TIGERS’ final home game of the season was a bit of a damp squib.
Fellow strugglers Stocksbridge Park Steels left Sandy Lane with a point, after holding out for half an hour with 10 men to secure a 1-1 draw.
It was undoubtedly the last time some of the current Worksop Town squad will run out at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium, as manager Simon Clark is likely to make sweeping changes in the summer.
One player who has done his chances of remaining a Tiger no harm is Matt Young, and the midfielder got Saturday’s game off to a bright start, winning the ball in the opening seconds and after an exchange of passes, firing off a shot that was blocked by a defender.
An inviting low ball through for Steels’ forward Scott Hogan saw James Cotterill struggling and the Tigers skipper had to foul his man just outside the box, earning a yellow.
Rory Coleman lined up the resulting free-kick and sent it over the bar – it was a warning shot that stopper Sean Cuff failed to heed.
Former Gainsborough man wasn’t to be denied a second time on 13 minutes when a foul by Ryan Clarke gave him another free-kick in the same position and he sent it over Cuff’s head and into the net.
The young stopper looked disappointed with the goal, which went in straight over his head, putting his positioning in question – just like at Stocksbridge when Coleman scored direct from a free-kick.
And it nearly got worse for Cuff 10 minutes later, as he hesitated to come out and gather forcing Luke Shiels to clear for a corner which Chris Turner swung onto the bar.
The first half was a miserable affair, both sides struggling to provide anything in the way of entertaining football.
It wasn’t until seven minutes before the break that Tigers fashioned a real chance, Owain Warlow crossing and Jackson nodding goalwards off his marker – but Ben Scott got up well to tip over his bar.
With sleet teeming down Lee Beeson set off on a run up the wing, playing in McDonald who in turn set up Young but the midfielder’s first time shot was saved by Scott.
The ball came back out to Clarke and his half volley was tame.
It was no longer raining as the sides came out for the second half and Tigers showed signs of improvement, McDonald getting into a decent position in the box before slipping and Jackson’s header deflecting just wide off a defender.
McDonald got away with kicking out at his marker after being pulled back on the right by Anthony Tansley, the referee awarding Worksop a free-kick that they subsequently wasted.
But on the hour mark they were level.
A quick free-kick saw Warlow receive the ball wide on the left, his cross allowed Jackson to head at goal and although Scott made a brilliant save, Shiels was there to nod in the rebound.
Things got even better for Worksop less than a minute later, Hogan – who was pushing his luck with the referee – went into the back of Warlow and received his second yellow card along with his marching orders.
Beeson’s low cross found Clarke in the box but his shot didn’t curl away from Scott enough and the keeper saved.
With space opening up Warlow was able to drive all the way into the box and drink a cross that was nodded towards Burbeary who couldn’t quite get on the ball.
The introduction of Craig King for the lacklustre Burbeary provided an instant spark, the Scot haring into the box and sliding the ball to Jackson who saw his poked effort blocked.
King then pulled the ball back for McDonald and Steels threw bodies in the way again to secure a point and frustrate Tigers.
Worksop: Cuff 5, Wood 5, Warlow 6, Clarke 6, SHIELS 7, Cotterill 6, Beeson 4, Young 6, McDonald 5, Jackson 5, Burbeary 5 (King 77). Not used: Taylor, Lowder, Nightingale, Sweetnam.
Stocksbridge: Scott, Tansley, Whitehouse, Haigh, Weston, Callery (McGivern 63), Stirrup (Harrison 90+2), Turner, Muldoon, Hogan, Coleman. Not used: Davies, Collinge.
Referee: A. Clayton. Assistants: N. Freelove, P. Darby.
Goalscorers: Shiels 61; Coleman 13.
Yellows: Cotterill 8, Warlow 75; Hogan 39, 61, Coleman 90.
Reds: Hogan 61.