Twelve points in eight days

A SUBLIME free-kick from player-manager Martin McIntosh and a late Jamie Jackson goal made it 12 points in eight days for Tigers.

Thursday night’s win over Northwich Victoria was their fourth triumph in a row, and gives them real momentum going into Saturday’s crunch clash with Colwyn Bay.

The carnival was visiting Retford town centre, but the real entertainment took place in the first 15 minutes at Cannon Park.

It was very nearly the most disastrous of starts for Tigers, with what midfielder Matt Young told his team-mates was a ‘let off’, although he used more colourful language.

There were just 23 seconds on the clock when a ball into the box caused all sorts of problems for the Tigers centre-halves, and Nathan Woolfe saw his point-blank effort kept out, somehow, by Jon Worsnop.

It was Young who had Tigers’ first chance, letting fly from distance and drawing a decent save from James Spencer.

In the 11th minute a free-kick for handball on the edge of the box gave the hosts a chance to test Spencer again, but in reality he was given no chance.

Manager Martin McIntosh placed the ball, ignored some tongue-in-cheek banter from his own fans, and curled a beautiful free-kick over the wall and into the net.

Sam Duncum’s outstretched boot cost Worksop a free-kick, in a similarly dangerous position, but Woolfe found the wall.

The half hour mark arrived and the fizz had gone from the game, with possession slightly in favour of Victoria and Tigers resolute at the back.

For all their time on the ball, in the Worksop half, Vics put very little together in the way of chances.

Tigers on the other hand looked a threat on the break, with Tomlison and Beckett hanging around, looking to sniff out a mistake or bobble.

On 33 minutes Chris Bettney came off, struggling after falling awkwardly, and Danny Bacon made his entrance.

Just before half-time James Cotterill went down after an apparent elbow, but instead was the recipient of a yellow for dissent, after the referee missed the original foul.

Tigers came out after the break with more purpose, and Young saw a shot blocked after a burst into the box.

Tomlison harried Dominic Collins into an error and drove forward, but with Beckett calling for the ball, his striker partner sliced a shot horribly wide.

With eight gone in the second half another mistake from Collins let Duncum in at the back post, and the winger’s shot was deflected wide.

McIntosh then rose and his header from Duncum’s corner was off target, and the boss was perhaps a little ambitious with a quick free-kick from a long way out that Spencer gathered with ease.

Although Worksop were shading the play, it was scrappy from both sides, and Northwich looked the most likely to crack first.

Duncum linked well with Wood on the left, the full-back put an inviting ball in the box but Tomlinson hooked over the bar.

A dangerous ball in from Duncum very nearly reached McIntosh at the back post, and with 20 remaining Jamie Jackson replaced Beckett up front.

Victoria made a double change of their own at the same time, Ollie Ryan in place of Andy Fowler, and Jamie Phoenix for the struggling Collins.

There was always a danger that the visitors would finally put together a cohesive attack, but it was a set-piece that almost levelled the game, Woolfe’s free-kick bouncing just in front of Worsnop, the keeper having to be sharp to gather under pressure.

Tigers broke with the pace of Jackson and Duncum, and when the winger slid the ball to the substitute only a brave block denied him a shot on target.

Ten minutes were left in the game when the away support behind Worsnop’s goal claimed for a penalty as one of their men went down in the box, but the referee was unimpressed.

A header flashed over Worsnop’s bar as Victoria strove to bring themselves level, and a stinging drive from Duncum was tipped wide by the heel of a defender.

An offside decision that rightfully went against Tigers gave the Vics a chance to pile forward in attack, but Woolfe nodded well wide.

With 25 seconds left in regulation time Worksop Town won it. Another quick break presented chances for Duncum and Bacon, before Jackson controlled at the back post and tucked it into the net for 2-0.

With Evans down in the box when the ball went in, Northwich felt aggrieved and Michael Roddy’s protests earned him a yellow.

The two goal cushin ended the tie as a contest, and a couple of extra minutes went by before proceedings were brought to a halt.

There’s little in the way of a rest for Tigers however, with Colwyn Bay at Cannon Park on Saturday, and a trip to Frickley on Tuesday night.