Worcester Warriors 35
What was supposed to be Worcester's biting riposte to their first loss of the season turned out to be anything but. Once again Warriors so nearly fluffed their lines.
Not even a brace from the dangerous Marcel Garvey, nor indeed five tries in all will paper over the defensive cracks that are undermining the edifice Richard Hill is trying to erect at Sixways.
Even though they were hopelessly outgunned in the scrum Nottingham snatched four tries themselves, three of which Hill rightfully claimed his side had gifted.
Worcester's problem is that they are just not making opponents work hard enough for their points, while they are relying on a piece of individual magic to produce their own.
That might work in the Championship, it won't in the Premiership.
As a result they will travel to London Welsh next weekend knowing if they perform like this at Old Deer Park, there is a genuine prospect of another loss.
It didn't even start well. Even though it was Warriors' Andy Goode who missed the first chance of points, with an optimistic penalty attempt from inside his own half, it was Nottingham who looked the more accomplished.
However, whatever travails Goode was having with his misfiring boot, the fly half was accuracy embodied compared to visiting full back David Jackson.
The 28-year-old, one of the leading scorers in Nottingham's history, looked like he'd never kick another point as he missed two alarmingly simple shots from a central position in the home 22.
Thankfully for the hosts and the neutrals Graham Kitchener injected some quality into proceedings when he took Neil Best's 13th minute off-load and set off.
The young lock barely broke stride as he galloped his way 30m to the try line, circumnavigating Jackson en route. Goode's conversion made it 7-0.
Normal service resumed? Yes and no. Normal in the recent context certainly.
Just when it looked as though Hill's men would seize control following Goode's line break, his pass to Adam Balding went to ground and was snaffled by Nottingham.
Possession found Tim Streather who glided away, stepped inside Jonny Arr and gave centre partner Steve Hamilton a 10m dash under the sticks. Not even Jackson could miss this conversion.
Worcester regained the lead at the midway point from an attacking scrum near the line.
No 8 Balding broke off and was held up but no-one could stop Aleki Lutui from a few paces out. The Tongan's second try of the season made it 12-7.
The hosts' third try came just before the break following an aimless clearance by Dave Marshall.
Joey Carlisle fielded near halfway and floated a long pass to Alex Crockett.
The former Bath midfielder made good yards but opted to cut inside where he found Lutui and then Garvey in support.
The wing slipped between two defenders and over the line. Goode made it 19-7 at the break.
But any suggestion the Meadow Lane outfit would lie down was quickly dismissed as Jackson - who had missed an even easier kick in the 43rd minute, made amends in the 44th.
The Enfield born back scorched across halfway and sidestepped a statuesque Carlisle. Marshall's first of three conversions cut the lead to five points.
Garvey snatched back the initiative soon after when Dale Rasmussen found Goode in support. The former England fly half bobbled the ball along the ground to the waiting Garvey who skated over.
Goode's 51st minute penalty gave the home team a 27-14 lead and when Garvey's pass gave Miles Benjamin a stroll in and Worcester an 18-point cushion, there looked no way back.
But Glenn Delaney's men had other ideas. Dam Hemmingway flopped on a loose ball behind the Warriors line and then Jackson out-paced Carlisle as a kick through sat up invitingly.
Fly half Marshall landed a majestic touchline conversion and suddenly - at 32-28 - the result was in the balance once more.
With four minutes to go though Carlisle finally exerted a positive influence on the match with a penalty that settled Sixways' growing anxiety. Whether he will be able to quell Hill's anger is another matter.
WORCESTER: Carlisle; Garvey, Crockett, Rasmussen (Short 74), Benjamin; Goode (Arscott 69), Arr (Williams 57); Black, Lutui (Shervington 69), Taumoepeau (Tomaszczyk 64), Rawlinson (Gillies 64), Kitchener, Best, Collins, Balding (Horstmann 57)
NOTTINGHAM: Jackson; Cobden, Streather (Bradford 64), Hamilton, Blake; Marshall, Usasz (Barnham 61); Fowkes (Davies 66), Youngs, Buxton (Davies 53-61), Green (Kench 52), Hemingway, Hammond, Sherriff (Baird 66), Shaw. Replacements: Eggleshaw, Farrell,
Referee: Terry Hall (RFU)