The education of Worksop Town’s youngsters continued on Wednesday, with a harsh lesson entitled: “You can’t just turn up for 45 minutes.”
A poor first half and three defensive lapses cost Tigers in the end, as a stirring second half fightback came to nought in a 3-2 defeat at Albion Sports.
Tigers were lucky not to go a goal down early on, former pro Lee Elam beating Jacob Dawson and feeding Daniel Facey, Ben Gathercole making a fine stop.
The keeper was at fault for the opener on eight minutes however, coming to punch Elam’s corner and getting nowhere near it, James Firth free to head into the empty net.
Possession in good areas of the field led to nothing for Tigers in the early stages, due to poor decisions or a lack of composure.
A quick free-kick resulted in a shooting chance for Mitch Husbands, he rushed his shot and screwed it wide however.
Frustration then turned to relief when a long ball released Daniel Facey and he lobbed Gathercole, only to see the ball drop wide.
A minute later the same ball allowed Facey to make it look easy with a simple finish.
While chances were hard to come by for the visiting strikers, Facey was having a field day, and almost hit the net again from an acute angle.
Worksop were incensed when Connor Smythe went down in the box under Sam Bradley’s challenge, and the only result was a yellow card for the Tigers left-back.
Conor Sellars battled through two tackles and fizzed the ball goalwards, Aron Brian making his first save.
Worksop started the second half like a side possessed, Jack Hawkins tiptoeing past a challenge and feeding Sellars in the box, Brian blocking.
Tigers were still shaky facing a direct approach and Facey had a chance to kill the game from the penalty spot but shot over.
Tom Elliott replaced Jacob Dawson and started a move that ended in a Dre Johnson shot going wide.
The substitute then got a counter attack going, Alex Pursehouse taking it on and finding Sellars who touched to Johnson and his shot was straight at the keeper.
A goal was coming however, and it arrived on 64 minutes, another bright, quick move giving Husbands the chance to nip in and beat Brian to the ball.
A quicker tempo was giving Albion real trouble and Sellars won a free-kick 35 yards out, and forced a fine save from Brian with the resulting set piece.
Cruelly, Albion then added a third, Facey getting beyond Sam Liversidge and lobbing the stranded Gathercole.
But back came the youngsters in white, Sellars sparking a sublime swerving low free-kick into the bottom right corner of the net.
Chances for Johnson and the struggling Jonathan Wafula came and went, as an experienced Albion held out to deny Tigers what would have been a famous comeback.
Wednesday 27th August 2014:
Albion Sports: Brian, Bradley, Morgan (Hussain 76), Mathers (Brown 80), Delroy Facey, Firth, Annor, Tiani, Daniel Facey, Elam (Dugdale 64), Cusack. Not used: Holmes, Grogan.
Worksop Town: Gathercole 5, Pursehouse 6, Smythe 6, Scott 6, Liversidge 6, Dawson 6 (Elliott 60), SELLARS 7 (Jordan 80), Wafula 5, Husbands 6, Johnson 6 (Whincop 76), Hawkins 6. Not used: Lee, Shaw.
Referee: Brian McGill.
Assistants: Ian Muncaster, Conor Brown.
Goalscorers: Firth 8, Daniel Facey 28, 69; Husbands 64, Sellars 72.
Yellows: Daniel Facey 71; Smythe 33, Liversidge 76.