Worksop Town reached the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup for the second time in three years on Saturday following a 1-2 win over Anstey Nomads at Callingtons Community Complex.
Anstey started the faster of the two sides, and could have broken the deadlock after a minute when Jake Picton miskicked a ball into Zayn Hakeem, who fluffed his lines when faced with a one-on-one against Worksop goalkeeper Seb Malkowski.
The visitors took the lead just a few minutes later through Luke Hinsley that took a cruel deflection off Nomads defender Joel Wolfe. Hinsley had found space for Worksop on the edge of the penalty area and his rifled shot was looking wayward until Wolfe’s intervention.
Worksop remained camped in the Nomads half, being the first to the ball on most occasions and restricting the defence to desperate clearances instead of the grounded passing they had hoped to utilise.
The Tigers came close to adding a second to the tally following a string of five successive corners on the half-hour mark, but former Leicester City goalkeeper Conrad Logan met the challenge and punched clear.
Worksop finally got the second goal they had been promising on the stroke of halftime when Mikey Dunn, who had posed a threat all game, set off on a tricky run down the left wing before lofting a perfect cross on to the head of Vaughan Redford. Redford had no issue in putting the ball beyond Logan’s sprawling arms.
Anstey began to claw their way back into the game early in the second half. They were finally enjoying a decent spell of possession in Worksop’s third and tested Malkowski several times, but could not find a way past. The 33-year-old was forced to get to ground quickly to paddle the ball to safety to save from Ben Bayliss.
The Tigers answered back with a chance of their own when Jack Broadhead rose above a packed penalty area to meet a cross with his head, but the ball sailed high and bounced off the crossbar.
It was to be their only chance for an extended period of time as the Nomads continued to pile pressure on the Worksop net. A near-miss and two further brilliant saves from Malkowski kept the hosts at bay as the clock ticked into the final twenty minutes.
Worksop were let off once more when an Anstey free-kick was swung onto the head of Nick Reeves at the back post, unmarked and with an open sight of goal, but he glanced the header just wide of the woodwork.
Anstey got themselves back into the game in the dying minutes through Corey Armeni, who slotted home a cut-back from Zayn Hakeem and left Malkowski rooted to the spot in the middle of his goal.
The final chance of the game fell to the home side, who thought they had forced the game to penalties. A free-kick on the edge of the area was hit straight into the wall before setting up perfectly for Armeni, whose sweetly-struck volley was superbly tipped wide by Malkowski.
Worksop Town: Sebastian Malkowski (GK), Jack Greenhough (Deegan Atherton, 63’), Connor Smythe, Cody Cromack, Jake Picton, Oscar Radford, James Baxendale (C), Jack Broadhead (Scott Brown, 65’), Luke Hinsley, Vaughan Redford (Aaron Sennett-Neilson, 79’), Michael Dunn.
Unused subs: Kian Johnson, Charlie Jemson
Goals: Corey Armeni (87’); Luke Hinsley (4’), Vaughan Redford (40’).