Joel equaliser earns Reds a point
With both teams effectively cancelling each other out, the entertainment value was negligible so a point apiece was just about right.
After an instantly forgettable first half, the second period, whilst not free-flowing football, was marginally better with both goalkeepers finally pressed into service.
But, having gone a goal behind and struggling to make an impact offensively, Reds showed great character in the final twenty minutes to salvage a point. Taking into account that several members of the team haven’t had the benefit of a proper pre-season, one or two who are new to this level and the odd player carrying an injury, it was a gutsy scrap between two sides not yet firing on all cylinders.
Joint boss, David Hewson, gave an honest assessment of the contest saying, “You could tell from the first 5-10 minutes how the game was going to go and I felt one goal would probably nick it – maybe an error or a moment of magic and, ultimately, I suppose it was sloppy defending by both teams which led to the goals.”
“I was pleased with our organisation and how solid we were as a team and difficult to break down but, on the flip side, we didn’t create enough."
“We carved out numerous chances at Bamber Bridge but defended poorly so I was much happier how we stood up to Buxton as a unit but, unfortunately, we didn’t have that moment or little spark and possibly made the wrong decisions in key areas further up the pitch. I knew the game was going to be difficult and competitive because they are a very good side.”
His counterpart Steve Halford thought his team had produced the perfect away performance until Reds’ late rally. “We had got the goal and weren’t in any serious trouble but one defensive mistake has proved costly,” he said, adding, “but we consider a point at Workington a good result and they will improve once the likes of Allison, Rowntree and Calvert return to the side.”
The opening goal came in the fifty-ninth minute, coming via a swift counter-attack, with Reds caught out after they had pushed forward in numbers. An unfortunate ricochet saw the ball find Jude Oyibo who had only been on the field for a matter of seconds as a substitute. He raced clear and placed the ball beyond Aaran Taylor to shock the frustrated home support.
Top scorer Jason Walker burst into life in the seventieth minute and was unlucky not to equalise with Reds’ first effort on target. His fine shot on the turn saw the ball heading towards the top corner until teenage ‘keeper, Theo Roberts, made a spectacular finger-tip save.
It gave pedestrian Reds a lift and, soon after, Niall Cowperthwaite saw a shot hit the post whilst Conor Tinnion was off target in the next attack.
Like Oyibo, Sheldon Mossop made an impact when he was introduced as a substitute. He was heavily involved in the build-up which led to Workington’s eightieth-minute leveller. Tinnion sent over a corner met by Sam Joel whose header was only partially saved by Roberts.
Joel reacted quickly and toe-poked the loose ball home from close range.
Then late in the day, Buxton skipper, Greg Young, ventured forward for a corner and his firm header was held by Taylor – a case of being in the right place at the right time.
Had that gone in, it would have been harsh on battling Reds and level pegging at the end sent everyone home reasonably happy.
Workington Taylor, Douglas, Mellen, Wordsworth (Tidy, 83), Smith, Hubbold, Joel, Cowperthwaite, Walker, Maguire (Mossop, 77), Tinnion. Substitutes – Miller, Harker, Casson (not used).
Buxton Roberts, Meade, Taylor, Degirolamo N, Young, Dean, Chippendale (Ravenhill, 71), Gee, Degirolamo D (Oyibo, 58), Hardy (Wilson, 52), Young. Substitutes – Coppin, Brown (not used).
Referee Ed Duckworth, Preston
Bookings: Wordsworth (Workington), Chippindale, Gee, Taylor (Buxton)