Tigers let lead slip in 4-3 defeat

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Worksop Town let slip a two goal lead in a crushing 4-3 defeat at the hands of fellow play-off hopefuls Witton Albion.

Tigers looked set for a vital and impressive away win, when 3-1 up with less than half an hour to play.

But poor defending and a poor decision from the referee saw Albion draw level, before a late winner kept all three points at the Help for Heroes Stadium.

It all started so well for Simon Clark’s men, who went a goal up on five minutes as Leon Mettam sprang clear and forced Josh Glover into an error, the Witton man finding his own net from 20 yards.

Albion were behind for just four minutes, Matthew Wood pinging in a low cross that Steve Foster steered home brilliantly with a smart finish – reacting much quicker than the Tigers defence.

Michael Powell’s crude tackle in the middle of the park earned an early yellow for the former Chester player, leaving him to walk a tightrope for the rest of the afternoon.

After an even, but not overly entertaining spell of play, Mettam looked to find space again and a dinked cross found an unmarked Steve Towers, but his header was well off target.

Neither side took full control of the first half hour, and while Worksop probably shaded the possesion, Witton were next to fashion a shot, Josh Hancock’s curler clearing the bar.

But with 10 minutes left in the half, keeper Stuart Plant made a hash of a clearance and gifted Tigers the lead, the ball landing at the feet of Tom Denton inside the box and he controlled and stroked it home for 2-1.

There was a worrying moment for Tigers almost immediately, Hancock running past last man Ryan Clarke, who had a little tug on his jersey, but the referee mercifully only produced a yellow card.

The game swung in Worksop’s favour once more on 39 minutes, a Witton mistake giving Tigers possesion deep in the home half, Towers setting his sights from 25 yards and finding the net with a fierce, low drive.

Albion had a golden chance to reduce the deficit 60 seconds later, Martin Ball fouling Foster in the area and conceding a penalty.

Paul Bastock was Worksop’s hero however, saving Powell’s spot-kick to his left, and beating out Danny Andrew’s rebound shot.

It didn’t seem to be Albion’s afternoon, and as the sides went in at the break Worksop were much the happier side.

Things could have got even better early in the second half, Mettam turning away from the defence to go in on Plant, but he blasted high and wide.

Witton themselves missed a glorious opportunity, cutting Worksop open as Anthony Sheehan crossed to the completely free Hancock, but the winger skied the ball with the goal at his mercy.

Albion replacement Joe Shaw went close with a long range drive, before the hosts brought on top scorer Shaun Tuck and went for three at the back.

It was a defender, however, who pulled them back into the game, Glover getting the lightest of touches on a free-kick that Worksop failed to defend.

Within two minutes it was all square, thanks to a dubious decision.

The referee deemed Towers’ challenge on Andrews a foul in the box, and Albion had a second penalty - this one taken by Hancock who sent Bastock the wrong way for 3-3.

Worksop were further incensed by the man in the middle, when he booked Denton for an innocuous aerial challenge with 17 minutes remaining.

Albion centre-half Ben Harrison went on a stirring run that saw him ghost through a number of challenges before crossing to the back post, but none of his team-mates were there.

With all the momentum in their favour, having come back from 3-1 down, Witton then struck a decisive blow on 83 minutes, Tuck latching onto Sheehan’s through ball to slide a top class finish under Bastock.

Worksop pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but failed to make the most of some promising play and positions, and trudged off the pitch having suffered a big blow to their promotion dreams.

Witton Albion: Plant, Gardner, Wood (Tuck 65), Harrison, Glover, Sheehan, Hancock, James (Shaw 59), Powell, Foster, Andrews. Subs: Horne, Moseley, Cooper.

Worksop Town: Bastock, Clarke, Roe, Nyoni (Young 88), Ball, Miller, King, Towers, Denton, Mettam (Robinson 78) Burbeary. Subs: Telling, Potts, Lindley.

Referee: Chris Isherwood. Assistants: Keiron Jones, James Morgan.

Goalscorers: Foster 9, Glover 66, Hancock 68 (pen), Tuck 83; Glover OG 5, Denton 35, Towers 39

Yellows: Powell 13, Harrison 45, James 56; Clarke 38, Denton 73

Attendance: 408