Hard work but Tigers win through - SLIDESHOW
TIGERS finally dispatched Radcliffe Borough from the FA Trophy, despite making hard work of the replay at Sandy Lane.
A first half strike from Sam Duncum and Massiah McDonald’s late goal put Tigers through to a a third qualifying round tie at home to Curzon Ashton at the end of the month.
Illness forced Simon Clark into a change up front, replacing Jamie Jackson with Danny Davidson.
The big striker got a sight of goal less than two minutes in, controlling in the box before turning and firing wide.
After dominating the opening minutes in both territory and possession, Worksop went ahead.
Ash Burbeary lined up a free-kick 30 yards out and gave it a real whack, and as it was heading off target the ball deflected into the path of Duncum who had the easy task of sidefooting home from six yards.
The hosts won another free-kick in a decent position a minute later, and after the referee sorted out some shenanigans in the penalty area, the ball was delievered, cleared as far as Matt Young and he saw a fierce drive blocked.
Radcliffe finally registered a shot at goal midway through the half as a lovely ball to Steve Howson’s feet allowed the striker to set himself and shoot low, but the effort was tame and well saved.
McDonald’s pace took him past the full-back into a great position inside the box and Nick Culkin had to parry away the youngster’s cross-cum-shot.
Towering defender Marc Roberts easily outjumped his marker to head Mark Hudson’s corner at goal and was dismayed to see a defender clear off the line.
Borough were struggling to contain the centre-half as balls came into their box, and twice in the space of a few seconds he came close with headers, the first coming off the bar and the second clearing it.
At the other end a free-kick for Radcliffe reached skipper Mark Jones in the box and his header crept just wide.
Worksop came out and dominated the first 10 minutes of the second half, without really creating a chance.
But when some good pressure from the forward unit resulted in a mistake in the Radcliffe defence, Luke Shiels strode on to a dropping ball to send a spectacular volley just over with the outside of his right boot.
Borough seemed to wake up and breaking at pace managed to stretch Tigers completely, so when the ball came to left winger Tom Brooks he had only Jon Worsnop to beat.
His shot did get the better of the Worksop keeper but Shiels was there to block, not once but twice, on the line.
Tigers went straight upfield and Davidson tried to send McDonald clean through but his pass was too far wide and McDonald couldn’t get his shot on target.
Davidson should have done much better when Burbeary whipped in a dangerous cross, and yet the big striker elected to shove his marker and then claim for a handball. The referee got it spot on however and booked Davidson for repeated fouling.
Luke Sharry took Duncum’s place with 20 minutes left and was straight into the action, winning the ball on the edge of the box and blasting wide.
Clark’s Tigers appeared to have lost their shape and passing rhythm, and with Borough upping the tempo another chance for the visitors was inevitable.
Brooks teased Shiels and unleashed a fizzing drive across goal that Worsnop had to keep out at full stretch.
Coming into the last quarter of an hour it was all Radcliffe, Worsnop saving well again from Brooks and Ben Wharton kicking air instead of the ball from the rebound.
When they finally broke out of their own half Tigers won two corners, the first headed at goal by Roberts and tipped wide by Culkin, and the second volleyed wide by Burbeary.
On 83 minutes a second goal calmed the nerves.
Davidson beat the offside trap, held the ball up and found Sharry, and the replacement curled a lovely cross to the back post for McDonald to nip in ahead of Culkin and stab home.
As regulation time finished a booking for Andy Barlow brought an angry reaction from the Borough bench and one of the coaching staff was sent off, resulting in a delay.
Once play was back under way Davidson almost forced James Mullineux into an own goal at the near post, but 2-0 it stayed.
SLIDESHOW: Click the play button to view action pictures taken at the game.
Full report and pictures in this week’s Worksop Guardian.