Worksop Town will be out to beat their traditional New Year hangover, if Saturday’s game against Athersley goes ahead.
For just the sixth time since the turn of the century, Tigers will be at home in their first game of the year – although they were of course scheduled to be away at Staveley last weekend before the rain fell.
Since 2000, Worksop have made visits to the likes of Whitby, Wakefield, Gainsborough, Ilkeston and Frickley and their overall record in the first game of each of those 16 years doesn’t make for good reading.
They’ve won only four times, drawing four and losing eight.
The century began so well, however, with a 4-0 3rd January win over Frickley Athletic.
‘King’ Kenny Clark scored, adding to goals from Steve Johnson, Carl Smith and a young Gary Townsend.
The goalkeeper celebrating a clean sheet was none other than current Tigers stopper Jon Kennedy.
In 2001 they drew 1-1 at Whitby, and then ousted Tamworth from the FA Trophy in 2002, after a month long break due to frozen pitches.
Tigers won 4-3, Townsend bagging a brace, Gavin Smith and Krystof Kotylo with the others in front of over 900 at Sandy Lane.
Then began a six year lean spell.
Defeat at Wakefield in 2003 was followed by a goalless stalemate at Burscough, and then a run of three defeats against Gainsborough Trinity.
In 2005 the Blues won 3-1 at Sandy Lane, Simeon Bambrook with the Worksop goal.
The following year brought a 2-0 defeat at the Northolme for Worksop, and 2007 saw Gainsborough pipping their hosts 2-1, Ben Saunders with the consolation.
Worksop were on their travels again in 2008, playing out a six-goal thriller with Ilkeston.
Prolific pairing Kev Sanasy (2) and Andy White scored for Pete Rinkcavage’s men in a 3-3 draw.
On the first day of 2009 Tigers returned from Frickley with a 3-0 victory.
Current assistant manager Chris Adam was among the goals, alongside Matt Glass and that man Townsend.
There was just one game in January 2010, and it was a home game played at Ilkeston during Worksop’s exile.
Townsend, who else, scored in a controversial 3-1 loss to Guiseley.
One of the visitors’ goals came after Worksop had stopped play due to an injury, Guiseley taking full advantage of the static home side, which once again contained keeper Kennedy.
Whitby were put to the sword in 2011, Ben Tomlinson, Jamie Jackson and Marc Thompson scoring in a 3-0 win for Martin McIntosh’s Tigers.
A 0-0 draw at North Ferriby in 2012 was followed by a 2-1 defeat at Ilkeston in 2013, Tom Denton scoring for Worksop.
The big man was marked out of the first game of 2014 at Matlock as Tigers lost 1-0, and last year Worksop were frustrated by Garforth, who parked the bus and scored from a mistake for a 1-0 win.