FOR 82 minutes there was only going to be one winner in this game – but the full-time whistle told a different story.
Tigers learned a harsh lesson as they dominated before falling to two late suckerpunch goals.
The hosts had three times as many shots as Nantwich, and yet the Dabbers left Sandy Lane with a clean sheet.
What was particularly galling was the individual performances that deserved reward and got nothing.
Martin Ball tackled, headed and blocked everything that came his way, Steve Towers pulled the strings and the right-sided pairing of Ryan Clarke and Craig King ripped the Dabbers apart.
But poor marking at a corner eight minutes from time and a counterattack in the 90th minute meant all those efforts were in vain.
Worksop wasted no time in putting their visitors under pressure, Phil Roe seeing his early shot blocked.
A poor clearance by Dabbers keeper Jon Brain gifted Nathan Modest the ball but the striker failed to control.
Nantwich got their first chance when Tigers debutant Cecil Nyoni conceded possession and Casper Hughes found Kyle Wilson, but Paul Bastock made a fine save.
Despite dominating Worksop almost fell behind when Nyoni’s pass was blocked and Brandon Windsor went in on goal, Bastock saving again.
Nyoni almost embarrassed the Nantwich stopper with a low, trundling shot, the ball squirming onto the post.
The subsequent corner was headed goalwards by Denton and cleared off the line,.
In the final action of the first half Craig King bamboozled his marker, crossed the ball and Denton nodded wide.
The first five minutes saw three slick Worksop attacks leading to corners, one of which was met by Denton but a Dabber got in the way.
Ashley Burbeary replaced the disappointing Modest and added energy for the hosts.
Towers’ free-kick was headed over by Denton, and at the other end Bastock punched clear twice, albeit unconvincingly, from a dangerous Nantwich set-piece.
A quick break by Tigers involved Roe and Potts, and ended with a fierce Towers drive that just cleared the bar.
Burbeary controlled beautifully, flicked it over his marker and ran round him to slam a volley at goal, Brain pulling off an excellent save, Denton unable to steer home the rebound.
Disaster struck with eight minutes left as Darren Moss was poorly marked at a corner and headed over Bastock’s despairing dive.
As Tigers piled forward, Nantwich broke and sealed an unlikely win, Josh Lane tucking the ball under Bastock.
A cruel blow to Worksop Town’s play-off hopes.