Tigers produced a superb battling display to earn a deserved 3-0 win away at Harrogate Railway Athletic.
The first half started competitively, with both sides looking to close down their opponents and not giving a lot of time on the ball.
Despite their not being any chances you had the feeling Tigers were comfortable and the more likely to open the scoring, which they did through Charlie Dawes.
The speedy winger was very lively in the first half, and after a good bit of play he cut inside his man and curled a superb strike into the top corner.
That opening goal sparked a great spell of pressure for Tigers, who were starting to knock the ball around nicely and unlucky not to add to their lead minutes later.
Tigers worked the ball into the box where Kyle Jordan looked to be fouled by the Harrogate stopper, but he stayed on his feet to tee up Dawes who’s effort was saved by Jonathon Smith. However, it wasn’t long before a deserved second arrived. Mitch Husbands whipped in cross from the left which Dawes did brilliantly to reach, and he squared for Jordan to slot home from six yards.
The home side did force a decent spell of pressure, camped in Worksop’s half for a few minutes but it was well defended without even a sniff of a chance.
Perhaps down to the resolute Tigers defending we did see a bit of handbags. Stephen Bromley and Richards Adams seemingly just fell on each other after a 50-50, which Bromley and Jordan Hendrie reacted angrily too.
Both he and Hendrie were lucky not to go in the book, for which they can thank an inexperienced referee who had little help from his assistant.
However, from nothing the hosts almost pulled a goal back. Hendrie curled in a cross from the right hand side which found Bromley in acres of space, but somehow he hit the inside of the post when he really should have found the net.
There was time for one last Tigers chance before half time. Keiran Fenton’s dangerous free kick was almost slotted home at the back post Julian Lawrence, but it went narrowly wide.
Despite the lively end to the first half, we didn’t see much goal mouth action in the second. Mark Shaw’s men showing some steel and comfortably defending their 2-0 lead while looking to break when they could.
After a very effective first half Dawes went quiet, perhaps due to the head injury he suffered when he was clattered by Bromley.
It was a dangerous clumsy challenge, yet the referee didn’t even give a free kick. On another day the game may have run away from the young referee, with Tigers players also frustrated at a few studs and arms being left in by the hosts.
Tigers had defended superbly, everyone battling hard for the ball and snuffing out any potential danger. Jack Waddle and Daniel Booth in the middle of the park were superb all game, winning the ball back and keeping things ticking over.
Harrogate did manage to fashion a late chance for themselves and it again fell to Bromley. Once again though he fluffed his lines, heading well over the bar from close range.
Tigers instantly made the hosts pay, going straight up the other end where Husbands was brought down in the box. He confidently stepped up and smashed his penalty into the top corner giving the keeper no chance. It was a goal his industry deserved.
Things didn’t get any better in injury time or Harrogate, as right back Hendrie saw a second yellow card and was sent for an early shower. He could have no complaints, perhaps even lucky he lasted that long.
All in all it was a great evening for Tigers. Jon Kennedy was a passenger in goal, the defence was dominant, the midfield dictated the game and they showed they can score three goals away from home without danger man Adam Scott. Lots for the fans to be positive about on their journey back home.
Worksop: Kennedy 7, Pugh 7, Fenton 7, Booth 8, Lawrence 7, Adams 7, WADDLE 8, Husbands 7, Jordan 7 (Hawkins) Dawes 7 (Fusco), Sibenge 6 (Andrews). Subs not used: Johnson, Birch.
Goals: Dawes , Jordan. , Husbands.
Referee: Mr C Brown
Harrogate: Smith, Hendrie, Riley, Parkes, Kidd, Morris, R Sharrocks (B Sharrocks), Brown, Ovington (Barrett), Bromley, Radcliffe (Mason).
Subs not used: Beesley.
Yellows: Hendrie x2; Jordan.
Goals: Lawes , Jordan. , Husbands. .
Referee: Mr C Brown
Assistants: Mr E Shiers & Mr R Coller-Booth.