Worksop Town began the year in bitterly disappointing fashion, as poor finishing cost them in a 1-0 defeat at Garforth Town.
The visitors were dominant throughout, but either failed to create from their possession, or spurned the chance when they did – whereas the hosts scored from their first real opportunity late on.
It was a strange performance from Worksop, who kept the ball for the majority of both halves, but did little with it before the break, and although they looked dangerous in the second half they also appeared sluggish.
Tigers forged a good early chance, Conor Higginson’s lovely through ball giving Tom Elliott a run through on goal, the midfielder couldn’t keep his feet however.
Garforth must have felt like asking for another ball to play with, unable to get hold of it at all in the first 15 minutes.
Rupere Tawanda’s rash tackle on the maurauding Jake Scott incensed the visitors, and the yellow card came out.
There was little in the way of real entertainment as the half progressed, a compact Garforth doing a solid defensive job
Mitch Husbands summed up his first half frustration when he won a free-kick on the right and booted the ball away - receiving a yellow.
When Higginson picked the pocket of centre-half Ashley Preece he slid the ball into the middle where Husbands arrived, and only compounded his unhappiness with a shot that blazed off target.
The half-time interval brought an end to Jono Wafula’s afternoon, left-back Connor Smythe taking his place and allowing Alex Pursehouse to move to right-back.
Tigers started well, Higginson getting the chance to run at the defence and shoot a deflection taking it wide.
Jon Stewart’s quick clearance resulted in another chance for Higginson, who left the defence for dead but opted to pass inside instead of shoot, and Garforth cleared.
Home keeper Ben Hunter kept the scores level when Jack Hawkins linked up with Husbands before Higginson had a shot that was well saved.
To complete a quartet of opportunities for Higginson, he touched the ball away from his marker and curled a shot that Hunter saved again.
It was one way traffic, and Pursehouse almost opened the scoring with the game’s best bit of play, slaloming between two players to get into the box and poking the ball just past the far post.
Replacement Kyle Jordan was only on the pitch a minute when he unleashed a drive that cleared the bar.
With 10 Garforth men behind the ball Worksop kept coming, Pursehouse playing a one-two with Higginson and bringing a save from Hunter.
Then disaster struck, as Stewart and Scott faltered, the keeper’s clearance was blocked by Tim Robertson and the ball looped back towards goal, the Garforth man going through to score.
Garforth almost contrived to give away a leveller in the same manner as a weak back pass was almost snatched by Chris Whincop, but the keeper challenged him and the ball went over.
Tigers threw the ball forward at every opportunity but just couldn’t force an equaliser, Whincop blasting wide with the final half chance after a scramble in the box.
The home side should have doubled their lead in stoppage time, but when Robertson went round Stewart and only had to find the empty net, he managed to hit the ball at Scott.
The result drops Tigers from second to fourth in the table, losing ground to leaders Tadcaster who drew, and Staveley and Shaw Lane who both won.
Garforth: Ben Hunter, Jack McCarthy, Tim Robertson, Liam Smith, Ashley Preece, Craig Tonkinson, Rupere Tawanda, Spencer Lund (Chris Simkins 70), Jay Davis (Laight 87), Luke Mangham, Sinmi Oyebanji (Sam Jones 70). Subs: Max Newbould.
Worksop: Stewart 6, Wafula 6 (Smythe 46 6), Pursehouse 6, Elliott 5 (Jordan 70),Scott 6, BURGIN 6, Sellars 5, Hawkins 6, Husbands 5, Higginson 5 (Whincop 76), Waddle 5. Subs: Lannaman, Whincop, Shillito.
Referee: Mark Dwyer. Assistants: Jason Collinson, Allanm Clearie.
Goalscorers: Robertson 76
Yellows: Tawanda 24, Lund 50, Mangham 66; Husbands 42, Sellars 64