Worksop and Cleethorpes Town played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Sandy Lane on Wednesday night in a match that ended in dramatic fashion.
Cleethorpes’ players were still celebrating what looked likely to be a 90th minute winner from Peter Winn when Tigers spotted the chance to restart the game while most of their opponents were congratulating each other by the touchline and, crucially, all in their own half of the pitch.
Sub Adam Somes burst forward and when his shot was pushed away, fellow substitute Mark Fereday arrived to smash home the rebound and secure a point that was the minimum the hosts deserved from the encounter.
What preceded that was an entertaining game which Tigers might well have won had they been a little less wasteful in the final third at times, but ultimately a draw against another side tipped to be among the frontrunners for promotion won’t have been sniffed at by boss Mark Shaw and his players.
The match began in pulsating fashion, Steve Woolley and Kyle Jordan both going close for the hosts and Marc Cooper inches away from a Jon Oglesby cross at the other end.
The opening goal eventually arrived on 11 minutes. The visitors broke well down the right and Cooper’s deep cross was headed back across goal by Oglesby and Andy Taylor arrived to slam home on the volley from a couple of yards out.
Cleethorpes tried to build on their opener but the game then fell into something of a lull until Connor Johnson nearly had Tigers level on 26 minutes when his low shot following a corner was diverted away from goal close to the far post, Woolley shooting just wide moments later after cutting in from the right.
The equaliser eventually arrived on the half-hour mark and in some style. Adam Scott picked the ball up some 35 yards from goal and after taking a few steps forward produced a stunning strike that left keeper Liam Higton with no chance .
Having seen Scott do that, Jordan then fancied a go at something similar two minutes later, this time Higton able to claw a curling long distance effort away from goal.
Cleethorpes then went back in front five minutes before the break and it was another fine strike. Cooper was given too much space to turn 25 yards out and fired low past Jon Kennedy and into the corner of the net.
Kennedy nearly gifted Cleethorpes a third when initially losing possession inside his own box and then fumbling a Mascall cross, but the visitors couldn’t capitalise and an entertaining half came to a close with the hosts behind in the possession stakes but crucially holding a 2-1 lead.
Jordan Hodder’s early second-half effort saw Higton fumble but just about gather as Tigers emerged determined to gain parity once again, although some poor defence from the hosts nearly allowed a third Cleethorpes goal but Kennedy gathered a Cooper flick.
A fine save from Higton denied Jordan’s towering header from point blank range while for the visitors, Oglesby set up Cooper who fired just wide.
Sub Brodie Robertson forced Kennedy into a save low down, the keeper then making an even better save from the same player two minutes later.
The equaliser finally came on 71 minutes and it was Scott again with the goal. A free-kick from deep was poorly cleared by Cleethorpes and Scott fired home with the outside of his right foot from about 15 yards out.
Scott, Tigers’ best player by far, then set up Woolley who shot just wide from distance with eight minutes to go.
Then came the late drama that left Cleethorpes fuming after seeing their lead once again wiped out, the visitors complaining to the officials presumably because they felt they hadn’t been ready to re-start the game.
That mattered little given they were all in their own half, and Tigers had for the third time equalised to salvage what ultimately was a fair point.
Worksop: 1 Jon Kennedy, 2 Jordan Hodder, 3 Connor Johnson (Adam Somes 87), 4 Alex Nightingale, 5 Richard Adams, 6 Kieran Fenton, 7 Steve Woolley, 8 Jack Waddle, 9 Mitch Husbands, 10 Adam Scott, 11 Kyle Jordan (Mark Fereday 84)
Callum Harrison, Jack Hawkins, Scott Wedley
Cleethorpes: 1 Liam Higton, 2 Tim Lowe, 3 Peter Winn, 4 Liam Dickens, 5 Matt Bloomer, 6 Matty Coleman, 7 Luke Mascall (Brodie Robertson 65), 8 Alex Flett, 9 Marc Cooper, 10 Andy Taylor, 11 Jon Oglesby (Jack Richardson 65)
Subs not used: Lawrence Mackay, Kieran Wressell, Peter Bore
Ref: Mr P Buck