WORKSOP Town’s best performance of the season was rewarded with a stunning 4-0 victory over previously unbeaten Hednesford Town.
A good number of Tigers fans made the Tuesday night trip, braving the cold, and come full time they were celebrating wildly, along with the players and management.
Two goals from Lee Beeson, Tom Denton’s second in two games and a serious contender for goal of the season from Matt Young put the hosts to the sword.
From one to 11 Tigers worked themselves into the ground, defended stoutly, kept their shape and organisation and attacked with menace on the break.
For the first time this season they cut out the silly mistakes at the back, showed intelligent movement up top and three points were richly deserved.
Hednesford actually started brighter, the ever dangerous Neil Harvey bringing a smart save from Paul Bastock inside the first 30 seconds.
That was the first and last time the Barbados international threatened during the 90 minutes however.
Tigers struggled to hold onto the ball in midfield, and didn’t get to the second ball too many times, Hednesford almost capitalising through Alex Melbourne’s swerving drive that Bastock palmed away.
Simon Clark’s side got themselves together however and had a decent spell of possession, Craig King failing to test Dan Crane after the keeper cleared straight to the Tigers winger, and Beeson shot tamely from 16 yards.
A corner all the way to the back post found Steve Towers and he hammered a half volley just over the bar.
Young lost out in a midfield battle and the tricky Elliott Durrell broke for the home side, putting his shot wide from distance.
Leon Mettam felt the wrath of his management team for carelessly straying offside and foiling a promising break by Ryan Clarke, but he made amends on 39 minutes.
The little striker moved into a clever position in the box, took control and went past Francino Francis who put an arm out, and a penalty was given.
Beeson lined up the spot-kick and made no mistake, finding the botom left hand corner for a 1-0 half-time lead.
As the sides trooped off, thoughts of victory were still a long way off, even in the minds of the most diehard Tigers supporters – but a ruthless second half display meant the result was never in doubt.
A deep cross from Clarke early on reached the head of Denton, but Francis got in the way, and the resulting corner found Towers who dallied on the ball and the chance was gone.
At the other end Dave Macpherson ran through the middle to get to the box, where Kern Miller was waiting with a timely block.
Just before the hour mark Tigers unlocked their hosts on the left, King did brilliantly to beat two and deliver a cross that went all the way to the back post, Beeson meeting it and slamming it into the net for his and Tigers’ second.
Two corners in quick succession caused problems for Hednesford, and it was nearly 3-0 when King’s hopeful shot cannoned off a defender and Crane had to make an instinctive save.
A foul by Chris Wood halted a promising home attack, but the yellow was instead shown to Melbourne for dissent.
And the Hednesford frustration increased with 20 minutes remaning when Clarke sent Young sprinting down the right, he drove to the box and pulled it back for Denton to sidefoot home with a fine finish.
Such was the dominance of the Worksop back line that Hednesford only had one more chance in the final quarter of an hour.
Towers gave away a free-kick and earned yellow for a foul on Durrell, and when the set-piece came in all it needed was a touch from Francis, but the defender couldn’t get contact and the ball skipped out of play.
Denton and Mettam, both having put in great shifts, trudged off to be replaced by L’Heureux Menga and debutant Nathan Modest, and the replacements kept up the pressure on the home side’s creaking defence.
As the game just entered injury time, Worksop produced the best move of the game, and a goal that would light up any stadium.
One touch passing and bright movement pulled Hednesford all over the place, Towers, King and Modest all involved before Young sprinted into the box and curled home a wonderful effort in off the far post.
It was the perfect exclamation mark on quite simply the best away performance Tigers fans have seen for years.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion, Bailey, Francis, McPherson (Watkis 71), Melbourne (Rey 59), Durrell, Harvey, Lennon (Lennon 77), Woolfe. Not used: Rey, Barnes, O’Connor, Taylor.
Worksop Town: Bastock, Clarke, Wood, Young, Ludlam, Miller, Beeson (Warlow 89), Towers, Denton (Menga 78), Mettam (Modest 81), King. Not used: Hawes, McDonald.
Referee: C. Husband.
Assistants: M. Foden, J. Price.
Yellows: Melbourne 59; Miller 24; Towers 73.
Goalscorers: Beeson 39 (pen), 59, Denton 69, Young 90.