Rainworth Miners Welfare punished a pair of Worksop Town defensive errors before adding three exclamation marks on a 5-0 win at Sandy Lane.
It was a clash of two sides who wanted to play football, but the men in white were clinical and their hosts unlucky, Tigers hitting both the post and crossbar. That said, mistakes were largely the cause of the home side’s downfall.
The result halted Worksop’s four game winning streak and gave the Wrens their third victory on the trot, putting them level on 23 points with the Tigers, albeit having played three more games.
Matt Sykes tested Jon Kennedy with an early drive from long distance, the keeper saving but not holding onto the ball, conceding a corner that he claimed with ease.
Worksop’s number one was the cause of a lengthy delay in the opening minutes, receiving treatment for a finger injury but proving his ability to continue by grabbing another corner comfortably.
The opening stages were all about Kennedy, forced into another stop as Tomas Poole got the ball with time and space at the back post, denied by the keeper’s legs.
Tigers’ first chance was beautifully worked, Ross Henshaw sweeping the ball out to Jack Andrews who nodded down to Mitch Husbands and then ran on to receive a return pass, sidefooting just past the far post.
There followed a good spell of Worksop pressure, without an end product.
And they were then undone when Jack Hawkins’ cross was cleared by Rainworth and Kennedy hared out of his goal to deal with it, only succeeding in giving the ball to Julian Toplis - the visiting striker curling home into an empty net from 35 yards.
With 10 minutes left in the half Worksop came so close to levelling, Hawkins swinging in a lovely cross, Mitch Husbands’ header coming off the inside of the post and bouncing into a grateful Ben Townsend’s hands.
Tigers continued to press, Charlie Dawes having two bites at the cherry from a free-kick, his first effort into the wall and his second deflected wide by a defender.
Carelessness in possession was a problem for the home side, setting Rainworth on attacks by handing them the ball, one such error by Henshaw almost punished, Ryan Herbert’s shot mercifully over.
The half ended with a lung bursting run out of defence by Kieran Fenton, the centre-half taking play all the way up the pitch before playing in Connor Brunt whose shot trundled just wide.
There was a glorious chance the other side of half-time, Hawkins putting in another dangerous ball from the right, Dawes arriving a second too soon and seeing the ball bounce over him.
Worksop gave themselves a mountain to climb when Henshaw’s loose pass put Adams in trouble and Matt Sykes stole in, taking the ball down the left and slamming the ball past Kennedy.
Mark Shaw responded to the goal with a double substitution, Adam Scott and Jonathan Fusco replacing Dawes and Henshaw.
Scott came close to an instant impact, running and Connor Griffin and squaring the left-back up before sending a low cross into the middle, Townsend forced to palm it away.
Fusco too had a chance, picking up the ball at the back post from a deep Hawkins cross, firing back across goal and wide.
Rainworth’s own replacement Declan Brewin gave his markers a tough time chasing a long ball, eventually seeing a shot saved by Kennedy, before seconds later smart passing cut Tigers open completely and Kennedy was there again.
The coup de grace came from a former Worksop player, local lad Jack Barnett curling a wicked free-kick over Kennedy and into the net from the left.
At the other end Worksop’s lack of luck was showcased again, Brunt with a lovely free-kick of his own onto the crossbar.
Nicholas Langford should have made it 4-0 Rainworth when he ran clear of the defence, but went too wide when rounding Kennedy and put the ball in the sidenetting.
A minute later he made amends, once again running free of the defence and this time planting the ball in the back of the net from the edge of the area putting a somewhat generous sheen on the scoreline.
And yet there was time for it to get worse for Tigers, Rainworth running rampant into open space, the ball poked through for Owen Heather who slid home the fifth.
Worksop: Kennedy, Hawkins, Andrews, Adams, Henshaw (Fusco 62), Fenton, Dawes (Scott 62), Waddle, Brunt, Husbands, Harrison (Parkin 78). Not used: Jordan, Lawrence.
Rainworth: Townsend, Adlington, Griffin, Barnett, Booker, Ludlam, Herbert (Brewin 59), Buxton, Topliss (Heather 75), Poole (Langford 75), Sykes. Not used: Claxton.
Referee: Mr D. Jones. Assistants: Mr C. Bailey, Mr M. Leneghan.
Goalscorers: Toplis 24, Sykes 58, Barnett 73, Langford 90, Heather 90.
Yellows: Ludlam 77, Griffin 87, Buxton 89.