Worksop Town soared to the top of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division after more late drama helped them make it three wins from the first three matches of the season.
Their second 3-2 victory in a few days came after Matty Thompson hit an 87th-minute winner to send the fans home happy at Sandy Lane.
This time Athersley were the victims as never-say-die Tigers battled right to the end.
Jake Currie put the hosts ahead on 42 minutes before a suspected dislocated shoulder saw the talisman carried off in the second half.
Athersley soon equalised but the Tigers changed to a 4-4-2 and substitute Liam Greenfield put Worksop back in front in the 81st minute.
The visitors levelled for a second time before Thompson’s late winner.
Manager Ryan Hindley admitted his side were below par and started slowly in windy conditions, which made for a tricky game.
He said: “Three points and that’s it, for me.
“There were difficult conditions against a side who park the bus, so we needed to find a way round it and we did.
“We were comfortable, but we got sloppy and dropped our standards.
“Luckily, we have got out of it because we have been working on our fitness.
“I think our fitness has got us the three points.”
Hindley changed to a 4-4-2 system midway through the second half and brought on wingers Liam Greenfield and Micah Bishop.
The change worked and the manager added: “I didn’t see us getting in behind and I wanted to inject some pace in to the game.
“I thought we were overplaying at times and the change made us look better going forward.
“The main thing though was the three points.”
Worksop had a golden opportunity to take lead in the fifth minute from a corner that was well delivered into the Athersley box by skipper Steve Woolley, but centre back Jed Phillips’ powerful header hit the bar and went over.
Mark Simpson created the breakthrough for Currie who was through on goal and tucked his finish past the keeper for his third goal of the campaign.
Substitute set up Greenfield to score from a tight angle to put Worksop back in front with nine minutes to go.
The late winner came after Kyle Jordan’s scuffed shot fell into the path of Matty Thompson to poke home.