Just when many around the league were writing Tigers off as play-off contenders, they came roaring back.
Boss Martin McIntosh demanded a response from his players after four straight defeats, and he got it – as third-placed North Ferriby were put to the sword.
He told the Guardian after the win last night: “I think we’ve got what we deserved tonight, and in the last three games we’ve not got what we deserved.”
“Everyone has written us off and I’ve asked the players to give a response tonight and they have.”
“A lot of people have said we’re out of it, but they can have their opinion, we’ll keep going.”
It could have been so different at Cannon Park, had Gary Bradshaw made contact with Russell Fry’s cross on two minutes.
But Tigers got away with it, and nine minutes in Sam Duncum sent a corner across for Chris Bettney to volley into the net with aplomb.
A corner from the right for North Ferriby seemed to be going in when Fry headed it over the bar.
Goal number two arrived for Tigers seconds later, Duncum skinning a man on the left and blasting the ball into the box, Beckett redirecting it home.
A great save with his trailing foot by Jon Worsnop kept the scoreline 2-1 when Bradshaw was odds on to score.
Wayne Brooksby got the game’s first yellow on 45 minutes for taking Shiels out on the right side, Bettney swung in the free-kick and Ferriby cleared.
Brooksby then lunged in again, this time on Cotterill, and was lucky to stay on the pitch.
Fry sidefooted wide, via a deflection, with a really good chance before the break.
It took just three minutes of the second half for Tigers to go three up and it was Duncum who scored it, much to the manager’s delight
Cotterill curled in a high ball from the right, Duncum was allowed to sneak in at the back to have two bites at the cherry, tucking the ball under Steve Wilson with his second attempt.
McIntosh said: “Sam’s probably not done quite as well as he had hoped and I had hoped, but I know his quality and tonight I guess things clicked for him.”
Chris Wood came storming out of defence to start a move that led to Shiels beating Ben Turner for speed on the right and playing a lovely ball in for Beckett, who hit the bar.
With 19 minutes left on the clock the visitors got on the board, Chris Bolder’s deflected shot from outside the box just about beating Worsnop.
There was a scare for the home side a few minutes later when a left wing cross was cleared only as far as Paul Foot, and the Ferriby skipper set himself before sending the ball over.
But Cotterill’s long ball was allowed to bounce by the United back four, Tomlinson was too quick for them and went in to nutmeg Wilson for 4-1.
In time added on a wayward header from Daniel Wilkinson set Tomlinson in on goal again, but this time he lofted it over Wilson, and the bar.
Worksop: Worsnop 8, Shiels 8, Wood 8, Barwick 7, Cotterill 7, Simpkins 7, Bettney 7 (Thompson 79), Young 7 (Bacon 79), Beckett 8 (Suarez 87), Tomlinson 7, Duncum 8. Not used: Jackson, Kennedy.
North Ferriby: Wilson, Williams, Turner, Wilkinson, Foot, Harsley, Fry, Bolder, Hadley (Davison 66), Bradshaw, Brooksy. Not used: Leonard, Thompson, Belcher, Nicklin.
Goalscorers: Bettney 9, Beckett 18, Duncum 48, Tomlinson 77; Bradshaw 71.
Yellows: Shiels 62, Brooksby 45.