Home sweet home as Tigers rout Rangers

Worksop Town v Stafford Rangers. Connor Higginson scores the second goal for the Tigers G131016-1b
Worksop Town v Stafford Rangers. Connor Higginson scores the second goal for the Tigers G131016-1b

Worksop Town finally unleashed their famed attacking prowess on a visiting side, and backed it up with a resolute defensive performance.

Wednesday night’s 5-0 beating of Stafford Rangers combined some lovely football in the final third, and a much more controlled performance in their own half .

Worksop Town v Stafford Rangers. Connor Higginson scores the second goal for the Tigers G131016-1a

Worksop Town v Stafford Rangers. Connor Higginson scores the second goal for the Tigers G131016-1a

While boss Mark Shaw will be delighted with the clean sheet, the 196 lucky souls who turned up were thoroughly entertained.

Just 12 seconds had elapsed when Worksop had their first sight of goal, Jack Muldoon bursting onto a bouncing ball and slamming a shot just wide.

Muldoon turned provider in the third minute when he turned his marker on the left touchline to slide a ball through for Tom Denton, but the big man couldn’t meet it.

Jermaine Johnson picked up the first booking for a rash tackle on Leon Mettam, and the little striker was in the thick of it a minute later, taking Conor Higginson’s pass to get space in the area, Jonathan Brain saving with his feet.

Worksop Town v Stafford Rangers. Tom Denton scores the first goal the Tigers G131016-1e

Worksop Town v Stafford Rangers. Tom Denton scores the first goal the Tigers G131016-1e

A deflection seemed to catch Ben Gathercole by surprise, the Tigers keeper diving to his left to ensure James McCarthy’s cross didn’t go in.

A flying kick by Higginson left Edward Toner on the deck, but the referee didn’t produce a card, and the resulting free-kick saw Christian Dacres with the ball at his feet six yards out but Tigers scrambled it away.

A ball over the top had Gathercole caught in no man’s land, and Danny Quinn got free of Laurence Gaughan to poke ball goalwards, Tigers relieved to see it bounce wide.

The game’s opener arrived on 33 minutes, as Higginson darted into the box on the right, looked up and slid it to Denton who slammed the ball past Brain.

Things got even better for the hosts three minutes before the break, as Mettam chested the ball into the path of Higginson, and the midfielder raced into the box, took it past Brain and slotted home.

Stafford captain Darren Bullock was unable to continue after the break, after a blow to the head in the latter stages of the first half, Lucan Spittle replacing him in the back four.

Joseph Guest had a good chance for the visitors as Tigers struggled to clear, his shot hitting a trailing leg and clearing the bar.

And then the points appeared to be secure with Tigers’ third.

Phil Roe came forward, played it to Muldoon and received a flick from the forward before poking it through for Muldoon to curl home a low shot into the bottom corner.

Rangers looked to hit back straight away, McCarthy running clear as Chris Salt hesitated, but Gathercole did well to block with his feet, the follow up shot deflected wide by Gaughan.

And they came just a lick of paint away from a goal when substitute Daniel Cope blasted onto the post from distance.

But the next goal came at the other end, the impressive Higginson taking Denton’s flick on and squaring it across for Mettam to knock it in.

Denton was unlucky not to hit the net for a second time when Mettam danced past the full-back and clipped the ball to the back post, Denton’s header clipping the woodwork.

With two minutes remaining Roe produced a moment of magic to add the fifth, hammering a 30-yard free-kick into the corner of the net, leaving Brain stood motionless.

It was a vintage Worksop performance, one that the fans who travelled to Solihull in such numbers on Saturday deserved to see.