Worksop Town booked their place in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday night as they came from behind to beat Westfields 3-1 at All.pay Park.
Goals from Vaughan Redford, Connor Smythe and Luke Hinsley completed the comeback that rendered Joel Edwards’ early conversion obsolete.
Worksop looked fatigued after their 140-mile trip to the west-country in the opening exchanges. The defence was under constant pressure from the sprightly Westfields forwards, who forbade even the remotest of mistakes with their confident closing-down.
The hosts’ persistence reaped its reward after just seven minutes when a sparkling turn from Joel Edwards opened up room to fire Westfields into an early lead.
Pressing continued and Worksop were only afforded the occasional break. Despite looking a threat going forward, resolute defending kept the Tigers at bay. Vaughan Redford broke through for the visitors’ first chance of the evening and was thwarted by a rash challenge in the penalty area, but the appeals were waved off by the officials.
This only seemed to spur Worksop on, and the intensity was lifted immediately. Jack Broadhead rose to two chances in quick succession, his first header crashing back off the crossbar and his second being superbly blocked on the line less than a minute later.
Redford finally got the goal he had been threatening on the half-hour mark when he coolly converted a penalty which had been won by Hinsley.
Bad blood raged on between the two sides as frustrated players left a little bit extra in each tackle, but everyone managed to elude the referee’s notebook.
Worksop took the lead ten minutes later through a wonder-strike from Connor Smythe, who picked the ball up in stride on the left flank and rifled a sensational shot across Steve Sarkodie into the bottom-right corner.
Town looked every bit the better as the first half ticked to a close and their lead was doubled on the stroke of halftime through Hinsley, who broke free of a rough challenge on his right-wing and tried his luck from an almost-impossible angle, finding the netting just behind the far post.
The second period began with an uncharacteristic timidness as the ball ping-ponged around the middle third. Both teams cancelled out any looks on goal and the defences were on top.
Some excellent football saw Worksop gradually move towards Sarkodie’s goal, but a win-sealing goal was proving to be a difficult find.
With ten minutes still on the clock, both sides were reduced to ten men, as goal-scorer Smythe and Sid Grant were given their marching orders. The feuds sparked once more only a matter of minutes later when a melee ensued on the edge of Seb Malkowski’s penalty area. Only Charlie Jemson and Billy Murphy were booked.
The Tigers ran the remainder of the clock down well and the lengthy stoppage time paled into insignificance.
The next round is set to take place on the weekend of October 3rd.
Goal-scorers: Joel Edwards (7’); Vaughan Redford (32’), Connor Smythe (38’), Luke Hinsley (45’).
Worksop Town: Seb Malkowski, Jack Greenhough (Deegan Atherton, 58’), Connor Smythe, Jack Broadhead, Charlie Jemson, Oscar Radford, James Baxendale (C), Cody Cromack, Luke Hinsley, Vaughan Redford, Mikey Dunn (Scott Brown, 72’).
Unused substitutes: Kian Johnson (GK), Luke Jeffs.