Stockton Town 0-1 Worksop Town (Northern Premier League East Division) 28.08.21
They say it only takes a goal to win a game of football, and so it proved on Saturday afternoon in the north-east as Craig Parry’s Tiger’s made the trip from Worksop, to Stockton Town, and inflicted their hosts’ first home defeat in some 875 days, two-and-a-half-years.
It’s been some record that the home Anchors had built up on Teesside in recent times, but they found this Worksop side very difficult to break down, and, once that goal had been scored, early in the first period, via Lewis Gibbens, the visiting defence, quite literally, parked the bus, in front of Tiernan Brooks’ goal.
A fast and frantic opening, particularly by the visitors to the MAP Group Stadium, resulted in Zayn Hakeem firing into the side netting, and Ben Tomlinson crashing an effort off the post inside the opening couple of minutes, that being followed up by Tom Portas putting Mickey Roberts through only for the latter to volley his effort across goal and wide – and the game was only five minutes old.
As the Anchors began finding their feet in the match, they were rocked after 13, an unlucky number for most, and so this would prove; Connor Smythe would take a long throw, it evading everybody but Lewis Gibbens, who took great pleasure in heading the opening past Callum Roberts in the home goal.
Both sides continued to have chances during a busy, first period; Steve McDonnell and Zayn Hakeem causing problems for the Tigers, whilst the Anchors would see Jonathan Franks taken off the ball by Deegan Atherton, Jamie Owens dragging wide, and a cross from Mikey Roberts put behind by Jake Picton, the hosts holding out for a slender, interval lead.
The second period would go in pretty much the same manner as the first, non-stop action as Kev Hayes puts wide of the post, and Ben Tomlinson sees a goal disallowed for offside, within five minutes of the restart.
A substitution from the visitors, just after the hour mark, nearly paid instant dividends when Aleksandrs Starcenko, on the field around a minute, forces his way through the hosts’ back line, only to see his effort drilled wide of the far post.
The hosts continued to have efforts as the game ticked into the final quarter, including a handful in quick succession, whilst Steve McDonnell, making himself a nuisance to the Anchors backline throughout, forces a late save from Roberts, before being replaced by James Baxendale deep into stoppage time.
Even before stoppage time was reached, the hosts both could have, and maybe should have when, with four minutes to go, a corner from Hayes is headed off the post by Adam Nicholson, then, a minute later, a corner from Franks is headed back across goal by Nicholson, only for Jordan Robinson to find the post.
Speaking of stoppage time, the officials found a good seven minutes plus worth, within which, visiting shot-stopper, Tiernan Brooks, came to the rescue producing a number of saves to keep the three points intact, first from an acrobatic Robinson, then from Nathan Steel – it was enough to seal a massive, 1-0 road for the Nottinghamshire side, and back-to-back clean sheets for Brooks.
Victory put Worksop into ninth in the league table, ahead of their next match on Bank Holiday Monday (30) at home to Frickley Athletic, before hosting Newport Pagnell Town in the FA Cup on Saturday 4 September.
Worksop Town: Tiernan Brooks, Aaron Sennett-Nielson, Connor Smythe, Deegan Atherton, Jake Picton, Lewis Gibbens, Jack Broadhead, Cody Cromack, Steve McDonnell (James Baxendale 90), Ben Tomlinson (Sam Ackroyd 76), Zayn Hakeem (Aleksandrs Starcenko 64).
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @mikeholmes Worksop win on the road.