Tigers are grrr-eight in rout of Garforth, as strikers both bag hat-tricks

Worksop Town v Pontefract Colliers.'Worksop's Matt Booth.
Worksop Town v Pontefract Colliers.'Worksop's Matt Booth.

Worksop Town roared into form on Wednesday night with their best performance of the season, in an 8-1 drubbing of Garforth Town.

There were hat-tricks for Adam Ward and Matt Booth, the latter grabbing his sixth goal in two games, and the league leaders looked unstoppable for most of the contest.

The eight-goal salvo took Tigers to 89 for the season in 26 league games, and opened up a four-point lead on second-placed Bridlington, who have played one more game.

Handsworth sit five points back with two games in hand over Tigers.

The game almost didn’t happen, the referee having to inspect the pitch and request for volunteers to try and pitchfork one of the goalmouths to remove excess water.

Once he was satisfied that the surface was playable, the game could go ahead, and most of the near 400 in attendance were delighted.

It off to an explosive start, thanks to striker Booth.

He ran on to a Phil Roe throw-in and turned to send a half volley over keeper Ben Hunter and into the far top corner, from an acute angle - as good a goal as you’ll see anywhere all season.

Tigers were looking an improved outfit from Saturday’s showing, and some tidy touches around the box saw Steve Woolley and Alex Nightingale shooting from good positions, both efforts blocked.

But the hosts found themselves level on nine minutes, George Conway with a goal every bit as spectacular as the opener, volleying the ball over Jon Kennedy and into the net from 30 yards.

Garforth keeper Hunter was very nearly the architect of Worksop’s second, coming for a corner and getting no where near it, Julian Lawrence bundling it goalwards before Khalid Alali cleared off the line.

Hunter was in the thick of it again, diving full length to palm away Nightingale’s curling effort.

In an end to end spell, Jordan Outerbridge sent a fierce drive just past the angle of post and bar.

The pace and movement of the Worksop attack started to cause problems, Garforth getting cut open before James Cottingham shot just over the top.

A lovely passing move had the visitors chasing shadows, and Booth came close to his second with a long range drive that Hunter did well to palm over.

Garforth half cleared the resulting corner, but a ball back into the box was controlled and sent into the mix by Ross Henshaw, Julian Lawrence playing it to Woolley who found Ward, and he stroked home a cool finish.

Another goal was coming, and when Nightingale’s shot was saved but not held by Hunter, Booth was following up to sidefoot into the corner of the net.

And it should have been 4-1 before the interval, Booth laying it off to Tom Elliott whose pace took him clean through before he squared to Woolley who hit the post with Hunter beaten.

The second half started just as well as the first for Tigers, with a moment of Ward magic, driving forward and dropping the shoulder to reach the box, where he uncorked a brilliant finish.

Worksop were rampant, and queuing up to add a fifth, Ward and Nightingale unable to get a shot off, Cottingham fizzing one wide of the far post from 16 yards.

It was Ward who claimed the next one, Cottingham haring away up the right and crossing for Booth, who swivelled and shot, Hunter palming it into the path of Ward who headed in his hat-trick.

A fine run by Elliott was halted by a trip, and Booth was the man to take the penalty, sending Hunter the wrong way to pick up his second hat-trick in two games.

Elliott got a deserved goal to cap a great performance, all alone at the back post to collect Roe’s deep cross and hammer it high into the net from a tight angle.

The rout was complete in added time, substitute Kyle Jordan running through, waiting for Hunter to commit and dinking the ball across the line for 8-1.

Tigers picked a good time to find season-best form, with a visit to Tadcaster looming.

Worksop: Kennedy 7, Cottingham 8, Roe 8, Lawrence 8, Woolley 8 (Higginson 74), Henshaw 8, Elliott 9, Harrison 8, Booth 9 (Jordan 76), Ward 9, Nightingale 8 (Waddle 64). Not used: Adam, Husbands.

Garforth: Hunter, J. Alali, K. Alali, Hardey (Simpkins 42), Winn, McCrum (Carter 70), Outerbridge, Conway, Martin-Wyatt, Smith (Simpson 55), Robertson. Not used: Osborne.

Referee: Mr M. Fryer.

Assistants: Mr M. Curwood, Mr S. Kane.

Goalscorers: Booth 3, 39, 73, Ward 33, 47, 60, Elliott 89, Jordan 90; Conway 9

Yellows: Conway 76, Martin-Wyatt 79, J. Alali 85

Attendance: 387