Worksop Town crash out of FA Cup at first hurdle as referee flashes the red cards at Abbey Hey

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Worksop Town crashed out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle, going down 3-1 to a well organised Abbey Hey FC, in a game blighted by controversial officiating.

A first half incident led to a red card for each sided, Worksop furious not to be given a penalty and baffled with Ross Henshaw’s dismissal.

The game had a scrappy opening with Tigers, who gave a debut to defender Jordan Cooke – a dual registration signing from Buxton – wasting a couple of half openings through poor passes.

A floated free-kick was just reached by Jon McIlwaine, who got a hand up to flick away from Henshaw who was well placed to score.

Worksop got their first real chance of the match when Conor Sellars was brought down and his free-kick was tipped wide by the keeper.

Sellars was then released one-on one but the keeper rushed out of his box to clear.

A free-kick from Sellars then lead to a scramble in the box, Henshaw went in for a 50-50 with the keeper, and McIlwaine reacted by swinging a punch before throwing Henshaw to the ground, which sparked a mass brawl.

Danny Hewitt was sent off for a punch, McIlwaine somehow escaped with just a yellow, while Henshaw was sent off even though he appeared to be the victim.

Tigers started the second half brightly, Tom Elliott had a shot straight at the keeper after a good move.

Elliott turned provider, releasing Adam Ward to fire home for the lead on 49 minutes.

The hosts quickly responded, Ashford Blake shot straight at Kennedy and then on 54 minuites they levelled.

Following a set piece a goalmouth scramble allowed George Noon to find the net and punish Tigers for not doing more with posession.

The visitors tried to hit back, as good work from Sellars led to Mitch Husbands heading wide from close range on 60 minutes.

Blake then missed three sitters as Abbey Hey wasted good opportunites to take the lead, firing two one-on-ones wide and a close range header off target when it looked harder to miss.

Danny McDonnell then forced Jon Kennedy into a save as Tigers struggled to get a grip on the game.

However, Abbey Hey did finally put a chance away as a Sam Freaks free-kick was parried by Kennedy and finished by John Hardy for a 2-1 lead, probably deserved on the basis of chances created.

Elliott then missed a great chance to equalise after a good move, as he saw a one-on-one saved.

Worksop’s FA Cup campaign came to an end, however, as Hardy provided a thumping finish from outside the box to complete a counter attack.

Worksop: Kennedy 5, Cottingham 5, Roe 5 (Waddle 81), Woolley 5, Henshaw 6, Cooke 5, Sellars 5 (Higginson 75), SCOTT 6, Husbands 5 (Jordan 75), Ward 5, Elliott 5. Subs not used: Smythe, Barnett, Hobson, Adam.

Abbey Hey: McIlwaine, Ralbot, McDonnell (Burywood 69), Smith, Hallows, Freakes, Hewitt, Murray (Varela 87), Noon (Robinson 59), Blake, Hardy.

Subs not used: Benson, Cahill, Collins, Samms.

Yellows: McIlwaine 38, Smith 45+3, Talbot 75, Blake 79; Cooke 52, Cottingham 75.

Reds: Henshaw 38, Hewitt 38.

Goals: Noon 59, Hardy 75,90; Ward 49.

Referee: Paul Ince

Assistants: Lee Berry and Darren Crompton.

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