WORKSOP Town gained the perfect revenge on Ashton United on Saturday, thrashing their fellow promotion hopefuls 5-1 at Sandy Lane.
Ashton, who put five past Tigers on the opening day of the season, had a man sent off just before the break and suffered late on in the second half.
Ash Burbeary netted from the spot on 37 minutes to give Worksop the lead, but the visitors’ 10 men pulled one back after half-time, only to concede further goals from Leon Mettam, Luke Shiels, Lee Beeson and Steve Towers.
There were two incidents of note off the field, with Ashton’s Danny Caldecott allegedly assaulted by a spectator as he made his way to the dressing room following his sending off, and some of his team-mates were involved in pushing and shoving with Tigers fans at full-time.
Ashton United have reported both flash points to the Evo-Stik Premier League, but Notts Police are not investigating either incident.
Tigers made a change to the back four, Shiels regaining his place at centre-half with Adie Hawes’ suffering from illness.
Aside from Shiels’ hesitation almost letting Ashton in on goal, the first five minutes belonged to the hosts, Jamie Jackson and Ash Burbeary giving the visiting defenders plenty to think about.
Ashton were lucky to keep 11 on the field when Jackson slid in, late, on Kyle Harrop and the full-back appeared to aim a stamp at Jackson’s head – referee Mr M. Powell obviously missing the incident.
A nice move on 12 minutes started by Craig King ended with a lovely ball through from Towers releasing Mettam, and he very nearly found a team-mate in the six yard box, Ashton clearing.
Seconds later Towers curled in a very dangerous cross but there was no one attacking the front post.
The first shot of the day came on 18 minutes as Caldecott strode out of the Ashton defence and chipped the ball miles over Paul Bastock’s bar from distance.
The full-back then got his first yellow card for halting a flying King with a very deliberate trip.
From the resulting free-kick, Tigers came agonisingly close to taking the lead, Towers finding the head of King and Adam Burke had to clear off the line.
Then Towers headed through for Jackson, he crossed to the back post and all Burbeary had to do was steer it into the empty net with keeper Paul Phillips stranded, but it bounced up on him and he spooned over.
An inswinging corner for the visitors needed to be palmed away at full stretch by Paul Bastock, Ashton playing their part in an entertaining first half hour.
At the other end, as Worksop reasserted their dominance, Burbeary’s cross almost crept in at the back post and Shiels’ header was just off target.
With 10 minutes left in the half Worksop struck a telling blow, Jackson playing in Mettam, the striker shaping to shoot and then being bundled over by Caldecott.
The referee’s only possible action was to show a second yellow and subsequent red, and Burbeary stepped up to hammer home the penalty for a 1-0 lead.
Mettam almost made it 2-0 on 42 minutes when he got space and time on the edge of the box, beat a man and saw his stinging shot saved by Phillips.
The 10 men of Ashton hit back on 56 minutes, after weathering an early second half storm.
A corner from the right was only half cleared, dangerman Aaron Burns fired the ball into the six yard box and Matty Barlow flicked it home.
And Tigers almost gifted them a second when Shiels’ clearance was blocked, Bastock and Shiels hesitated and Barlow almost got in between them to score.
But it was the hosts who got the next goal after a lovely passage of play, King finding Telling, the midfielder swinging in a perfect first time ball for Mettam who twisted to glance the ball into the corner of the net.
Ashton weren’t retreating into their shell however, Burns trying his luck from 40 yards with Bastock off his line, the effort not clearing the bar by that much.
Worksop made life more comfortable though, when a foul on Jackson on the right gave Burbeary a chance to deliver into the box and it was perfect for the on-rushing Shiels who powered in number three on 72 minutes.
Beeson was on the field just two minutes when fellow substitute Owain Warlow burst forward, and after linking with Mettam the ball found its way to Beeson who saw two efforts saved before finally tucking the ball home for 4-1.
On loan midfielder Jake Scott made his debut with five minutes remaining and his first act was to fly into a tackle, leaving his feet after miscontrolling and on the advice of a linesman, the referee yellow carded him.
The yellow was also flashed to Thomas Moore for his part in the melee that ensued.
Seconds later Matty Kosylo attempted to get some retribution on Scott and was the fifth Ashton man to be yellow carded, before United manager Danny Johnson was sent to the tunnel.
There was still time for a fifth for Tigers, Clarke storming down the right into acres of space and pulling the ball back for Man of the Match Towers, who placed it into the back of the net.
And in the sixth minute of added time Ashton broke from a Shiels mistake, the ball was crossed and Shiels handled, giving the visitors a penalty.
But Kosylo blasted it out of the ground, heaping more embarrassment on United before the final whistle, and the unnecessary scenes that followed.
Worksop: Bastock 7, Clarke 7, Ridley 7 (Warlow 65), Telling 7, Shiels 7, Miller 8, King 7 (Beeson 74), TOWERS 8, Jackson 7, Mettam 7 (Scott 85), Burbeary 7. Not used: Wood, Ludlam, Beeson.
Ashton United: Phillips, Harrop, Caldecott, Burke (Bagguley 45), Robinson, Moore, Hogan, Baker, Burns (Denham 77), Barlow (Kosylo 65), Johnson. Not used: Peers, Smith, Denham.
Referee: M. Powell. Assistants: J. Knowels, S. Berry.
Goalscorers: Burbeary (37, pen), Mettam 64, Shiels 72, Beeson 76, Towers 90+3; Barlow 56.
Yellows: Miller 73, Scott 87, Shiels 90+6; Caldecott 21, 35, Harrop 72, Moore 87, Kosylo 88.
Red: Caldecott 35.