Reds secure play-off place
A play-off place assured, a sixth league double recorded, a record of twenty one wins registered in twenty nine outings ...
... average attendance significantly up on last season and a squad playing with pride. Good times indeed to be a Workington supporter.
Relegated Trafford, as expected, provided determined opposition and I’m sure their supporters would be well satisfied with their efforts. And the majority of the near 600 attendance were delighted with Reds’ twenty fifth league win, and even leaders FC United of Manchester cannot boast that at the moment.
Reds survived an early scare at a windswept Borough Park when, following an Andrew Smart corner, Adam Jones’ shot hit the foot of Jonny Jamieson’s right hand post with the ball scrambled to safety. Had that sneaked in, the post match debate could have been so different.
From that moment, though, Reds dominated but hadn’t achieved the breakthrough after a one-sided first half.
Gari Rowntree saw one good opportunity narrowly miss the target, Matty Tymon had a well struck volley saved then saw another decent effort go inches wide, Jake Simpson’s free kick was comfortably held by Thomas Read then a brave block from Jones kept out an Alex Newby effort following Reds’ best move of the half.
It was a similar story on the restart with Read and an overworked Trafford defence keeping Reds at bay.
Tymon, one of several to impress, saw another good shot from distance saved at the second attempt then Alex Salmon went close with a header soon after being introduced as a substitute.
With anxiety levels increasing on the terraces but thankfully not on the pitch, Reds got a lucky break in the sixty sixth minute. Conor Tinnion’s curling shot was clearly handled by Martyn Andrews and, amid Trafford protests, referee Ian Gittins awarded the hosts a penalty.
Scott Allison confidently converted the spot kick, his eleventh goal of the season, and the points were in the bag.
Andrews saw a rare second half effort comfortably saved by Jamieson but it was Read winning the plaudits at the other end.
The Trafford ‘keeper thwarted Salmon on two occasions but kept his best two saves on a busy night until late in the game. His stop to deny Phil McLuckie was rather special but his reflex save to keep out an angled Allison drive bordered on magnificent.
Gavin Skelton admitted having sleepless nights before the Belper Town and Trafford games,
so was delighted with the six points haul against the relegated duo then praised his squad for achieving their first objective – reaching the play-offs.
“From our low point in late October, the run we have put together has been fantastic but, even now, we cannot afford to relax.”
Rival boss Graham Heathcote was less amicable and aimed his frustration at the referee regarding the match deciding penalty.
Workington: Jamieson, Simpson, Rowntree, May, O’Donnell, Skelton, Allison, McLuckie, Tymon (Arnison, 90), Newby (Salmon, 52), Tinnion. Substitutes – Wright, Smith, Telfer (not used).
Trafford: Read, Palmer, Smart, Chalmers, Jones, Andrews, Blake, Doughty (Derbyshire, 69), McDonagh (King, 69), McCarthy, Pritchard (Reed, 90). Substitutes – Riley, Wassi (not used).
Bookings: Phil McLuckie (Workington), Chris Palmer (Trafford).
Referee: Mr I Gittins, Morecambe