It proved to be a frustrating afternoon for Worksop Town on Saturday as visitors Northwich Victoria left Sandy Lane with all three points from a game the Tigers deserved something from.
Northwich’s 1-0 victory made it five home defeats in a row for Tigers.
Following the midweek goalless draw at Rushall manager Simon Clark retained a 4-3-3 formation but with skipper James Cotterill injured, Chris Wood had to move to centre back and Owain Warlow came in at full-back.
Another change saw Lee Beeson in for Massiah McDonald.
The hosts started well with Beeson’s cross cut out by keeper Ben Hinchcliffe and Jamie Jackson was denied by the keeper in the opening three minutes.
A couple of raids by the visitors were easily dealt with by the Tigers defence and the home side were playing some neat football but with little threat.
The only yellow card of the game came on 19 minutes as a cynical tackle from Ian Kearney out on the right stopped Jackson’s run on goal.
From the free-kick Mark Hudson found Wood but his header went over the bar when he should have done better.
A poor pass from Beeson on the half hour mark let Wayne Riley in but keeper Jon Worsnop was alert and came out of his box to make an excellent tackle and clearance.
Luke Shiels had a header cleared from a Hudson corner, Craig King saw his chip clear the bar and Jackson also shot over from 18 yards.
On 41 minutes Luke Sharry found space in the box but his shot curled the wrong side of the far post.
The winner came a minute later as David Fitzpatrick floated in a free-kick, the Tigers defence cleared straight to Ryan Wade and his first time volley found the bottom corner.
This was the visitors’ first effort on target.
Before the interval Tigers laid siege on the Vics goal but some fortunate defending saw it come to nothing.
Eight minutes into the second half another Hudson corner was met by the head of Shiels and this time he was denied by Tom Fields’ goalline clearance.
The best chance for Tigers came on the hour, a superb move down the right involving Sharry and substitute McDonald ended with Hudson racing in at the back post but Hinchcliffe made a remarkable save to keep his team in front.
King shot straight at the keeper, Warlow had a shot blocked and another replacement Ashley Burbeary went close before a rare break from the visitors saw Matt Young make an excellent last ditch tackle to stop Riley.
Despite being on top the Tigers were not finding the final ball and when they did the finishing was poor.
That was highlighted as King again shot weakly at Hinchcliffe and McDonald fired wide following good play from Burbeary.
On 79 minutes the visitors had their second and final effort on goal.
Substitute Mike Clarke got in on the right but Worsnop came out and made an excellent save.
Tigers tried hard for the equaliser in the dying minutes but again Hinchcliffe denied them saving Wood’s effort at the near post.
While Worksop can take heart from this performance, no goals in the last three games tells its own story.
Worksop: Worsnop 8, Young 6, Warlow 7, Melton 6 (Burbeary 68), Shiels 8, WOOD 8, Beeson 6, Hudson 7 (Colton 78), Jackson 6 (McDonald 58), Sharry 8, King 7. Subs not used. Taylor, Nightingale.
Northwich: Hinchcliffe, Disney, Fitzpatrick, Smyth, Kearney, Fields, Riley, Roddy, Evans (Clarke 71), Wade, Woolfe (Abbott 75). Subs not used. Short, Ennis, Armstrong.
Referee: Mr J. Thornhill. Assistants: Mr C. Marshall and Mr A. Smith.
Yellow Cards: Kearney 19 mins.