Two sent off as Elliott stars in Worksop Town win over Athersley Recreation that sends them top

Clipstone v Worksop Town in the NCEL Premier League. Clipstone player Adam Somes and Worksop player Thomas Elliott.
Clipstone v Worksop Town in the NCEL Premier League. Clipstone player Adam Somes and Worksop player Thomas Elliott.

Tom Elliott played a starring role in an ill tempered match that saw Worksop Town rout Athersley Recreation 4-0 to go top of the NCEL Premier.

Athersley had their captain sent off for a moment of petulance, while Tigers substitute Andy Ofosu also had an early bath.

It was a comfortable win for Mark Shaw’s men, in their first game of 2016, with a number of impressive performances.

Elliott was the star however, both in and out of possession, with at least one scout from a higher league club watching on.

Worksop threatened their visitors from the off, Mitch Husbands picking up a loose ball and striding into the box, shooting wide, before Kyle Jordan had a blast from distance, keeper Neal May tipping it round the post for a corner.

That corner brought embarrassment for May, and the opening goal, as he spilled Conor Higginson’s ball into the middle, allowing Ross Henshaw to tap home.

At the other end Worksop almost conspired to give away a silly goal, Jon Kennedy’s pass almost cut out in the box by Joe Thornton, Jordan Hodder happy to concede just a corner with a recovering tackle.

In an action packed opening, Jordan got the wrong side of his marker and was denied by the onrushing May, Husbands’ header cleared by a defender

The game fizzled out for a period, neither side able to create a great deal, possession fairly even.

It was Worksop who broke the lull, playing some nice football in the build up before the ball was slipped to Husbands in a great position, but he slipped at the crucial moment.

A minute later it was 2-0, Elliott bursting through the middle and finding Jordan who turned a man and looked set to shoot, before Higginson came steaming in with a fine sidefoot finish.

With their tails up, Tigers looked dangerous every time they attacked - Hodder flying down the right and causing problems, Elliott taking the game to Athersley through the middle.

One of the midfielder’s forays saw him feed Jordan and he curled a beautiful shot just wide.

Athersley’s Martyn Scully showed his frustration with a cynical kick out at James Cottingham, who had gone past him with ease, and the referee produced his yellow card.

The half-time whistle will have been a relief for the men in white and black, but Tigers wanted to keep playing, such was their dominance.

And it continued after the break, Jordan going on a mazy run that ended in a shot straight at May, then he was played in by Husbands and drove the ball across goal and wide.

Higginson limped out of the game on 53 minutes to be replaced by Adam Ward and the substitute almost made an instant impact, taking Jordan’s delightful through ball and shooting early, just past the post.

At the other end Jon Kennedy had his first save to make, getting down smartly to palm away Adam Podmore’s effort.

May kept his side in it with a fingertip save, pushing Jordan’s deft chip over the top after the striker had teased a shot repeatedly.

Athersley were let down badly by their captain midway through the second half, when he received his marching orders for needlessly blasting the ball at the Tigers bench during a break in play.

The incident sparked a coming together of the two sides, and Worksop sub Julian Lawrence was yellow carded for reacting to White’s actions.

It should have been dead and buried as a contest when Ward squared the ball across the face of goal, but a pair of Tigers failed to get a touch on it.

But with 20 minutes remaining Elliott attacked again and the ball broke to Jordan who stroked the ball past a beleagured May from 15 yards for a three-goal lead.

Elliott made way for Andy Ofosu immediately after the goal, Mark Shaw perhaps protecting the youngster in the face of a physical opposition and with at least one scout looking on.

The two substitutes combined for what should have been the fourth, Ward playing Ofosu in on goal, but he shot wide with May haring out to challenge.

Ofosu’s pace took him past two desperate challenges into the box, where Declan Welford tripped him to concede a penalty, May tangling with the striker who was trying to grab the ball.

Once the referee had calmed the situation he booked both May and Ofosu, and then allowed Jordan to take the spot-kick, and he made no mistake, sending the keeper the wrong way.

In the dying moments Ofosu blotted his copybook by kicking the ball away from May after a whistle, earning a second yellow and the second red of the match.

Worksop: Kennedy 7, Hodder 8, Waddle 6, Cottingham 7, Hadfield 8, Henshaw 8, Higginson 7 (Ward 53) Harrison 7, Husbands 8, Jordan 8 (Booth 84), ELLIOTT 9 (Ofosu 72). Not used: Lawrence, Woolley.

Athersley: May, Scully, A. White, Hodgson, Copping (Welford 63), R. White, Shilitto (Brettoner 61), Cawley, Thornton (Pleasants 72), Podmore, Briscoe. Not used: Owen, Almond.

Referee: Mr S. Meredith. Assistants: Mr M. McGill, Mr A. Giles.

Goalscorers: Henshaw 2, Higginson 25, Jordan 70, 83

Yellows: Ofosu 81, 87; Scully 33, May 81

Red: Ofosu 87; R. White 63

Attendance: 380.