Ambers in derby day deadlock
In a cagey affair, The Ambers fought out a goal less draw with Worksop Town ....
The second Sandy Lane derby of the season saw, as is the norm, a sprinkling of players on each side facing their old club to increase the spice value of the fixture. The Ambers included new arrival Ross Duggan in the starting line up with youngster Leon Howarth claiming a place on the bench following an impressive performance for the Under 21’s in midweek, whilst The Tigers named their new striker Callum Ward on the bench.
It was almost a dream start for Duggan as he raced clear of The Tigers back line to latch on to a through ball from Rikki Paylor, but as Reay came racing off his line, the striker lifted his effort wide. The new man then showed great strength to get free of his marker down the right, his cross being cleared for a corner, from which Josh Nodder fired a decent attempt wide.
Worksop created their first opportunity a couple of minutes later when ex Amber Woolley struck a good shot which was well saved by Jan Budtz, and it wasn’t long before the big keeper was called into action again as he saved at his near post from Jordan after a quick corner kick routine caught The Ambers napping.
The game was opening up into an entertaining contest and Nodder had another couple of efforts saved, then blocked either side of a first time Sykes effort which went wide after some good approach play by McDonnell. Nodder then chipped in a nice free kick which just skimmed off Paylor’s head and missed the far post, before a Waide Fairhurst snap shot was saved by Reay as The Ambers started to turn the screw as half time approached.
The Tigers started the second half the brighter and after McDonnell had once again danced through the ranks, only an excellent block by Ollie Yates denied Jordan as the striker pulled the trigger. Two more ex-Ambers then combined well to forge another opening, Patterson’s cross to the back stick picking out Hill who was denied by Budtz at his near post.
The Ambers, after soaking up the pressure for 15 minutes, suddenly sprang forward, Jamie Green getting on the end of a Duggan cross but missing the target with his header, before Hill popped up again at the far post but headed Atherton’s cross straight at Budtz. Jed Phillips then headed a difficult chance wide from Nodder’s cross before Jordan fired narrowly over from the edge of the box at the other end.
On 72 minutes, the best chance of the game fell to Jordan as he raced clear of The Ambers back line, but his attempted dink over the onrushing Budtz was superbly denied by the Danish stopper to the astonishment of the crowd.
Young Howarth then entered the fray in place of Duggan and his first foray forward was a pacy run which set up Josh Davies but the midfielder sent his shot wide. Nodder then gave way to Alex Rippon, whose CV includes two winning goals in this fixture, so the collective hearts of Worksop’s followers must have been in their mouths when Fairhurst sent him racing into the box deep into injury time, but his well struck drive was deflected away for a corner.
When that was cleared, it was The Tigers’ turn to pile forward and Reay’s last ditch header was comfortably caught under the crossbar by Budtz, signalling the referee to call time on what had been a very cagey game, where a draw was probably the right result.