Worksop Town were unlucky to come away from Gigg Lane with nothing on Saturday, as FC United picked up a 1-0 win over Andy Lake’s men.
Tigers were denied by former keeper Jon Worsnop, who starred for the Red Rebels and was lucky to stay on the field after a second half incident.
FC United got the game underway with two great chances inside 60 seconds, Matthew Wolfenden bringing a fine save from Paul Bastock, and Adam Jones miscuing his volley from the subsequent corner.
The visitors should have gone ahead on eight minutes when Ryan Clarke’s sublime crossfield ball found Ash Jackson on the left, the youngster controlled and drove into the box but his shot was tame.
Nathan Modest then took advantage of full-back Kyle Jacob’s slip, gained space and fired wide across the goal.
The hosts constructed a great attack down the left that ended in a Jacobs’ cross to the back post, Carlos Roca thumping a header against the post.
Modest’s afternoon came to a premature end as he limped off on 22 minutes to be replaced by Leon Mettam.
Craig King’s trip on Roca on the very edge of the box gave the hosts a chance to test Bastock on 29 minutes and the keeper pulled out a fantastic one handed save to beat out Oliver Banks’ low, curling shot.
A raking ball forward from Jacobs had the Worksop back four struggling, and Tom Greaves got a touch on the ball to prod goalwards, Bastock again equal to it.
When the teams emerged for the second period, Mettam was not among them, the substitute being substituted himself by Under 19 prospect Reece Twell.
The youngster almost made the perfect start, poking the ball goalwards from Denton’s flick on, Worsnop making a smart stop.
Worksop made by far the better start after the break, and a nice move involving Twell and Denton resulted in a Matt Young shot that shaved the post.
For FC United Greg Daniels had an effort from distance, but failed to trouble Bastock.
At the other end, Twell came close again with a beautiful dipping volley from 25 yards, Worsnop doing very well to tip it over his bar.
But, cruelly, with 69 minutes gone, FC United broke upfield, and Matthew Wolfenden sidefooted home brilliantly.
There was a late chance for a Worksop leveller, when the ball broke for Twell and he sprinted clear, only to be clattered by Worsnop - the referee somehow deciding not even to award a free-kick.
Denton then headed a free-kick goalwards from a corner and FC cleared off the line, desperately defending their slender lead and delighting a bumper crowd at full-time.