Bucks take the points
Reds continue to be consistently inconsistent, not only from week to week but, on this occasion, quite decent in one half to running on empty in the second.
And the diminishing, disillusioned support is far from happy with the situation. They have witnessed a dramatic slump in form since Christmas with the Bucks the latest team to leave Borough Park with the points.
Injuries and a lack of recruitment are two of the contributing factors and, whilst there is little they can do about the former, strenuous efforts to boost squad numbers have been to no avail.
Unless three or four players walk through the door before Thursday’s registration deadline, this threadbare squad has to complete the season in circumstances far from ideal.
Saturday was meant to see ‘more bodies’ available but, instead, Sam Joel’s name was added to the injury list and Scott Allison withdrew through illness. Going into the game without the two leading scorers was a significant blow and improvising with five defenders and five midfielders was not so much a gamble, more a necessity.
“We were flat from the start and having spoken beforehand about the importance of starting at a good tempo and on the front foot, we were the complete opposite,” was Lee Andrews’ honest opinion of the game.
But Workington’s better chances did come in that first half with very little created after Buxton got their noses in front.
Josh Calvert was the first to go close but, after connecting with a Dav Symington free kick, he saw his effort cleared off the line by Joe Maguire – defensive work which famous brother Harry would have approved of.
Buxton responded with a Liam Hardy free kick but the League’s leading scorer was thwarted by a smart Aaran Taylor save.
And then after seventeen minutes, makeshift Reds opened the scoring. Symington latched onto a long through ball, cut inside the last defender and drilled a low shot past Jan Budtz.
Danny Amos’ firmly struck shot was comfortably gathered by Taylor as Buxton responded positively but the Derbyshire outfit levelled matters in their next sortie forward.
Reds didn’t deal with a cross to the far post and skipper Maguire proved his worth at both ends of the pitch by heading over Taylor for the equaliser.
But Reds were a touch unfortunate not to go into the half time break ahead.
First a Conor Tinnion free kick was pushed away by Budtz and then a fine left foot volley from Rob Wilson whistled narrowly wide of the upright with the ‘keeper helpless.
The tricky Jude Oyibo almost netted a debut goal when getting the better of Matty Douglas on the flank, but shot into the side netting, and a spell of Buxton pressure culminated in Douglas and Sam Smith making a spectacular clearance off the line as the Bucks began to dominate.
They did take the lead after seventy three minutes when an attempted clearance deflected kindly for Anthony Wilson. He advanced towards goal and confidently placed the ball beyond Taylor for the winner.
Reds never seriously threatened in the second half with Buxton coming closest to scoring the fourth goal on a bitterly cold afternoon. Hardy’s fierce strike from an acute angle hit the post and rebounded to safety but the points were safely in the bag by then.
Workington Taylor, Douglas, Rowntree, Wordsworth, Smith, Calvert, Symington, Mellen (Wright, 75) Rigg, Wilson, Tinnion. Substitutes – Whitehead, McLuckie, Andrews (not used).
Buxton Budtz, Meade, McWilliams (Baker, 75), Broadhead (Grayson, 65), Maguire, De Girolamo, Oyibo, McGee, Chippendale, Hardy, Amos (Wilson, 46). Substitutes – Taylor, Hinsley (not used).
Referee Jonny Urwin, Durham
Bookings: Rowntree (Workington), Wilson, McGee (Buxton).