Johnson brace helps Worksop pick up three points at home

Worksop Town FC v Pickering Town, Worksop celebrate their penalty with fans
Worksop Town FC v Pickering Town, Worksop celebrate their penalty with fans

A Dre Johnson brace helped Tigers see off in form Pickering 2-1, in what was an entertaining tie at Sandy Lane.

Tigers started the game well, playing some neat football that lead to early half chances for captain Conor Higginson and Andy Ofosu, but neither could really work the keeper.

However, despite the positive start it was Pickering who took the lead.

A hopeful cross swung in from the left was needlessly headed into his own net by Julian Lawrence.

Mark Shaw’s men replied almost instantly, a neat through ball over the top found Johnson in space, and he applied a clinical finish past Toby Wells to level to scores.

The end to end feel to the game continued, with Jon Kennedy forced into a good low save to his left, before Higginson unluckily curled a superb long range shot onto the post with the keeper beaten.

Kennedy then produced another good low save to deny Callum Ward a goal, before a clumsy challenge in the box resulted in a Pickering penalty.

The mistake wasn’t punished though, as Ward struck a poor penalty wide of the post.

Less than a minute later Tigers hit the woodwork again. After winning a corner Lawrence climbed highest and narrowly avoided making up for his own goal as his effort hit the cross bar. It was a frantic end to the first half.

More chances followed at the start of the second half, with captain Higginson at the heart of everything Tigers did well. Johnson was denied by some swift goalkeeping, before Higginson fired just wide.

It seemed like a goal was coming in the game, with both sides trying to attack. Ofosu fired an effort narrowly over from 20 yards, before some fantastic on the line defending from James Cottingham kept out a Pickering header and kept Tigers level.

Cottingham then almost found a goal himself, but saw his shot deflected wide just as it looked as though he was clear.

From the resulting corner Jamie Hadfield headed just wide, as Tigers really pushed to find a winner.

Then an opportunity to win the game was presented to Worksop. Higginson went down under a challenge from Niall Tisley, with the Pickering captain reacting angrily to Higginsons claims for a penalty and stupidly pushing him to the ground.

The referee pointed to the spot, and was immediately surrounded by angry Pickering players.

Despite their protests the decision stood, with three yellow cards shown to the visitors as a result of their arguing.

Johnson stepped up and showed how to take a penalty, burying it into the net to give the home side a deserved lead.

Tigers saw the game out 2-1, gaining a good three points against a decent outfit in Pickering, while the performance of skipper Higginson was without doubt the biggest positive. He was a constant threat and looked like the player of old.

However, the action didn’t stop at the final whistle. With the away players and staff still angry over the penalty, Lewis Taylor apparently said a little too much to the officials, and saw a red card for his troubles.

Worksop: Kennedy 7, Gorman 7, Fenton 7, Cottingham 7, Hadfield 7, Lawrence 7 (Woolley) HIGGINSON 8 (Husbands) Harrison 7, Johnson 8 (Nightingale) Ofosu 7, Waddle 7. Not used: Pickersgill, Jordan.

Pickering: Wells, Tisley, Danby, Bennett (Lingard) Turnbull, Shepherd, Taylor, Cooper, Ward, Hamilton, Dalton. Not used: Lawrie, Bissett, Ingram.

Goals: Johnson 8, 82; Lawrence OG 7.

Attendance: 359.