New faces and better performances in big win
New goalkeeper Jonathan Stewart, and loan signing at centre-half Adam Quinn bolstered the defence, to frustrate a Whitby side that ended the game with nine men.
It was the distribution of Stewart that initiated Tigers’ first attack, Tom Denton nodding on his chipped ball, Leon Mettam laying it off to Shane Clarke who shot wide.
But home fans didn’t have to wait long for the opener, as a corner to the back post came all the way through to Denton who headed in with ease.
A heavy back pass put Whitby keeper Shane Bland under pressure, and the stopper almost sliced it into his own net, only clearing as far as Jack Muldoon who whipped in a cross and Mettam flashed his header wide.
Muldoon’s pace and strength took him on a run from deep inside his own half, despite a tug back from David McTiernan, and after interplay with Conor Higginson, Muldoon’s shot was saved by Bland - but the referee came back to book McTiernan.
The visitors’ first decent shot at goal came from Adam Rundell in the 26th minute, blasting wide after a prolonged period of possession.
A lovely dummy by Muldoon allowed Alex Pursehouse to get free down the right, and when Clarke in turn dummied his low cross, Mettam fired it goalwards, Bland equal to the effort.
Worksop doubled their lead as persistence from Muldoon and Mettam put Whitby’s replacement Richard Pell under pressure, Muldoon fed Mettam, and the striker’s pass for Higginson knocked into the net by a visiting defender.
Higginson almost got a goal of his own when he was sent clear of the defence, but Bland was there again.
Pell was somehow allowed to get free at the back post twice in quick succession for Whitby, and Pursehouse’ s header off the line started a Worksop break that should have ended in a goal, Clarke’s effort from eight yards saved and Mettam’s deflected wide.
Both goalkeepers were called into action just after the break, Stewart coming out to save from Steven Snaith, and Bland did brilliantly to hold onto Muldoon’s blast.
The impressive Jack Adams could have added Worksop’s third before the hour mark, but he snatched at a shot and sent it over.
Gaughan was walking a tightrope while on a yellow card, giving away several free-kicks, and his 70th minute foul was enough for Mark Shaw to send on Chris Salt in his place.
The Seasiders had most of the second half play, the hosts unable to keep hold of the ball, with waves of Blue attacks broken up by the Tigers back four.
Higginson’s pace on the break made Worksop’s third and decisive goal, the youngster driving through the middle before swinging the ball over to Mettam who was promptly brought down in the area by Kevin Burgess.
Mettam hammered the spot-kick high into the net.
Whitby were well and truly out of it on 84 minutes as Denton released Mettam, and Lee Bullock hauled him down, earning his marching orders.
And Burgess’ block on Denton, who was bursting clear, saw the red card come out again, after his second yellow.
From the resulting free-kick only the woodwork kept Phil Roe from scoring, his dead ball effort giving Bland no chance.
The three points put Tigers back in the mix, showing how wide open the play-off race is.
Worksop: Stewart 8, Pursehouse 7, Roe 8, ADAMS 8, Quinn 8, Gaughan 7 (Salt 71), Muldoon 7 (Wall 85), Clarke 7, Denton 8, Mettam 7 (McKenzie 85), Higginson 8. Not used: Barnett, Davies.
Whitby Town: Bland, Hassan (Pell 30), Robinson, Burgess, Bullock, McTiernan, Henry, Mason, Snaith, Mulligan, Rundle (Williams 81). Not used: Armstrong, Campbell.
Referee: N. Smith. Assistants: D. Godwin, K. Frampton.
Goalscorers: Denton 4, own goal 31, Mettam 79 (pen)
Yellows: Gaughan 33, Clarke 65; McTiernan 22, Burgess 79, 86, Mulligan 87
Reds: Bullock 84, Burgess 86