Nine-man Worksop Town were knocked out from the FA Trophy’s third qualifying round on Saturday as they struggled to a 6-1 loss to St Neots Town at Rowley Park.

Mikey Dunn’s early go-ahead goal was rendered a consolation by a flurry of second-half strikes from the hosts as the Saints took total control with their personnel advantage. 

The opening exchanges were notably even, with both sides seeing chances go begging as they contested with a strong wind and a sodden pitch. St Neots posed a threat through burly striker Arel Amu, and he displayed awesome strength to open some good opportunities for the hosts.

Worksop struck first after just 11 minutes through Dunn. The tricky winger picked the ball up midway into the Saints’ half and thundered home into the top-left corner following one of his trademark flashy runs.

The early setback did not stymie St Neots’ forwards and they continued to play neat, grounded football. Amu saw another chance go to waste when he failed to get on the end of a teasing ball across the six-yard box – just a touch would have brought the scores level-pegging.

Again, it was Amu who could not convert the wonderful wide play that the hosts produced, when he turned a second low cross wide of the far post with a sliding effort. Seb Malkowski could only watch as the 24-year-old fluffed his lines, much to the joy of the boisterous Worksop contingent stood behind the net.

After knocking on the door the better part of half an hour, St Neots drew level with a feeble header on the brink of halftime. Lewis Simper rose, unmarked, and nodded a floated cross home at the far post, leaving Malkowski hapless.

Tempers flared as the players departed for the break, and, subsequent to a heated scuffle, red cards were shown for Malkowski, Gavin Allott and St Neots defender Dequane Wilson-Braithwaite.

Soon after the restart the hosts took the lead through Leon Lobjoit, who lifted a wind-assisted effort beyond substitute goalkeeper Kian Johnson. Ranks depleted and already under the cosh, the outnumbered Tigers could do little to hold the Saints back.

St Neots doubled their lead ten minutes later when Ben Worman’s speculative effort from distance got the better of Johnson and nestled in the top corner.

Worksop fought to keep a foot in proceedings – and even enjoyed the occasional spell of possession – but could not make ends meet going forward.

The game was sealed by Worman with 20 minutes still to play. The 19-year-old carried the ball well, riding a crashing challenge from Charlie Jemson and taking the ball round Johnson before sliding the finish neatly into the net.

It became damage limitation as substitute Ryan Robbins netted the fifth for the home side within 10 minutes of his introduction, finding space at the back post to fire home. Lobjoit kept the obliteration going with his second of the night seven minutes later.

Worksop Town are next in action on Tuesday, November 3, when they travel to Kidsgrove Athletic in a blockbuster Northern Premier League South East Division tie.