This top versus bottom match was greeted with teeming downpours of rain before the start and at the end but with an artificial pitch, play was uninterrupted. Worksop were looking for their thirtieth unbeaten match on the run and the prospect of being crowned league champions if Hebburn failed to take all three points at Long Eaton. Tadcaster welcomed new striker Jonny Shepherd on loan from York City in their quest to get off the bottom of the league.
The home match last November resulted in a 4 - 0 win for the Tigers.
Tadcaster’s first foray into the Worksop box occurred in the third minute when Omar Sanyang found Theo Hudson in space but his efforts to make contact left the striker limping – thankfully not a recurrence of the injury that has plagued him in recent weeks.
Worksop gave an early warning to the visitors a minute later when Hutchinson crossed to the far post but Jack Johnson was well placed to defensively head over the bar. However they took the lead on 12 minutes when Hughes (who scored a brace in the home game) connected with Hawkridge’s free kick and looped a header into the corner of the net.1 – 0.
Taddy had a chance to equalise when Scott Smith tested Malkowski after a good move down the left flank but the Worksop keeper was well placed. At the other end Hall was causing problems on the left but his pass into the area was cleared for a corner before Rollins could capitalise.
As the Brewers counter attacked, Luke Sharry dribbled his way forward but was dispossessed before he could put Sanyang through. Josh Mazfari dealt expertly with Hutchinson’s header whilst just before the half hour, Hudson bent his shot to the far corner but again Malkowski was able to push the ball away for a corner.
Hutchinson was well wide with an audacious thirty-five yarder whilst a dangerous cross from Rollins was brilliantly intercepted by Mazfari. Hudson, displaying impressive skill on the artificial surface, went wide on 32 minutes but it was down Mazfari and Dan Hartley to deal with another dangerous Worksop attack on the counter.
Worksop doubled their advantage with ten minutes of the half remaining. Hudson looked to be tripped by Hawkridge but the referee saw nothing untoward and as Worksop attacked, Rollins drilled a low pass into the box, where Hughes was perfectly placed to thump the ball home 2 – 0.
Still Albion looked for a way back and with perhaps their best chance thus far, Noah Wadsworth found Smith unmarked in the area but his header cleared the bar.
Rafa Ferreira was perfectly placed to block a possible third from the Tigers but Tadcaster were fortunate that with the last action of the half, Hawkridge blasted an unstoppable shot from 20 yards but happily the upright came to the rescue.
All things considered the home side deserved their two-goal advantage at the interval.
Smith was bundled to the ground as he fought his way into the box on 53 minutes and was then unlucky when a Wadsworth cross, following a powerful run down the left flank, was too high.
Hutchinson crunched Ferreira on the hour mark and was fortunate to only receive a lecture from the referee. However, he then put a good cross into the six yard box which Redford could not miss from close range. 3 – 0.
On 64 minutes Jonny Shepherd replaced Hudson to lead the attack but it was Worksop who had the next chance when Hughes, looking for a hat trick, attempted an overhead kick but was wide.
Nathan Dyer was on for Johnson with eighteen to go and Des Amponsah for Sanyang on 79 minutes
Good work in the box between Shepherd (looking comfortable up front) and Dyer almost produced some consolation but the ball was toe poked away for a corner. Full marks to Tadcaster, however, who never stopped looking for a goal despite Worksop finding the net on 90 minutes through substitute Kuleya.
With the weather turning very dark as another downpour descended, Taddy pushed forward again and in the third minute of added time Scott Smith finally got the ball into the Tigers net – not the best shot but Malkowski was caught unawares as the ball squirmed underneath him and trickled over the line 4 - 1
With the news that Hebburn has lost, the stadium assumed a carnival atmosphere. Not only had Worksop been promoted in mid-March but the 100 points target was still achievable.
At the other end of the table Carlton Town took all three points at Cleethorpes, Shildon ditto at Lincoln, whilst North Shields held onto a one nil win at home to Sheffield. Grantham, who were relegated at the end of last season, fell into the second from bottom slot. ( we play them away on the 8th April)
Next Saturday we are at home to Stocksbridge Park Steels KO 3.00 pm. They occupy the last play off place as we speak.
Mazfari, Johnson (Dyer) Wadsworth, Sharry, Hartley©️, Beaston, Ferreira, Porritt, Sanyang (Amponsah) Smith, Hudson (Shepherd) Subs Not Used : Love, Bratkowski.
Report and Photos from John Clothier