Frickley Athletic 0-1 Worksop Town (Northern Premier League East Division) 01.01.22
What a start to the New Year for Craig Parry’s battling Tigers as he took his NPL East side to nearby Frickley Athletic for a New Years’ Day derby and, although there was just one goal splitting the two sides, it became a game of so much more than the points.
In visiting Westfield Lane last time around, back in 2019, the Tigers came away with a 2-1 victory, this time around it was more about an injury to ‘keeper Sebastian Malkowski than anything else.
Claiming what was their fourth straight victory in all competitions (and avenging a 2-1 reverse in the home game back in late August), Worksop Town were made to fight, all the way, for well over a hundred minutes, for the three points – how vital could they be come the seasons’ end.
The game began with a back-and-forth opening ten minutes as it was, and even contained the only goal of the game, visiting striker Steven McDonnell with a good chance to open the scoring on five minutes when his wind-assisted effort curls onto the woodwork, and wide of Josh Chapman’s goal.
Vaughan Redford and Aleksandrs Starcenko though combined beautifully after seven minutes, the latter of whom would be seen to burst into the area and laying the ball off to Liam Hardy, lurking in the middle, the Tigers’ striker putting the ball past Chapman in the home goal for the opener.
It might have been the only goal of the game, but it wasn’t for lack of trying, both sides having many chances throughout a tight, entertaining, intriguing New Years’ derby tussle.
Both Malkowski, and Chapman, would be regularly called into action throughout , the latter saving a glancing header before the former would concede a corner off a Brad Wells effort, the Frickley forward a constant thorn.
Hardy and McDonnell would then be seen to put together a nice interchange before the linesman’s flag called a stop to their progression, and Connor Smythe would release the ever-industrious Hardy on the left, his cross though was well-held by Chapman.
Redford would then be seen to get on the end of a Starcenko cross as the first period headed towards its close, whilst Nyle Blake would be quickest to react to a poor free-kick from Malkowski, the visiting ‘keeper recovering well to stop the follow-up amounting to anything, and send his side in level at the break.
As with the first, there was plenty of goalmouth action at the start of the second, Redford crashing an effort of the post after McDonnell had forced his way into the box, whilst Wells continued to be a nuisance up-top for the hosts.
Efforts continued to flow for the visitors, McDonnell producing some acrobatics in-front of goal, Redford again being thwarted by Chapman as the game moved into the final quarter, of normal time that is.
Arun Jones would see his effort held well by Malkowski at the near post, whilst Blake would be seen to collect a loose ball and send an effort curling wide, the hosts probing hard for what would prove an elusive equaliser.
The final ten minutes of the scheduled ninety would be incident-packed, for the wrong reasons, and see match officials add on a good chunk of injury-time.
Twice in those final throes would former Blues shot-stopper, and current Tiger, Malkowski, be seen to go down in the box, opting to carry on the best he could after the first incident, before being carried off by his teammates, the game already in stoppage time at that point.
Tigers’ gaffer, Craig Parry, would send on substitute Ben Tomlinson in his place, they not having a back-up ‘keeper on the bench, and it was a worthy cameo, the hosts peppering his with efforts.
With Tomlinson now donning the gloves, he’d see that of Joe Stacey have some three attempts on his goal in those close moments of the contest, including saving a free-kick, in the 114th minute.
After the match Worksop posted on their socials that: “Worksop Town Football Club can inform people that Sebastian Malkowski is in a stable condition at the hospital.
“We would like to thank physio Georgina Page, Frickley’s physio, and Terry Bonser for their help with Seb.
“We will update further as and when we are able to.”
Meanwhile striker, and match-winner, Liam Hardy, added: “Just left the hospital.
“Big Seb is all good and stable now and in the best place, luckily not his heart but his stomach!
“Great win, and a cheeky tap in, got to love them.
“Up the Tigers.”
Before Malkowski himself soon appeared, having set up an account on Twitter himself (follow him via twitter) allaying any worries by saying:
“I feel better. I’m still in the hospital. Thank you all for messages and good wishes for speedy recovery.
“Georgina, great class, thank you very much. See you Saturday.”
Victory for the Tigers would see them start 2022 in a credible seventh place in the NPL East Division, some eighteen points of high-flying leaders Marske United, but just ten away from third-placed Shildon, four north-east sides making up the divisions’ top six.
Next up for the Tigers, their first home match of the year as they welcome Pickering Town to the Windsor Foodservice Stadium on Saturday 8 January.
We, here at the Nottingham Sport, would like to wish Sebastian all the best in his recovery, and hope he’s back between the sticks soon.
Worksop Town: Sebastian Malkowski (Ben Tomlinson 90+6), Adam Watson, Connor Smythe, Cody Cromack (Deegan Atherton 78), Jake Picton, Danny Burns, Aleksandrs Starcenko (Lewis Gibbens 90+12), Jack Broadhead, Liam Hardy, Steven McDonnell, Vaughan Redford.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @LewisPickersgi1 action at Frickley as the Tigers come away with win.