A Tom Denton hat-trick wasn’t enough to save Tigers from a 5-3 defeat at Athersley Rec in the third round of the Sheffield Senior Cup.
Defeat means Worksop now have only the League Cup to look forward to, in terms of knockout competitions this season.
Mark Shaw rang the changes as only four players who started in the win over Barwell played against Athersley and one of them, Shane Clarke, played out of position.
It was a perfect opportunity for the fringe players to show what they are capable of, a chance they failed to take in an error strewn performance.
The Tigers got off to the ideal start, taking the lead on four minutes when Denton headed home Jordan Lemon’s cross.
Athersley nearly hit back immediately seeing an effort cleared off the line for a corner.
It was the home side that continued to press, helped by Tigers’ inability to retain possession, with the impressive Joe Thornton firing over.
Kieran Scargill was next to go close for the Penguins, shooting just wide following a good driving run, before Thornton saw a shot from distance go inches wide with Ben Gathercole beaten.
Minutes later Athersley went even closer.
Lee Bennett set up Thornton who saw his shot blocked by Gathercole, the rebound falling to Bennett whose effort was cleared off the line by Lemon.
The pressure eventually told when Chris Salt brought down Thornton in the penalty area following a good run by the striker.
Thomas Harban confidently despatched the resulting penalty.
Denton had a good opportunity to restore the lead for Tigers, heading wide Jack Barnett’s corner.
However, on 34 minutes it was the home side who took the lead when a long ball down the middle was not dealt with by the Tigers defence allowing Thornton to fire home.
Things were to get worse for Worksop nine minutes later as the Penguins doubled their lead.
A poor clearance fell to Bennett who saw his shot saved by Gathercole only for Thornton to shoot home the rebound.
Tigers pulled a goal back six minutes into the second half, Denton heading home Shaq McKenzie’s cross at the back post.
As Worksop looked for an equaliser Lemon saw his shot saved by Darren Shirt, the rebound falling to Jack Barnett who delayed too long, eventually seeing his shot blocked.
On 61 minutes the home side regained their two goal lead as Tigers failed to defend a set piece, Ryan Blackburn heading home Thornton’s free-kick at the back post.
Shortly afterwards the dangerous Thornton nearly completed his hat-trick when his effort from the edge of the penalty area hit the inside of the post.
Substitute Tom Mullen headed wide from a Barnett free-kick as Worksop looked for a way to get back into the game.
However, with the game entering the 90th minute Ellis Wall gave the ball away to Adam White who struck a superb shot into the top corner from 25 yards, giving Gathercole no chance and sending the Evo-Stik Premier side out of the competition.
With the game in added time, Denton headed home Barnett’s corner to complete his hat-trick, but it was scant consolation as the game ended 5-3 in favour of Athersley Recreation.