Away win for Tigers as they hold off fightback
Mark Shaw’s men blitzed the Dabbers with two goals inside the first three minutes, and then found a winner in the final quarter of an hour, after the hosts had equalised.
Tigers looked to catch their hosts sleeping from the kick-off, winning a corner from their first attack..
When it was flicked on by Tom Denton at the near post, keeper Terry Smith couldn’t gather and Shane Clarke got the final touch.
If an opening goal on 45 seconds wasn’t enough to get the away support going, number two arriving on three minutes had them in dreamland.
A nice bit of play in the middle of the park saw several players involved before Conor Higginson crossed to the middle and Denton headed home.
Things could have got even better when Phil Roe’s whipped cross from the left was met by Jack Muldoon but he flashed the header wide.
Nantwich should have hit back on 11 minutes, when Laurence Gaughan misjudged a ball over the top and Ben Hallam hesitated, before rushing out to deny Aaron Burns.
And Hallam was there again to save, when a ball to the back post was volleyed goalwards by Ross Davidson, Chris Salt clearing the rebound from the goalmouth.
Higginson was providing a spark for Tigers, bursting forward at every opportunity, and his cross found Muldoon at the back stick, Smith saving with his feet.
Muldoon tried his luck again, this time from a central free-kick, sending the ball over the bar, but not by much.
Nantwich were back in the game with 34 minutes as Oliver Devenney curled an absolute peach of an effort into the very top corner of the net, Hallam only able to watch it.
Clarke looked to answer the Dabbers goal with a spectacular of his own, his left foot shot just shaving the post from 25 yards.
Right at the end of the half Earl Davis got free of his marker in the Worksop area, but luckily for the visitors his header sailed over.
Worksop very nearly got off to another flying start after the interval, first Muldoon shot straight at Smith, and then he linked up with Mettam who got a shot off in the tightest of spaces and saw it drop just wide.
Tigers’ second corner of the game was perfectly delivered by Josh Davies, Denton rising highest to power a header over the bar.
Jack Adams came on for his Worksop debut 10 minutes into the second half, replacing the impressive Higginson.
The loss of the midfielder allowed the hosts to get a real foothold in the game.
Some desperate defending and a bit of luck kept Tigers in the lead midway through the half, Devenney’s clipped ball forward finding sub Max Harrop who touched it past Hallam but slipped, allowing Jordan Lemon to clear.
But on 73 minutes, Harrop’s cross to the back post wasn’t dealt with by Chris Salt, and another replacement, Matt Bailey half volleyed home from five yards.
Shaw’s side could have collapsed at this point – they didn’t.
Just three minutes later a corner to the back post, won by the sheer industry and pace of Shaq McKenzie, was headed into the net by Muldoon.
Nantwich came again however, Harrop beating Lemon and putting in a cross that Salt headed clear, and when the ball back in came to the back post only a flying block by Lemon denied Bailey.
The big Nantwich striker came agonisingly close to his second goal when Davis nodded the ball back across goal, but it eluded Bailey.
Although the men in green and white poured forward in the final stages, Worksop stood strong throughout almost four minutes of injury time to greet to the final whistle with jubilation.
Nantwich Town: Smith, Frost, White, Davidson, Davis, Courtney, Carden, Devenney, Burns (Clayton 59), Amadi (Bailey 59), Johnson (Harrop 71). Not used: Wilson, O’Neill.
Worksop Town: Hallam 6, Lemon 6, Roe 7, Davies 6, Salt 7, Gaughan 7, Muldoon 6 (Cottingham 86), Clarke 7, DENTON 8, Mettam 7 (McKenzie 71), Higginson 7 (Adams 55). Not used: Pursehouse, Barnett.
Referee: Dean Watson. Assistants: Abid Hussain, Derek Brannick.
Goalscorers: Devenney 34, Bailey 73; Clarke 1, Denton 3, Muldoon 76.
Yellows: Bailey 65; Denton 45.