Tigers thumped in season opener

THE season got off to a miserable start for Worksop Town, as they were thumped 3-0 at Kendal Town.

Martin McnIntosh’s men mustered only one shot on target all afternoon, while their Cumbrian hosts could have had several goals.

Tigers began the season in the midst of a striker crisis with Jamie Jackson ill and Danny Davidson struggling with an ankle knock.

Adam Muller started up front on his own, with Mark Hudson playing in an advanced midfield position to support.

Three minutes in Sam Duncum got his first touch wide left, curled the ball to the back post but Steve Gardner lacked the height to get on the end of it.

It was a cagey opening, and the only effort on goal was a shot from Ciaran Donnelly that failed to trouble Jon Worsnop. Mark Jackson then received the ball in space inside the Tigers box, but his effort was weak.

With the game coming to life Worksop broke forward, Hudson took advantage of a slip and brought a diving save from Craig Dootson in the Kendal goal.

Neither side started with any real fluency but the visitors won their first corner on 23 minutes, Hudson finding James Cotterill and the skipper headed well wide.

Kendal should have taken the lead on the half hour mark when Mark Peers took advantage of a Ben Turner mistake to skip into the box, Alex Taylor took over and went round Worsnop but his cut back was cleared by Cotterill just in time.

But seconds later a cross to the back post unlocked the Worksop defence and Danny Williams had a simple sidefoot finish that Cotterill was unable to keep out of the net with Worsnop beaten.

Two minutes later a corner from the left by Keiran Walmsley was headed into his own net by Cotterill and the hosts were two to the good.

With Worksop shellshocked Kendal came again, Jackson trying to get goalside of the defence but denied at the last second by Cotterill who did well to recover.

Turner’s flying block kept out a Peers shot from the edge of the area as the first half entered the final few minutes, and the same attacker tried again a minute later but Turner was there a second time.

With seconds to go before the break Duncum took matters into his own hands with a mazy dribble, winning a corner that led to nothing.

Five minutes after the break the hosts wrapped it up, a quick break caught Tigers at sixes and sevens again, Chris Wood made a mistake, Williams scampered away and the defence never recovered, the ball finding its way to the back post where Jackson had the simplest of finishes.

The frustration was evident as Shiels put in a rash challenge and picked up the game’s first booking.

Duncum pulled up and had to be replaced by Marc Thompson on 58 minutes, but before the replacement could come on Kendal attacked with menace and Worsnop had to make two sharp saves.

Cotterill then saw yellow for going right through the back of Taylor, Tigers losing composure in the face of a heavy defeat.

Ashley Dunn should have done better when the ball bounced to him on the edge of the box, skying his attempt to score Kendal’s fourth.

Hudson won a corner on 65 minutes, despite looking offside, but the former Miller will have been disappointed having almost gone clear through.

Kendal broke with pace and a great ball into the box by Peers was headed over by Jackson.

The impressive home attacker fell awkwardly with 20 minutes left and limped gingerly from the field, Maison McGeechan taking his place.

A Cotterill header from Hudson’s free-kick found Muller at the back post and his shot was deflected wide, then Roberts’ header was off target.

Worksop had their first decent spell of possesion, mostly down the right side, but they were unable to make anything of it.

A last-ditch tackle from Joseph stopped Muller who had been put clean through by Shiels. It was Tigers best chance of the game, and although they appealed for a penalty, the defender got enough of the ball to make the challenge legal.

Muller was withdrawn and full-back Callum Williams took his place - Worksop’s lack of attacking options never more obvious.

With players form both sides limping off the game’s rhythm was broken and it meandered to a finish, a Luke Sharry blast from 30 yards summing up Tigers’ afternoon as the ball cleared the bar by some distance.