Worksop Town 1-0 Pontefract Collieries (Northern Premier League East Division) 14.09.21
After consecutive draws, away to Tadcaster Albion, and home to Hebburn Town, Craig Parry’s Tigers collected another win, and a third clean-sheet of the season last night, when Pontefract Collieries visited the Windsor Foodservice Stadium.
The two sides have a little bit of history between them in recent times, both having players, and management, who’ve seen the other side of the coin, but it was the dogged determination of Parry’s battlers that paid dividends.
Parry was forced into an early change to his starting eleven when, shortly after an effort from Steven McDonnell, Aleksandrs Starcenko collected an injury and was replaced by Jack Broadhead, but they also have a certain Deegan Atherton in their locker, and he was proving a nuisance in those early exchanges, both in attack, and defence.
Shortly before both the interval, and the only goal of the game, Cody Cromack would be seen to let fly, from fully thirty yards out visiting ‘keeper, Ryan Musselwhite, equal to it and tipped the effort over the bar.
Musselwhite’s heroics weren’t matched moments later though, McDonnell getting the better of him following a goalmouth scramble; after a couple of blocks from the ‘keeper, it would be the Tiger’s hotshot who’d have the decisive touch, and with it, the opening, and only goal.
Zayn Hakeem would be the man to the fore early in the second period, a one that was, at times, close to boiling over a little – did we mention the recent history between the sides…
After a number of efforts himself, Hakeem turned provider late in the second period, setting up substitute James Baxendale with twenty remaining, Baxendale however sees his effort stopped by a brilliant save at the back post from Musselwhite.
Shortly after Baxendale’s miss, it would be he that was on the end of foul play from Ponte’s Jack Vann, the visitors being reduced to ten men following a second yellow card, but there was to be no capitalisation on the one-man advantage and the game fizzled out.
Afterwards, Tigers boss, Craig Parry, told Tigers TV: “I probably think we got away with one there.
“I just said to the lads I think we’ve got to give credit to Pontefract really, I think they got their tactics absolutely spot on.
“I’m not surprised and they were really difficult to manage in the first half and we had to change the system three times in that game to try and counteract them, so credit to them.
“I thought they were the better side in the game, but credit to our lads who’ve got a little bit out of it and we got the performance, the points that we really needed, and a little bit of luck really.
“So yes, happy with the three points; not sure of the performance but I could have said I’ve been stood here the last three games and the performance has been great, we’ve been the best side, dominating games and come out of it with points, but today has been the hard work we’ve put in the last game, with a little bit of luck today, to give us the points that we need.”
Victory last night saw Worksop move up into eighth place in the league table, thirteen points behind leaders Liversedge, with a game in hand; the next two outings for the Tigers however, are both in cup matches, on the road.
Saturday coming (18 September) Worksop travel to Bromsgrove Sporting in the FA Cup, whilst the following Saturday (25 September) they head to the north-east, and Dunston UTS, in the FA Trophy.
Worksop Town: Tiernan Brooks, Deegan Atherton, Connor Smythe, Cody Cromack, Jake Picton, Lewis Gibbens, Aaron Sennett-Nielson, Aleksandrs Starcenko (Jack Broadhead 14), Roy Fogarty (James Baxendale 64), Steven McDonnell, Zayn Hakeem.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @LyndaBlackshaw the winning goal scored by Steven McDonnell.