A brilliant solo effort from Adam Scott helped Worksop Town to see off a stiff challenge from Hallam in the FA Cup extra prelininary round.
The season opener at Sandy Lane was a see-saw affair, played in glorious sunshine in front of an impressive 400-plus crowd.
Scott’s second half brilliance and a poacher’s goal from Kyle Jordan put Worksop through to the next round with a 4-2 win, but not before they’d been given a torrid time by a side one division below them.
The clash between the hosts, the world’s fourth oldest club and the second oldest was graced by the FA Cup trophy itself, presented to the crowd before kick-off.
Kieran Fenton had an early opportunity to test Dave Darwent in the Hallam goal but sent his 25-yard free-kick over the bar.
Scott looked lively from the outset, one jinking run ending in a ball into the middle that Mitch Husbands couldn’t quite reach.
Fenton was also impressive early on, in both defence and attack, stealing in to stop a Hallam move and start one for the hosts, driving forward and bringing a good save from Darwent.
Tigers should have taken the lead when Steve Woolley was played in down the left and squared the ball for Adam Somes, the striker beaten to the ball six yards out by his marker.
Mark Shaw’s men were having the best of the possession, looking dangerous until they reached the Hallam area where composure seemed to elude them.
A Fenton error, trying to take on too many men, set Hallam off on a counter attack that resulted in a corner, Tom Roebuck heading it goalwards until Woolley cleared off the line.
James Reed took advantage of more slack play in the Worksop midfield, striding clear to try his luck from distance, the ball flying wide of Jon Kennedy’s post.
The momentum of the game seemed to be changing hands and it was confirmed when Hallam attacked down the left and a ball to the back post was knocked in by the unmarked Jack Hargreaves.
A minute later he could have doubled Hallam’s lead but sidefooted into Kennedy’s arms from 16 yards.
With Hallam in control and the Worksop midfield struggling, things went from bad to worse when Ross Henshaw failed to run off an injury sustained in a challenge and had to be replaced by Connor Johnson.
But there was an improvement immediately after the interval, a deft flick from Somes putting Woolley in the clear and he made no mistake with a cool finish.
And the turnaround was complete five minutes later, Woolley dropping the shoulder to ghost between two players and smash an effort at hoal, Darwent only able to palm it into his net.
Hallam defender Tim Whattaker should have done better with a header six yards out that went wide and Jake Currie saw his overhead kick pushed away by Kennedy, the NCEL Division One side remaining a threat.
The men in blue had a deserved equaliser, in some style too, with 25 minutes remaining - James Reed lining up a 25-yard free-kick and sending it into the top corner of Kennedy’s net.
Veteran Michael Blythen managed to scamper clear of the Worksop defence and elected to shoot early, Kennedy saving with his feet having come out to challenge.
It was the hosts who got the vital third goal however, Somes putting Woolley in space on the right side of the box, the midfielder dinking the ball to the back post where substitute Jordan nodded home from a couple of yards.
Worksop’s progress into the next round was secured with a moment of individual brilliance from Scott 10 minutes from time, dribbing past four challenges and riding his luck a little before outwaiting Darwent and rolling into the empty net from an acute angle.
There was a chance to put the icing on the cake when Somes broke the offside trap, but a heavy first touch let him down and when he crossed, Jordan couldn’t get to the ball.
Scott then tried a repeat effort, drifting past two challenges and then shooting well over with a fifth goal looked imminent.
Stoppage time gave Scott another chance to make the scoreline more comfortable but the crossbar denied him at the end of another slick attack.
Worksop: Kennedy 7, Hodder 6, Fenton 7, Wesley 5 (Jordan 60), Henshaw 7 (Johnson 45), Adams 7, Husbands 5, Waddle 5, Somes 6 (Fereday 90), Scott 7, WOOLLEY 7. Not used: Loftus, Hawkins, Parkin, Graves.
Hallam: Darwent, Flynn, Pemberton, Greaves (Phillips 56), Roebuck, Whittaker, Ord (Brammer 60), Reed, Blythen, Currie, Hargreaves (Bates 82). Not used: Brammer, Chapell, Hindley, Will.
Referee: Mr J. Hall. Assistants: Peter Henger, Ryan Henger.
Goalscorers: Woolley 47, 52, Jordan 76, Scott 80; Hargreaves 36, Reed 65
Yellows: Husbands 74