Athersley Recreation 0-6 Worksop Town
A Shaq McKenzie double ensured Mark Shaw’s Worksop would start the new season in style – but it was midfield maestro Conor Sellars who stole the show in the Tigers’ 6-0 rout of Athersley Rec.
The 23-year-old, Worksop’s leading scorer from last season, twice turned provider as the hosts wilted following Jack Briscoe’s sending off.
McKenzie struck either side of debutant Jamie Hadfield’s superb header, as the Tigers turned the screw and took advantage of their numerical advantage, before Sellars smashed home a late penalty.
Mitch Husbands and Tom Elliott also got in on the act as Worksop ran riot in the final 10 minutes, to return to Sandy Lane with three points and a healthy goal difference.
The game started evenly, but the first chance fell to Worksop when Sellars’ 11th-minute free-kick found Sam Liversidge in acres of space, but the defender could only blaze over the bar.
Athersley responded with a couple of chances of their own, Ryan Blackburn heading narrowly wide, but the game was turned on its head after 27 minutes.
Briscoe was given his marching orders after a high challenge on Phil Roe, and with Athersley down to ten the Tigers used the extra space well, with both Elliott and Jono Wafula shooting narrowly wide.
And after a period of heavy pressure they finally broke the deadlock, with McKenzie smoothly slotting home on 41 minutes after a brilliant move by Wafula and Sellars.
One goal brought two as Worksop found the net again three minutes later, Hadfield getting to the ball first and bulleting a header home from Sellars’ corner.
The Tigers’ picked up where they left off at the start of the second half, when James Cottingham shot across goal and Mckenzie was there again to tap in.
From then on the result was a formality, and Sellars made no mistake from the penalty spot after Adam Ward was felled in the area, before Husbands chested in Kyle Jordan’s cross and Elliott struck in time added on.