Momentous double for The Tigers
Devon Cash charts a season of success
The big, positive news in Worksop has come on the pitch. Worksop Town Football Club have had a remarkable season, one that saw them go on an incredible 22-match winning streak, as they clinched their first League title in 46 years and did the double by also winning the League Cup.
This was the Tigers’ fifth season in the Northern Counties Eastern League, and coming off their worst season, in which they finished 18th, makes what Worksop Town achieved this season outstanding.
Craig Denton was appointed as manager in the summer of 2018 and he brought in some excellent players which, as the season progressed, formed a superb bond with high team spirit.
The season felt like it was split into two halves. The first half was slow, but allowed Town to steadily build up momentum before going unbeaten in 2019.
Fast forward to Christmas and the Tigers had just registered their fourth defeat of the season as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Bridlington Town. Worksop were in 8th position and looked way off any sort of a promotion push.
What happened next was unbelievable.
The Tigers ended the year with a 2-1 win against Liversedge, which was followed by two goalless draws with Barton Town and Handsworth Parramore.
Next up on the calendar was a midweek trip to Thackley AFC. The visitors were a goal down at the break, but this was when their form switched and Worksop went flying. They won that game 3-1 and didn’t drop a single point during the rest of the season.
Athersley Recreation, Thackley AFC (again), Garforth Town, Maltby Main, Bottesford Town, Knaresborough Town and Harrogate Railway were all defeated by Worksop Town before the eventual champions faced their toughest test in third-placed Yorkshire Amateur. Worksop’s momentum was too much as they destroyed the Ammas 7-0 in front of a crowd of 656.
The following week saw one of the greatest moments of the campaign. Worksop travelled to Bottesford Town and found themselves 2-0 down at half-time. The next 45 minutes were fantastic as a brace from Matt Sykes (who scored 32 goals this campaign) got the Tigers back into the game, before Worksop-born Steve Wankiewicz popped up with a 90+7th minute winner which sent the travelling support into raptures.
Wins continued with a 2-1 victory over Hemsworth Miners Welfare, another side challenging for promotion, before Worksop faced their main title competitor, Penistone Church. Denton’s men stepped up to the challenge and, in front of an immense crowd of 1,628, Worksop came out 2-1 winners and went nine points clear at the top.
Worksop then won their next three league games which meant they needed just one more win to secure the title and promotion back into the Evo-Stik League.
Albion Sports were in their way, however Worksop steam-rolled to a 4-0 win, sparking wild celebrations in the Tigers end — a very emotional day which the supporters will remember for the rest of their lives.
Victories against Garforth and Eccleshill United, the latter being the last game of the league season, took the consecutive win total to 20… but the Tigers wanted two more!
Hemsworth MW were the Tigers’ League Cup semi-final opponents and were a very rigid and strong outfit. Worksop came away with a 2-0 win, which set up a final against Liversedge at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium.
Steve Woolley opened the scoring with a free-kick before the break. He then bagged his brace with another sensational set-piece which found the top corner. Liversedge hit back a minute later to halve the deficit, however Worksop sealed the Cup with a late goal from Ross Goodwin.
It’s fair to say that the Tigers left the Northern Counties Eastern League in style by doing the double whilst breaking numerous records, such as the highest on-record League attendance for the game against Penistone, as well as the highest League Cup attendance in the final — 1,075.
This season has been one of the greatest in the Tigers’ history and has brought the town together. It has been historic and as a club, they’re running out of superlatives to describe it!
Why not join them on their Evo-Stik journey next season?