Worksop Town 1 Garforth 0
By Andrew Marsh
A battling performance wasn't enough to avoid a narrow defeat to the league champions, for whom a single goal proved to be enough.
With Garforth injuries mounting (striker Mark Simpson being the latest), there was a return for striker Mark Ferguson who was named one of three subs. Midfielder Helmo Silva was again placed in an advanced role, and there were also starts for Aiden Kearsley and Charlie Marshall.
Town's first chance arrived five minutes in when Sam Barker's delivery found Joe Colley well placed, but he sliced his effort well wide. The midfielder got another sight of goal four minutes later with a 25-yard strike, but this was also off-target.
Worksop gave themselves the lead on ten minutes; a through ball finding Steven McDonnell who raced clear and finished well into the bottom corner. The Miners were under the cosh for the next twenty minutes or so as the hosts looked to put the game out of our reach and continue their promotion party in front of a bumper crowd. McDonnell in particular could've had a hattrick; the striker blazing high over the bar when supplied by Craig Mitchell's cross on 20 mins, forcing a save from the feet of Toby Wells when he got the better of his man down the right, before Lee Turner put in a great last ditch challenge to stop him in his tracks on 35 mins.
Rob Hunter's side looked to get forward, but the final ball was lacking and clear-cut chances were few and far between. Dan Williams made a strong run down the right and forced a save from Tigers keeper David Reay five minutes from the break, seemingly for a Town corner but the officials bizarrely awarded a goal kick. It wasn't long before another McDonnell chance however, curling narrowly over the bar after dispossessing a Town defender and making a run along the edge of the box.
Garforth's best chance of the afternoon came just before the hour mark when Kearsley released Helmo Silva to take the ball around Reay, but the angle was too narrow and his shot found the side netting. Soon after the ball was back down the other end; Wells making a superb save to turn McDonnell's near post header around the post. Matthew Reay put a towering header narrowly wide on 76 mins, then the result was the same with a Lee Hill header shortly after.
Promising full-back Matthew Wilkinson was almost left red-faced on 82 mins when he almost turned Mitchell's delivery into his own net. There was heart in mouth stuff for Garforth supporters from the resulting corner. A Hill header was cleared off the line, another from Matthew Reay hit the post, before a second attempt from Hill found the grateful arms of Wells. Those were the last of the chances for the hosts who had to be content with the one goal.
A deserved win for the hosts to take their winning run to an eye-opening 19 matches. No points for The Miners meanwhile, but a spirited performance after going behind early on, and if nothing else much better than your match reporter's last visit here for a game against The Tigers in 2016 where they inflicted on us one of the heaviest defeats in our potted history. Back to the present however, and we have the chance to cement 14th place in our final game of the season next Saturday at Athersley Recreation (kick-off 3pm).