29.12.2007

UniBond Northern Premier League

Worksop Town

Jackson (15), White (55)

Hednesford Town

(1) 2

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

337

Ross Dyer

W W L L W D D L W L

Marine (H) 1.1.08

Despite coming off the back of a fine win at Prescot Cables on Boxing Day, the Pitmen ended a poor calendar year at Sandy Lane as they crashed to defeat against fellow mid-table dwellers Worksop

 

More injuries woes struck Phil Starbuck's side with two games in only three days as Steve Palmer was ruled out due to a knock, meaning a return to the starting line-up for Gordon Simms. Chris Adam returned as a substitute after an illness during the week had ruled him out of the trip to Merseyside

Worksop were playing their second home game of the festive period, having drawn 2-2 against Stamford at Sandy Lane on Boxing Day. Manager Peter Rinkcavage made one change to his side from three days previously as Jermaine Palmer was replaced by Tom Burridge in midfield

On an overcast afternoon in Nottinghamshire, the hosts made a good start and forced Rene Gilmartin into an early save in the fifth minute as Worksop striker Kevin Sanasy struck an effort and goal and followed this up by tipping Andy White's follow-up shot over the crossbar for a Worksop corner kick

Mario Pedro responded with a free-kick for the Pitmen three minutes later, but the Portuguese winger's effort flew over the bar and away from goal as he curled it over the Worksop wall

Good play from White saw him hold off the attentions of Wayne Dyer in the tenth minute and play Cockerill into space down the wing. He got a yard on Ross Adams and crossed for Sanasy, only for the striker to glance his header well wide of goal

Gilmartin had denied White again on five minutes later with a fine stop to turn his effort behind for a Worksop corner kick. From the resultant corner. Cockerill's ball in was poked home by Antony Jackson from close range as the Pitmen switched off once more from a set-piece - adding to their depressing showreel of dreadful defending for the season

The Pitmen responded through new skipper Paul Robinson, who headed firmly just past the post on eighteen minutes as he met an inswinging free-kick from Pedro at the near post

 Three minutes later, Ross Dyer beat three players with an array of skills before playing the ball into on-loan strike partner Chris Hanna; the Walsall youngster just failed to connect with his head at the far post as the ball drifted a few inches over his head and away from danger

Back came Worksop, and the dangerous White could have doubled their advantage midway through the first period but headed wide from Cockerill's teasing inswinging cross

Ross Dyer once again used his trickery to set up Hanna with a superb pass on twenty-five minutes. However, the teenager embarrassingly missed his kick as he shaped to shoot and the chance was gone with Worksop clearing their lines

Worksop were content to allow the Pitmen to have plenty of the ball and catch them on the counter-attatck, breaking quickly on twenty-nine minutes through Sanasy who found Steve Robinson, who in turn played the ball to White. The striker took one touch too many on the edge of the Hednesford penalty area and gave Adams sufficient opportunity to make the tackle

Jackson almost doubled his, and the home side's, tally for the afternoon on thirty-three minutes with a near-post header from Cockerill's corner kick but flashed his effort wide of the angle of post and crossbar

Dyer continued to look the Pitmen's best bet of a goal, twisting and turning just inside the Worksop box on thirty-eight minutes with a mazy run across the face of the penalty area before drilling his low shot straight into the arms of Worksop goalkeeper Laurence Matthewson

Robinson tested Gilmartin with a firm strike as half-time approached, striking the ball from the edge of the penalty area that the Irishman pushed away to his left

It had been another plodding display from the Pitmen, who were once again suffering from that double-pronged issue that had dogged them all season long - not taking the chances at one end and conceding easily at the other, despite the admirable efforts of individuals such as Dyer and Robinson

They started the second half brightly, with Dyer making a fine run in behind the Worksop defence three minutes after the restart and pulling the ball back to Hanna, only for a late offside flag aginst Dyer to pull the play back at the crucial moment

New boy Ben Brown was next to test Worksop's resolve as he headed just over the crossbar on fifty-two minutes from another Pedro corner kick that was flicked on by defensive partner Robinson at the near post

However, despite this bright opening from the men in blue, the hosts doubled their advantage three minutes later; Sanasy and White were allowed time and space to exchange passes, allowing White to curl a shot beyond the reach of Gilmartin from the left-hand side of the penalty area with the Hednesford defence once again caught ball-watching

Matthewson made a fine save to deny Ross Dyer just sixty seconds later, parrying the striker's well-struck shot after the anonymous Chad Sheppard had played him into space

Cockerill chipped a ball into the Pitmen's penalty area on fifty-eight minutes and found Sanasy, who jinked his way past Simms and crossed low for the incoming Burrideg, only for the midfielder to lift his shot high over the crossbar

 

The Pitmen's task got even harder on sixty-one minutes as Ross Dyer was forced off after suffering a neck injury, with winger David Brown replacing the in-form striker

Two minutes later, a quickly-taken free-kick from Robinson set White away as the Pitmen continued to protest the award of the kick, only for White to get his angles all wrong and lash his shot well wide of goal

Sanasy should have put the game beyond doubt three minutes later after his break caught the Hednesford defence napping. He took the ball around Gilmartin but fired wide with the goal at his mercy. A poor miss with the goal gaping at yet another example of the lax defending from the visitors

For the Pitmen, without their target man Dyer, it was a difficult game to play without a focal point up front. Nagington offered very little against a solid Tigers defence, whilst David Brown did not see much of the ball as he was well shackled by former Hednesford loanee Terry Henshaw

Indeed, Worksop looked the more likely to stretch their lead in the last twenty minutes of the game as the Pitmen huffed and puffed their way through the second period; White wasted a good chance to grab another goal on seventy-three minutes as he exchanged passes with substitute Steve Woolley just outside the penalty area before dragging his effort wide of Gilmartin's left-hand post

With seven minutes left in an attritional game for the away side, Starbuck made a double change as Anthony Maguire replaced the disappointing Pedro and Adam came on for the similarly ineffective Nagington

The two new faces almost combined to reduce the deficit two minutes later as Adam got to the byeline down the right and crossed for Maguire at the far post, only for the left winger to narrowly miss the ball

 

Worksop substitute Curtis Bernard had a great chance to make it 3-0 late on, but made a mess of his effort from fifteen yards out and fired high over Gilmatin's crossbar

Defeat number twelve of the campaign already leaves the Pitmen simply treading water and already looking like there is little to play for even though we have not yet hit 2008. There needs to be a huge change in fortune for them to salvage anything from a season that is quickly petering out as quickly as it started, with Starbuck increasingly looking like a manager with no answer to his team's horrible inconsistency. 2008 starts with a home game on New Year's Day as high-flying Marine travel down from Merseyside to face the Pitmen

Worksop Town: Matthewson, Henshaw, Davies, Hawes , Jackson, Dawson, Burridge, Robinson, White, Sanasy (Bernard 82), Cockerill (Woolley 49)      Sub Unused: Palmer

Hednesford Town: Gilmartin, Adams, Robinson ©, Simms, B. Brown, Pedro (Maguire 83), Sheppard, W. Dyer, R. Dyer (D. Brown 61), Nagington (Adam 83), Hanna      Subs Unused: None