Worksop Town made the perfect start to the new season as second half goals from Tom Denton and Jack Muldoon secured a 2-0 win over FC United of Manchester
This new, young Tigers team showed their battling qualities and team spirit as they secured the points against one of the promotion favourites.
After a quiet start FCUM had the first real effort of the game on 10 minutes when Matthew Wolfenden saw his shot from 25 yards pushed round the post for a corner by Ben Hallam.
Worksop’s first chance fell to Leon Mettam who headed over Alex Pursehouse’s cross.
However, it was the visitors who continued to have majority of the possession. Greg Daniels cut in from the right before seeing his shot from the edge of the area comfortably saved by Hallam.
As the Reds continued to press, Dean Stott shot just over from distance. The Tigers immediately broke to the other end but Conor Higginson saw his shot hit his own team mate, Muldoon.
Ollie Banks was next to go close for FCUM as he beat Shane Clarke before seeing his shot from outside the area saved by Hallam.
On 29 minutes the Tigers had their best chance of the half. Phil Roe’s long throw was flicked on by Denton to Muldoon who saw his goal bound shot blocked at close range by Wolfenden.
Good work by Banks set up Liam Brownhill whose dangerous cross was well intercepted by Chris Salt, one of many excellent interceptions the 18 year old made during the match.
Just before half time the visitors had their best chance of the half as they attacked down the left through Lee Neville who set up Stott but Hallam produced a fine save to deny him from close range.
FCUM started the second half brightly as Banks put Greg Daniels clean through on goal, only to see the flag raised for offside. Then Chris Worsley headed Brownhill’s cross just wide.
At the other end the visitors defence failed to deal with a Josh Davies free kick, the ball eventually falling to Muldoon who shot just wide.
Roe received the first booking of the game on 58 minutes for a foul on Banks. Minutes later both Clarke and Banks received a booking after Banks reacted to Clarke’s foul on him.
The Tigers survived a scare when Charlie Raglan’s miss-hit shot fell to Banks who scuffed his effort wide of the post from close range.
With 20 minutes remaining Worksop took the lead. A misunderstanding between Jon Worsnop and one of his defenders, after the ‘keeper needlessly came rushing off his line, resulted in the ball falling to Denton who calmly lobbed the ‘keeper and defenders from 30 yards out to make it 1-0.
Five minutes later the Tigers doubled their lead. Davies’ free kick was not dealt with by Worsnop, the ball falling to Mettam whose shot was blocked on the line but Muldoon was on hand to fire home the rebound to score his first competitive goal for the club.
Minutes later Higginson should have made it 3-0 when he was put clean through on goal only to delay his shot too long allowing time for a defender to get back and make a tackle.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes the visitors pressed as they looked to get back into the game.
Banks couldn’t quite get enough on Stott’s through ball. Then Raglan headed over Brownhill’s corner before Tom Greaves volleyed over a Brownhill cross.
Denton was next to go into the referee’s book for grabbing hold of a FCUM player after he appeared to be stamped in the back by one of the Reds.
With the game entering added time the visitors were awarded a penalty when the referee adjudged Shaq McKenzie had brought down Greaves.
Many felt justice was served when Hallam dived to his right to produce a magnificent save to deny Stott from the penalty spot.
After the game a delighted Tigers Manager, Mark Shaw, said “Extremely pleased with the result, performance and to get off to a perfect start.”
“We knew FC United would come and play and they are a very good side. We had a game plan and even though we had to adjust it at half time slightly it was great to come away with the points.”
“Full credit goes to players and the staff for getting things right.”
“Tom Denton’s goal was superb and the celebrations just show how much desire and passion there is in the squad.”
“Jack Muldoon got the second and that was great for him to grab his first of the season.”
“We defended and I have to give some praise to Ben Hallam who made possibly the best save I have ever seen from the penalty.”
“We now have to build on this success. We have to make sure that we create some consistency and continue with the way we are applying ourselves to the games and making sure we are competitive and hard to play against.”
Hallam 8, Pursehouse 7, Roe 8, Davies 7, SALT 8, Gaughan 7, Muldoon 7 (McKenzie 83 mins), Clarke 7, Denton 7, Mettam (c) 7 (Husbands 92 mins), Higginson 7 (Wall, 78 mins)
Unused subs: Barnett, Mullen
Goals: Denton (70), Muldoon (75)
Yellows: Roe (58), Clarke (67), Denton (87)
FC United of Manchester
Worsnop, Brownhill, Neville, Stott (c), Davies, Raglan, Wolfenden (Greaves, 83 mins), Banks, Daniels (Norton, 76 mins), Wright (Walwyn, 76 mins), Worsley
Unused subs: Birch, Mulholland
Yellows: Banks (67)
Referee: Mr M Parker
Assistants: Mr J Knowles & Mr J Macrae
Man of the Match: Chris Salt