A Connor Brunt brace helped Worksop Town to return to winning ways in emphatic fashion with a 5-1 win over struggling Armthorpe.
After an open and fairly even first 20 minutes or so, the superior quality of the home side allowed them to take control of the game and dominate their visitors.
Just before kick-off Worksop were dealt a blow when Jordan Hodder went down injured in the warm-up, but there was a silver lining in the performance of his replacement, Jack Hawkins.
The little midfielder played as a right wing-back and set up both of Brunt’s goals with pinpoint crosses.
There was a flurry of early action at both ends of the pitch and the two clubs will both feel aggrieved to not have taken the lead.
For Armthorpe, Liam Radford’s cross was headed over the bar by Darren Mansaram with the Tigers defence scrambling.
And on four minutes Hawkins released Brunt on the right and his low cross bounced up and hit Danny Bulman on the hand, referee M. Tinsley allowing Mitch Husbands a second of advantage before blowing for a penalty when the striker’s shot was blocked.
Brunt stepped up to take the spot-kick and sent it wide off the outside of the right hand post.
The striker had an instant chance to make amends when Husbands’ cross from the left found him 16 yards out but he volleyed well over.
Worksop took the lead on 10 minutes, Hawkins sweeping in a beautiful cross from the right for Brunt to nod home at the near post.
It lasted just two minutes, Worksop’s offside trap failing miserably as Mansaram ran through on the left and crossed to the middle where Craig Aspinall applied the finishing touch.
And when Ross Henshaw was outpaced by Josh Bringham a minute later things nearly got worse for Tigers, the winger’s cross mercifully behind several team-mates.
Goalkeeper Jon Kennedy kept the scoreline level, making a vital save after Stuart Preston put the Welfare men on the attack with some lovely skill and a fine ball to Radford who found Mansaram on the penalty spot, Kennedy saving at his feet.
A trademark Kieran Fenton charge out of defence helped Worksop retake the lead, his long distance shot deflected into the path of Husbands who found Brunt, his layoff slammed into the net from 20 yards by Danny Booth.
Although Armthorpe continued to look dangerous, Worksop were beginning to assume control and came close to a third through Charlie Dawes, the midfielder twisting and turning on the edge of the area before trundling his shot just past the post.
Worksop couldn’t quite believe they hadn’t scored when first Jack Andrews crossed and Brunt thundered a goalbound shot against a defender, and then Jack Waddle was teed up but curled the ball wide.
The second half ended in the perfect fashion for Tigers, Hawkins sending in an even better ball from the right wing, Brunt simply guiding it over keeper Adam Stevens with a deft header for a 3-1 lead.
Dawes came close twice early on in the second half with shots from distance and Hawkins produced another pair of fantastic crosses, Brunt heading the first over and Armthorpe dealing well with the second.
Armthorpe were looking more and more like a side trying to limit the damage, only a deflection keeping another Dawes’ effort out as Worksop piled on the pressure.
The game went through a stale period with little football of any quality from either side, Worksop sending on Adam Scott for Dawes in an attempt to liven things up.
Within four minutes the attacker had his name on the scoresheet, although he did very little to earn it, Armthorpe’s Bulman gifting Jack Andrews the ball with a poor back header, Stevens stranded as the left-back passed it to the middle for a Scott tap in.
He should have added a second when played clean through by Husbands, but after beating the goalkeeper Scott lifted the ball over the bar.
Armthorpe looked tired and another substitution helped the home side take advantage, Jon Fusco played in by Scott, outpacing his markers and rounding Stevens before rolling the ball into the net.
Worksop Town: Kennedy 7, Hawkins 7, Andrews 7, Adams 7, Henshaw 7, Fenton 7 (Lawrence 81) , Dawes 7 (Scott 70), Waddle 7, Brunt 8 (Fusco 84), Husbands 7, Booth 7. Not used: Jordan, Birch.
Armthorpe: Stevens, Bulman, Waldren, Morley (Gibbons 46), Gardner, Collins (Goodwin 64), Preston, Aspinall, Mansaram, Radford, Bringham (Bonsor 78). Not used: Bonsor, Collier.
Referee: M. Tinsley. Assistants: S. Wright, A. Nelson.
Goalscorers: Brunt 10, 45, Booth 17, Scott 74, Fusco 87; Aspinall 12
Yellows: Fenton 42, Henshaw 57; Mansaram 44