OPPOSITION FOCUS: WORKSOP TOWN

14 Mar 2024 | Latest News

The Silkmen are back in league action this Saturday as we make the journey to play off rivals Worksop Town.  Attention turns back to the play offs after last week’s FA Trophy victory over Coalville Town setting up a semi-final clash with Gateshead. We take a closer look at our opponents in The Tigers of Worksop Town.

HISTORY

The club claims it was originally founded in 1861, which would make it the fourth oldest association football club in the world, however, no contemporary evidence to back up this claim has yet been found. As of 2023, the earliest record of a game of association football being played in the town comes from December 1875, when the Sheffield Daily Telegraph reported that a Worksop team had won its opening match against Harthill. The earliest record of the club using the Town suffix comes from 1882, when Worksop played Eckington on 18 February. After the First World War put a halt to football activity in the town, the game returned in 1919 when Worksop Town and Manton Athletic merged to become Worksop and Manton Athletic, although the Worksop Town name remained in popular usage. The club joined the Midland League and in 1921 won the competition for the first time. The 1920s provided the club with its best spell in the FA Cup, reaching the first round in four out of six seasons from 1921. In 1923, it drew Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane – the Tigers pulled off a shock by holding Spurs to goal-less draw. The Worksop board decided against hosting the replay at Central Avenue, and it was beaten 0–9 in the replay two days after the original tie, again at White Hart Lane. In 1926, it reached the second round for the first time after beating Coventry City at Central Avenue in the first round – eventually losing by one goal to three to Chesterfield in the next round. In 1930, the club withdrew from the Midland League and disbanded, with a new Worksop Town club being formed a week later. The new outfit initially played in the Sheffield Association League and Central Combination, before joining the Yorkshire League in 1935. This latest incarnation lasted less than a decade, being wound up during the Second World War. After the end of the Second World War, another new club was formed by the name of Worksop Town Athletic, although the Athletic suffix would soon fall out of use. They initially competed in the Sheffield Association League, but later joining the Midland League. In 1956, it progressed to the third round of the FA Cup for the only time in its history, beating Skegness Town and Bradford City before losing to Swindon Town at the County Ground. Worksop won up its second Midland League title in 1966 before becoming a founder member of the Northern Premier League (NPL) two years later. It returned to the Midland League after just one year, however, as the Tigers finished bottom in the NPL’s inaugural season. Worksop won its third and last Midland League title in 1973 and, a year later, re-joined the NPL, eventually finding its feet at this higher level. In 1978, it once more reached the first round of the FA Cup, losing 1–5 to Barnsley at Oakwell. In 1989, it was relegated to Division 1 of the NPL, and had to move to play in Gainsborough when it was evicted from its Central Avenue home. It spent three years in Gainsborough before returning to the newly built Sandy Lane ground in Worksop in 1992. In 2011, the club finally returned to Sandy Lane, but this time as tenants of Worksop Parramore, which had bought the ground and allowed the Tigers to play there. The 2013–14 season almost saw Worksop promoted back to the Conference North but it was beaten in the league play-off semi-finals. At the end of the season, the club’s owner, Jason Clark, revealed that he would no longer be funding the club, plunging it into a financial crisis, and shortly afterwards the decision was taken to resign from the Northern Premier League and to join the Northern Counties East League (NCEL), entering the NCEL’s Premier Division.  The drop to the ninth level of the English football league system also meant a first foray into the FA Vase, having previously competed in the FA Trophy. Worksop were crowned Northern Counties East League champions at the end of the 2018-19 season, winning promotion back to the Northern Premier League. On 18 March 2023, the club won the Division One East title in the Northern Premier League with seven games of the season remaining, the first team in English football to secure promotion in the 2022–23 season.

CURRENT FORM 

The Tigers have been in mixed form over their last five games in the league. They are without a win in their last four games with back to back defeats away at Ashton United and at home to Bamber Bridge in their last two. Two draws preceded this with a 0-0 draw away at Matlock Town and a home draw against league leaders Radcliffe. Their second game against Ashton in the space of a month had different fortunes as an early Jay Rollins effort proved the difference.

ONE TO WATCH

JAY ROLLINS

Jay Rollins is one to watch for The Tigers. Rollins has 14 goals in all competitions so far this season including the goal Worksop scored in their FA Cup First Round clash away at Stockport County.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

The sides met for the first time back in October as Worksop came away 2-1 winners at the Leasing.com Stadium. Alex Curran gave Macc the lead in the first half but despite a Conor O’Keefe penalty save, The Tigers scored from the resulting corner to equalise. Rollins then scored the winner just five minutes from time.

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