle of the park and midfielder Phil Watt played a great through-ball down the right to winger Curtis, who collected the ball with bags of room. He then bore down on goal and played a devastating square ball deep inside the Worksop box to the unmarked Dawes, who slid the ball into the back of the net.
The visitors came out of the traps running in the second half, causing Worksop more problems at the back. The Nailers had several dangerous attacks that came to nothing.
Belper carved a great chance on the hour mark. Dawes made a great move down the left, whipping a lovely ball into the Tigers’ box to Peterson, who headed the ball towards the right hand corner, which was matched by a great save from Reay.
Another dangerous cross found danger man Peterson at the back post; the big striker steered his looping header over Reay and clipped the Worksop bar only for the Tigers to scoop the danger clear.
There was a fresh sense of optimism for the Tigers after impact sub Gascoigne scored a peach of a goal. He finished a cut-back from Smith which the ‘keeper couldn’t keep out as he dived over the ball.
The atmosphere from that one goal changed the mood of the fans, with the crowd getting right behind the players and the momentum of the game spilled towards the Tigers.
The last few minutes of the game swung Worksop’s way as the team carved out several chances but couldn’t find the formula for the equaliser. The best one was a ball from a set-piece out on the right which found Gascoigne, but the goalscorer was offside.
Line-up: D. Reay, Rhodes (Atherton), Smith, Woolley, M. Reay, Wankiewicz, Patterson (C), Pemberton, Brunt, Mitchell (Gascoigne), Karkach (Templeton)
Subs not used: Brownell, Jordan
Goals: Robson (1), Dawes (44); Gascoigne (86)
By Luke Atherton