It wasn’t pretty, but Worksop Town’s 3-1 win against a rugged 10-man Barwell side snapped their three-game losing streak.
It was also the first time since 26th January 2011 that Tigers had picked up three points in the opening month of the year.
The afternoon could not got off to a worse start for Tigers, as a simple through ball released Kevin Charley, he turned Mark Gray far too easily and fired home past the exposed Jon Stewart.
The visitors responded straight away however, Tom Denton flicking on a long throw for Jamie Jackson to steer home his second goal in two games.
It was an open start to the game, and Stewart had to be alert to Kieron Brehon’s piledriver from 25 yards.
There was a great chance for Worksop to make it 2-1 from Phil Roe’s 13th minute corner, but Jackson’s poked effort was blocked, and the returning loan signing Adam Quinn blasted well over.
Charley showed his skill once again, this time to leave Jake Scott for dead in the area, but Stewart was able to beat out his shot.
The goalkeeper got very lucky a minute later when he rushed out to the edge of the box but didn’t get to the ball before Luke Barlone, whose lob looked a goal all the way but somehow cleared the bar.
A red card and penalty turned the game in Worksop’s favour on 33 minutes, as Shane Clarke released Jackson, he went past last man Jamie Hood and looked set to score, before the defender hacked him down to earn his marching orders.
Captain for the day Denton stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 2-1.
Then 10 men would have been 3-1 down had Jackson found Denton who was all alone in the six yard box, but the recently signed forward sent the ball into the arms of the keeper instead.
Barwell tried to test Stewart again from distance, Barlone’s snap volley claimed with ease.
In the first few minutes of the second half it was hard to tell that Barwell were down to 10, the hosts attacking well and coming close again through Charley from 12 yards.
Tigers were getting bogged down in midfield and struggling to put more than a couple of passes together in succession.
Clarke, new man Warren Burrell and Scott didn’t get to grips with the game, and only the right flank bursts of Alex Pursehouse gave the visiting supporters something to cheer in a dour period.
Barwell were handed a golden chance to level on 73 minutes, when Barlone went down in the box, seemingly tripping over his own feet, but the referee spotted a foul and bizarrely awarded a penalty.
Stewart was equal to Barlone’s spot-kick however, diving full length to his right to palm the ball away, Charley stumbling as he tried to reach the rebound.
Evan Garnett made an entrance for the first time as a Tiger in the 77th minute, replacing Mitch Husbands who had struggled up front.
It took Garnett just two minutes to mark his debut with a goal, Jackson haring down the right to feed the substitute who swept home with aplomb from 18 yards.
He almost had a second five minutes from time, going in on the keeper and putting the ball through his legs, but a slight deflection took it the wrong side of the post.
Barwell: Castle, Lower, Young, G. Hadland, Hudd, Edwards, Brehon, Julien, Barlone (Weale 83), Charley (Griffiths-Junior 74), Kirk (Cain 66) . Subs: S. Hadland, Collett.
Worksop: Stewart 7, PURSEHOUSE 7, Roe 7, Scott 6 (Thomas 88), Quinn 7, Gray 6, Jackson 7 (Adams 83), Clarke 6, Denton 7, Husbands 6 (Garnett 77), Burrell 6. Subs: Gathercole, Gaughan.
Referee: Mr M. Wilkes. Assistants: Mr M. Pearson, Mr S. Burgess.
Goalscorers: Charley 2; Jackson 4, Denton 34 (pen), Garnett 79.
Yellows: Edwards 30, G. Hadland 76; Stewart 74, Roe 90. Reds: Hood 33.