Resilient Reds come through to climb to second place
“The game won’t live long in the memory and the two moments of quality won the match for us”.
This was Gavin Skelton’s succinct summing up of this latest success.
The player manager was expecting a tough afternoon and that’s how it evolved. Already relegated Belper were in no mood to roll over and please the travelling Workington support, and deserve credit for the way they stuck to their task.
But Reds were well prepared showing great resilience, grit and determination en route to a record equalling twenty fourth win in the Northern Premier League. There were good performances all over the pitch from Reds and choosing a man of the match was difficult.
Danny O’Donnell played his first full ninety minutes of the season and was surely a contender but so too was Jake Simpson, Jonny Jamieson, Gari Rowntree, Phil McLuckie, Matty Tymon and Scott Allison. When every player is worthy of a 7 or 8 out of 10 rating, a good result invariably follows.
Yet it was that resilience that laid the foundation as Belper went in search of that early goal.
Jonny Jamieson made a fantastic early save to deny Nabil Shariff then ventured off his line to make two headed clearances as Town’s lively start continued.
A weak Tymon header via a McLuckie assist was about the only chance Reds created in the opening half hour, but two goals in a five minute purple patch won the game.
The first after, thirty seven minutes, owed much to Conor Tinnion’s good control and perfectly weighted pass to top scorer, Tymon. The latter took the ball in his stride and confidently despatched his fourteenth goal of the season beyond the helpless Dan Haystead..
Five minutes later, Tymon turned provider when his wonderful diagonal pass found Allison all of fifty yards away. Allison’s first touch bought him that split second and he eased past Scott Matthews before finishing low into the corner.
After ending the first half in the comfort zone, it was back to the nail biting pastime we are more familiar with two minutes after the restart.
Evan Garnett’s low cross into the area didn’t appear a threat until Kyle May stuck out a leg and deflected the ball into the net for a bizarre own-goal.
It provided the hosts with fresh impetus and Jamieson had to deal with shots from Garnett and Michael Towey.
At the other end, Tymon had an effort saved following a good build-up involving Allison and Gareth Arnison before being denied a penalty when appearing to be shoved in the back by Jonathan Williams.
There was a last minute scare for Reds when Paul Lister met a cross from the right but, thankfully, headed over the bar as he stretched to make contact.
A welcome bit of luck ensured Reds a fifth league double of the season as they ascended to 2nd in the table.
Belper Town: Haystead, Turner, Matthews, Lister, Miller, Williams, Wilson, Towey (Warne, 81), Grimes, Garnett, Shariff (Froggatt, 81). Substitutes – Watt, Varley, Karkach (not used).
Workington: Jamieson, Simpson, Rowntree, May, O’Donnell, Skelton, Allison (Wright, 82), McLuckie, Tymon, Arnison (Salmon, 81), Tinnion. Substitutes – Newby, Smith S, Hindmarch (not used).
Referee: Stuart Richardson, Mansfield Woodhouse
Bookings: Matthews, Shariff (Belper Town), Tymon, Tinnion (Workington)