Worksop Crowned Champions

“The first one is on the board, now let’s get the next one.” Worksop Town manager, Craig Parry, after winning the league title with the Tigers.

Mid-March, and the Tigers of Worksop Town have become the first, crowned champions in the country, following a destructive, 4-0 win, over visitors Tadcaster Albion, it coupled with second place Hebburn Town’s last-gasp, 3-2 defeat, against Long Eaton United, affording the Notts-based outfit, the championship.

Victory, for the Tigers, an extension of their record run which has now reached thirty matches unbeaten, was added to by a late, Jamie Walker goal, in the last minute, of Long Eaton’s win over Worksop’s ‘nearest’ challengers; nearest, because Craig Parry’s side have had a sizeable advantage for some time now.

Striker Liam Hughes, he took his tally to some thirty-five goals, with a first half brace against Tadcaster, opening the scoring inside fifteen minutes when heading home a free-kick from Terry Hawkridge, then twenty minutes later, doubled the champions’ lead, smashing home a low cross from Jay Rollins, the latter, along with Hawkridge, providing some excellent, build-up interchange.

After the match, Tigers captain, Hamza Bencherif, paid tribute to, among all others, the part in which Hughes has played this season: “A huge one.

“Obviously, finishing as champions is a big achievement that we’re all proud of and you need to be strong at the back, but you also need a player to put the ball in the back of the net, and Hughesy’s been fantastic.

“He’s been a huge part to our season, to our football, the way we play, so credit to him.

“He’s worked really hard for his goals, all season, and I’m really proud of him.

(Watch the full interview, via TigersTV, here)

Vaughan Redford would add the Tigers third, just after the hour mark, heading home another Hawkridge assist, and in stoppage time, with news having filtered through to the Windsor Foodservice Stadium that Hebburn had lost, Tigers substitute, Tavonga Muleya, smashed home a more than decisive, fourth goal, sending the majority of the 900+ crowd, into dreamland.

WORKSOP TOWN – Sebastian Malkowski, Regan Hutchinson, Josh Wilde, Sam Wedgebury, Hamza Bencherif, Jack Broadhead (Connor O’Grady, 72), Terry Hawkridge, Vaughan Redford (Aleksandrs Starcenko, 63), Luke Hall, Liam Hughes, Jay Rollins (Tuvonga Kuleya, 63)

There’s plenty still to be decided in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, however, of the sides, the trips, on offer to Parry’s Tigers, when the 2023-24 season gets underway, they can look forward to that of FC United of Manchester, Whitby Town, Morpeth Town, among others.

After the game, manager Craig Parry applauded the championship-winners, standout performers, and what the success means.

“We were here to do a job today and try and win the league, which we’ve done,” began the Tigers boss.

“Obviously the performance, the occasion, everything made us a little nervous, a little agitated, and it took the first goal to settle us down, and I think, once the first goal went in, we controlled the play.

“They obviously sat deep, tried to run down the clock, so we just had to be patient and take the chances when they came, but we took them and it’s nice to come away with a 4-0 victory.”

(Watch the full interview, via TigersTV, here)

Meanwhile, the Tigers Chairman, Pete Whitehead, took to social media in the aftermath of the win, saying: “So proud of our manager Craig Parry and his management team and players.

“Worksop Town FC NPL East CHAMPIONS 2022-23.

“30 games unbeaten with the all-time record of 32 games in our sights, held by Boston United for 50 years – come on boys, let’s do it.”

Speaking of ‘that record,’ Boston United’s mammoth effort of 32 matches, between 12 August 1972 and 24 February 1973, the Pilgrims then en-route to winning the 1973 NPL title, losing three of their 46 league games, to finish nine points clear of second place Scarborough.

However, as Tigers captain, Bencherif, also said in his post-match interview; “We are hungry for records, hungry for wins.

“We’ll go for everything.”

The Tigers, with six games remaining in this seasons’ NPL East campaign, travel to Brighouse Town this coming Saturday (25 March), prior to a hectic, five game April, and, of course, the lifting of a certain, championship trophy.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @worksoptownfc the Tigers players celebrate a convincing title win.

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