WORKSOP Town came agonisingly close to getting three points at the home of their bogey side Matlock Town today.
Tigers had to settle for a share of the spoils after the 1-1 draw at Causeway Lane, as a stoppage time header denied them the victory.
Many in the vociferous away support would have taken a point before the game, as Worksop have struggled in Matlock over the past few seasons.
But at full-time the disappointment was evident on the faces of Simon Clark’s men, despite going 10 games unbeaten.
The hosts settled into their stride quickly, and fashioned the first chance. Tyeisse Nightingale got the better of Luke Shiels and sent the ball into the box where Ian Holmes met it, only to slice wide.
At the other end Mark Hudson tested Kennedy with a speculative long range effort which the keeper was equal to.
Massiah McDonald, employed in an unfamiliar left wing position, outmuscled former Tiger Chris Bettney, whipped in a cross and neither Allott nor Ash Burbeary could get a shot off.
The first quarter of an hour contained little in the way of clear cut chances, but Tigers finally put together a slick passage of play and Burbeary’s cross was met at the front post by Allott who headed wide.
McDonald went past Bettney with ease to get into the box again and this time he pulled his shot badly.
The Tigers youngster fouled his man on the half hour mark and Bettney dusted himself down to whip in a dangerous free-kick, Jon Worsnop spilled and his defence had to recover the situation.
Nightingale left Shiels for dead with an incisive run in behind, and Worsnop had to be sharp to come out and gather at the striker’s feet.
The Matlock dangerman looked to be through on goal after Worksop played for offside, the flag went up but came down again, and Roberts had to get a vital touch.
Right at the end of the half, against the run of play, Worksop should have gone ahead.
Burbeary made his marker look silly on the right, slid a perfect ball across the area for Allott and the new man kicked the ball against his standing foot, missing the chance entirely.
After the break Owain Warlow looked to push forward and took the ball deep into the Matlock half before shooting hopelessly wide.
Bettney’s deliveries caused trouble for Worsnop again, as a curling cross was headed past the keeper by Nightingale, and he will have been relieved to see it drift past his far post.
Hudson failed to clear the ball outside the area, instead just controlling the ball for Steve Warne to have a blast - forcing a great save from Worsnop.
Ten minutes into the half a mistake in the home defence allowed Burbeary to shoot from 16 yards and although Kennedy saved with his legs, Jackson was there to hammer the rebound into the far corner and open the scoring.
The former Matlock striker took obvious delight at scoring in front of fans who still haven’t forgiven him for the acrimonious manner of his departure from Causeway Lane.
As the game opened up McDonald got on the ball for the first time in the half and almost found Burbeary in the area, before Matlock broke and Nightingale curled the ball well over the bar.
Worsnop was off his line quickly to dive bravely at the feet of Nightingale and gather, when he looked unlikely to get there.
Goalscorer Jackson departed on 68 minutes to be replaced by Sam Duncum.
Roberts’ long throw from the right was missed at the near post by Matlock and Burbeary strained to reach the ball but just couldn’t get a touch.
Substitute Duncum could have made the points safe when McDonald raced clear and sent the winger in on goal, only a diving save from Kennedy denying Tigers a second.
Midfield man Matt Young came on for Burbeary in the final 10 minutes to try and shore things up.
Matlock were pressing desperately for an equaliser which left lots of space for Warlow to break through the middle and set himself for a shot that was blocked.
The ball reached McDonald and his effort was also blocked.
Deep stoppage time Tigers appeared to be in control with the ball in the corner, but Hudson elected to have a pop at goal and gifted the ball back to the hosts.
A minute later the midfielder conceded a corner, Bettney swung it in and Harcourt got up to head into the top corner, despite a despairing dive from Worsnop, to snatch a point and leave Worksop gutted.
Matlock Town: Kennedy, Harcourt, Radford, King, Yates, Lukic, Bettney, Warne (Davies 70), Holmes, Nightingale, Algar. Not used: Bowler, Witcombe, Hunter, Buxton.
Worksop Town: Worsnop 7, Jacklin 7, Warlow 7, Sharry 6, Shiels 6, ROBERTS 8, Burbeary 7 (Young 82), Hudson 6, Allott 6, Jackson 7 (Duncum 68), McDonald 7. Not used: Wood, Cotterill, Zolna.
Referee: M. Dexter. Assistants: R. Goddard, A. Howson.
Goalscorers: Jackson 55; Harcourt 90+3.
Yellows: Harcourt 70, Shiels 35, Jacklin 72.
Man of the Match: Marc Roberts.