It was a tale of missed opportunities at Canon Park as a frustrated Worksop side played out a 2-2 draw with Retford in the Bassetlaw Derby.
Tigers scored deserved goals through Kyle Jordan and Steve Woolley, but wasteful Tigers finishing gave a dogged Retford side the chance to equalise twice against the run of play through Jason Bradley and Adam Lee.
The game kicked off in blustery conditions with Tigers looking to press from the get-go, a couple of teasing balls over the top from Callum Harrison asking questions of the Retford defence.
That pressure paid off in the 6th minute, a delightful ball over the top put Jordan through one on one with the keeper, he kept his composure and applied a cool finish into the bottom right hand corner to put the Tigers ahead.
Worksop nearly doubled their lead a few minutes later, a one-two between Jordan and Tom Elliott put the latter through on goal, his prodded finish squeezed under the keeper but was brilliantly cleared off the line and out for a corner, much to Elliott’s dismay.
A rare Retford venture forward came to nothing and Worksop quickly got the ball back down the other end, Mitch Husbands neatly played in Woolley who skipped past two Retford defenders, but his placed shot went just wide of the post.
In the 20th minute a rash challenge from Craig Laight brought about the games first yellow card, with the resulting 25 yard free kick seeing Jordan force a great save from ‘keeper Jamie Davie, who got down well to his left and pushed the ball out for a corner.
Retford finally had their first effort in the 30th minute, in a rare foray into Tigers territory, Bradley scuffed a speculative shot from 25 yards out that finished up closer to the corner flag than the actual goal.
Jordan’s latest opportunity came minutes later, great work down the left gave him room to fire a shot towards the far corner, only to see Davie tip the ball round the post with another good save.
Retford’s first and only meaningful attack came about in the 37th minute, a magnificent cross from the left wing was planted into the top corner by the head of Bradley, who beat the aerial challenge of the Worksop defender far too easily.
The last chance of the half fell to Husbands, but his near post effort fizzed just over the bar to end a frustrating 45 minutes for Worksop.
With the wind really picking up, the second half kicked off with some scrappy football. 10 minutes in, an Elliott cross into the box caused chaos in the Retford area, with the ball pinging around and appearing to strike not one but two Retford hands within a matter of seconds, the referee waving away Tigers appeals on both occasions.
Tigers kept up the pressure, another Elliott ball into the box saw the ball ricochet off several players, come back off a post and then get desperately cleared off the line by a Retford defender.
In the 65th minute Worksop thought they had won a penalty when Jordan was hauled to the ground just inside the box, only to see the referee give a goal kick when the ball trickled out of play.
Jordan had a glorious opportunity moments later, a sumptuous through ball from Elliott putting him through on goal, but he blazed over from just inside the box when he probably should have done better.
Tigers finally got the goal their dominance deserved in the 72nd minute, an excellent challenge from Harrison on the edge of the box saw the ball break to Woolley, he darted past the oncoming defender and fired a crisp finish into the bottom corner to send the Tigers supporters into raptures.
A moment of controversy followed shortly after play resumed when Ross Henshaw and Mark West tangled, with the latter appearing to deliberately put his head into the Worksop mans chest when the two got back to their feet, with the referee taking a very lenient view and not taking any further action.
Sloppy defending saw Retford equalise in the 78th minute with only their second shot on target, a cross into the box wasn’t dealt with and the ball broke to Lee who had the easy job of tucking home the loose ball.
Retford almost grabbed the win in the last minute, West smashing a shot from the edge of the box which deflected towards the top corner, but debutant Aaron Ramsdale flung himself to his right to pull off a fabulous one handed save to finish the game in style.
Retford; Davie, Gilchrist (Outram), Johnson, West, Lycett, Laight, Good, Roper (Gledhill), Lee, Bradley, Wilson(c) (Ward)
Worksop; Ramsdale 6, HODDER 7, Roe 6, Lawrence 5, Hadfield 5, Henshaw 6, Woolley(c) 6, Harrison 7 (Waddle), Jordan 6, Husbands 6 (Higginson), Elliott 6.
Unused Subs; Cooke, Cottingham, Adam.
Referee; Mr A. Pashley.