Worksop Town 3-2 Pontefract Collieries (NPL East Division) 03.12.2022
They’re trying, but no matter how hard opposition does try, Craig Parry’s Worksop Town Tigers just dig that little bit deeper, and grind out victory after victory, this, it was their sixteenth straight in what is becoming an enjoyable campaign at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium.
They did it, not for the first time, the hard way though, coming from behind, after Joe Lumsden had afforded Pontefract Collieries the lead after just seven minutes, he getting on the end of a pass from Gavin Allott.
An end-to-end opening saw both sides create further chances, Liam Hughes and Liam Hardy linking up well after eleven minutes, before Jack Vann, then Spencer Clarke, from a Vann corner, see efforts nodded away from Sebastian Malkowski’s goal.
Lloyd Allinson, in the Pontefract goal, blocked brilliantly from Hughes after he chested down a cross from Terry Hawkridge, and Jay Rollins would see a volley sliced wide – all this in the opening twenty minutes, and there’d only been one goal.
The equaliser, eventually, came from the spot on the half hour; a cross from Aleksandrs Starcenko was handled in the box by Harry Spratt and the resultant spot-kick was despatched by Hughes, smashing the ball down the centre of Allinson’s goal.
A fracas on the benches, minutes after the equaliser, would see the visitors have Jimmy Williams red-carded, whilst on the pitch, Hughes was proving to be an increasing nuisance, bombarding Allinson and the Pontefract defence, effortlessly.
Parry was forced into making a change five minutes before the interval, bringing on Vaughan Redford for Regan Hutchinson, and it paid instant dividends; four minutes after coming on, Sam Wedgebury was put the ball on the plate for the early substitute, he poking home against his former club.
Deep into stoppage time and Malkowski, in the home goal, was kept awake when brought into action after a cross from Mikey Dunn is volleyed goal-bound by Lumsden, Malkowkski gets a strong hand to that before holding onto a rebounded effort from Allott, the Tigers going in 2-1 to the good at the break.
The restart would see the upbeat tempo continued, and Redford be on-hand to bag his second within six minutes of it; Hughes is the provider this time, he being seen to scoop the ball over the visiting defence, and the Tigers sub finishes with confidence.
Pontefract would see a chance pulled back for offside, before Hardy, played through by Hughes, rounds Allinson and sees his shot hit the side-netting, the effort was punished though when the visitors found a way back into the game just four minutes later.
Malkowski parries a goal-bound effort from point-blank range, and Lumsden, who’d netted that early opener, scrambled the ball home, that non-stop momentum carrying on throughout.
Redford, searching a hat-trick, lets fly with thirteen remaining, but the goal-bound effort is saved by Allinson, before Lumsden, a thorn in the Tigers side all game, sees red for a second bookable offence.
Do we mention James Baxendale, okay, go on then, the former Tiger working a few opportunities late on, including a side-footed volley with minutes remaining, which goes wide of Malkowski’s goal, whilst another home sub, Luke Hall, forcing a low save from Allinson in stoppage time.
The Tigers, they held on for another three points, and sees them eight points clear of second place South Shields, and eighteen ahead of the joint-third pairing of Stocksbridge Park Steels and Hebburn Town.
Next up for the Tigers, as they reach the half-way point of the season, a trip to Consett on Saturday (10 December), before hosting Stockton Town the following weekend.
Worksop Town: Sebastian Malkowski, Regan Hutchinson (Vaughan Redford 40), Josh Wilde, Sam Wedgebury, Hamza Bencherif, Deegan Atherton, Terry Hawkridge, Aleksandrs Starcenko, Liam Hardy (Luke Hall 74), Liam Hughes, Jay Rollins (Tavonga Kuleya 90).
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @worksoptownfc celebrations during another victory for Worksop.