Tigers’ 2016 proved to be another topsy-turvy year

Worksop celebrate a goal against Athersley Rec back in April.
Worksop celebrate a goal against Athersley Rec back in April.
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It’s been another topsy-turvy year in the life of Worksop Town.

Having started 2016 as title contenders in the NCEL Premier, they eventually finished fourth, some 15 points behind champions Tadcaster, before the first half of the 2016/17 season saw inconsistent form hamper any chances of challenging again.

January would be a month full of victories right up until the end when, crucually, Tadcaster beat Mark Shaw’s men 4-1 to bridge the gap between the sides further. Highlight of the month was an 8-1 thrashing of Garforth Town just three days earlier.

February began well with a 4-3 win over local rivals Retford in front of 730 fans, but a draw with Brigg and then defeats to Maltby Main and Bridlington proved costly.

Kieran Wells scored four times to help landlords Handsworth Parramore to a 4-2 win at Sandy Lane in the County Cup to begin March and then Rainworth MW beat the Tigers at home just four days later in the league.

Wins over Thackley and Pickering and a draw with Barton Town Old Boys would follow but Tigers’ title hopes had taken a severe hit.

Three straight wins began April in style but after losing to Cleethorpes the season petered out with a 1-0 victory over Armthorpe, a 3-2 success against Albion Sports and then a last day 5-0 hammering by Handsworth rounded the campaign off.

The summer months saw several squad changes and lots going on behind the scenes with the help of new commercial manager Rachel Wood, before pre-season saw Tigers take on the likes of Lincoln City, Matlock Town and Mansfield Town.

August saw Tigers begin the season in style. A 4-2 FA Cup win at home to Hallam was followed by wins over Dronfield in the League Cup and then Pickering in the league, before a dramatic 3-3 draw at home to Cleethorpes Town.

FA Cup hopes were ended by Ashton Athletic after a replay, but a 5-1 win at home to Garforth ended the month on a high.

September was an inconsistent month for Tigers, as they lost 3-0 at home to Retford and drew 2-2 with Bottesford before beating title hopefuls Handsworth Parramore.

Defeats to Hemsworth MW and Liversedge followed, however, although a 3-0 win at Harrogate Railway Athletic restored some pride.

A packed September started with a league defeat to Athersley Recreation and a County Cup loss to Sheffield, while AFC Mansfield prevailed three days later.

Tigers recorded four wins in a row in the league and FA Vase to see out the month in positive fashion.

November would see things start to take a dramatic turn for Worksop.

Consecutive league defeats to Bridlington and Albion Sports were added to by an FA Vase battering at Newton Aycliffe who scored four goals in 16 minutes, the month closing with two 1-1 draws against Maltby Main and Thackley.

The month ended with manager Mark Shaw then suspended by the club for off-field issues.

December saw goalkeeper Jon Kennedy take caretaker charge and an upturn in form saw wins over Barton, Garforth and Hemsworth push Tigers back up the table, and although the year ended with a defeat at Clipstone, things were beginning to look up again ahead of 2017.