Battling Reds crack the mean Buxton defence.
This wasn’t a game for the football purist or, indeed, the faint-hearted but it was a compelling contest with both teams gaining top marks for effort, commitment and desire.
Two excellent defences ensured clear-cut goal scoring opportunities were at a premium but once Reds cracked the Buxton rearguard, they were on their way to a sixth win in seven outings.
And it was two players returning to the starting XI who scored the second half goals which lifted Reds back into play-off contention.
David Symington had to make do with the number twelve shirt at the weekend but he bounced back to bag his twelfth league goal in his first full season with the club. Josh Calvert, meanwhile, only started because of a reoccurrence of Rob Wilson’s ankle problem in the warm-up. His highly satisfying personal campaign had been temporary stalled because of a toe injury, but you wouldn’t have guessed with his battling qualities, supplemented by his eighth goal, invaluable.
They weren’t the only two heroes with nine others contributing to this hard fought win against a team boasting the second best defence in the league.
There was no hint of a goal in the first half with Scott Allison going close for Reds, only to be flagged offside, and Calvert sending a left foot shot over the bar. Jamie Green skied a free kick into the Allerdale car park and a Greg Young header narrowly missed the target after rare sorties forward from the visitors.
The breakthrough came after sixty five minutes with the ball quickly moved from right to left by Reds. Symington gathered in the inside left channel and sent a cracking left foot shot into the Town End net with Jan Budtz helpless.
Buxton responded with a decent effort from Brad Abbott, dealt with confidently by Aaran Taylor who then thwarted Bradley Grayson with a routine save.
Liam Hardy was introduced as a seventy-third minute substitute with a view to salvage something from the game but, a minute later, he was returning to the dressing room after being shown a red card for aiming a kick at Taylor. Not the impact the Buxton management had been hoping for!
Reds were quick to make the one man advantage count by grabbing their second goal ten minutes before time. Conor Tinnion rolled the ball into Calvert’s path and, from just inside the area, he slotted the ball past Budtz.
The returning Joe McGee was kept quiet by the excellent Gari Rowntree and admitted afterwards that Reds were the better side and deserved the points, sentiments echoed by joint-boss, David Hewson.
“It wasn’t pretty but we tried to get forward at every opportunity and were worthy winners in the end.”
Making reference to crazy fixture back-log, Hewson added, “We have a very fit squad and I’m confident we can keep the run going.”
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Rowntree, Wordsworth, Smith (Douglas, 87), Earl, Symington, Calvert, Allison, Waterston (Joel, 88), Tinnion. Substitutes – Ryan, Wright, Fowler (not used).
Buxton Budtz, Bembo-Leta J (Jackson, 78), Green, Ravenhill, Maguire, Young, McGee, Abbott, Grayson, Hinsley, Taylor (Hardy, 73). Substitutes – Doran, Burns, Williams (not used).
Referee Stephen Dial, Gateshead
Bookings: Calvert, Allison and Tinnion (Workington), Taylor (Buxton)
Red card: Hardy (Buxton)