Home discomfort once again for Worksop side

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Tigers’ stellar away form failed to translate to success at Sandy Lane on Saturday, in disappointing fashion.

The 3-2 defeat by strugglers Witton Albion came thanks to two preventable goals and a wonderstrike.

Worksop compounded their dismay by missing a number of chances, including a second half penalty.

Coming into the game on the back of four straight victories on their travels, Tigers looked intent on showing their home fans what they’re capable of.

With their by now customary quick start, they should have gone 1-0 up inside a minute.

Conor Higginson slipped Tom Denton into the box, but keeper Matthew Cooper palmed his shot away for a corner.

Another nice move before the three minute mark saw Denton’s header release Shane Clarke and he ballooned his effort well over.

Jordan Lemon’s inviting high cross from the right was only ever going to be won by Denton, and although he got his header on target, Cooper was there again.

Witton’s first chance arrived in the 20th minute, and it was a good one, the ball falling to Curtis Joseph six yards out and he dragged his shot wide.

Seconds earlier Witton were screaming for a penalty as the ball hit Laurence Gaughan’s arm in the box, the referee waving away the appeals.

Two minutes later the visitors took the lead, as Phil Roe’s poor header in the box went straight to David Walker and he slammed it into the net, first time.

Worksop came so close to an equaliser in the 25th minute, unlocking Albion with a slick move involving Clarke and Jack Muldoon, before Higginson sidefooted onto the post.

And when Denton nodded down Josh Davies’ free-kick to Leon Mettam on the penalty spot, you’d have put your mortgage on a goal, but the captain blasted over.

The equaliser arrived with 10 minutes left in the half, Lemon’s ball knocked down by Denton, allowing Higginson to set his sights from 25 yards and unleash a swerving shot that had Cooper grasping at thin air.

Daniel Andrews had a glorious chance to open the second half with Witton’s second goal, shooting from 12 yards with loads of time but not really testing Hallam.

Two minutes after the break Tigers should have been ahead.

Mettam went down over the challenge of Jonathan Breeze to win a penalty.

But after picking himself up he uncharacteristically went high and smacked the ball against the bar, his first spot-kick miss of the season.

Jonathan Dawson drilled a shot at the Worksop goal from the left hand side, having got in behind the defence, and the hosts watched in relief as it went the wrong side of the post.

A free-kick pumped into the Albion box was headed on by Gaughan and although Denton was there at the back post, he could only head into Cooper’s arms.

On 63 minutes another free-kick brought Worksop level, Roe curling one in from the right for Mettam to glance home, although the ball seemed to creep inside the far post without a touch.

The lead lasted just five minutes however, Lemon beaten to a high ball by Joshua Hancock as Walker stole in to beat Hallam and bag his second.

It was an impressive two-goal debut for the Witton striker, on loan from Rushall Olympic, who met his team-mates for the first time before the game.

Disaster struck for Tigers with 14 minutes remaining, as Albion produced a moment of sheer class.

Hancock took centre stage, shaping to shoot from fully 30 yards in an acre of space, and pinging an absolute beauty of a strike into the top corner, Hallam left with no chance.

Both Higginson and Mettam made way in the final stages as Shaq McKenzie and Reece Twell came on.

The replacements were unable to make an impact on the game however, as Albion kept the hosts out and brought their poor form to an end, inflicting Worksop’s third defeat in three home league games.

Tigers’ inability to perform as well at home as they do away has manifested itself before, with most of last season’s best performances coming on their travels.

And with it comes a worrying trend of falling attendances, as an average of just 236 have watched the last four games at Sandy Lane.

This week they can forget all that, however, with Sheffield Cup and FA Cup action to look forward to.

Worksop Town: Hallam 6, Lemon 6, Roe 6, Davies 6, Salt 6, Gaughan 6, Muldoon 6, CLARKE 7, Mettam 6 (Twell 81), Denton 6, Higginson 7 (McKenzie 78). Subs: Pursehouse, Cottingham, Wall.

Witton Albion: Matthew Cooper, Alistair Brown, Cliff Moyo, Ben Harrison, Marc Joseph, Jonathan Breeze, Jonathan Dawson (Thompson 65), Michael Powell (Hancock 65), David Walker (Wilson 82), Anthony Sheehan, Daniel Andrews. Subs: Matthew Purcell, Harry Ashworth.

Referee: N. McGrath. Assistants: P. Andrews, S. Barrett.

Goalscorers: Higginson 35, Roe 63; Walker 22, 68, Hancock 76.

Attendance: 244.