Injury and resignation cloud result
By Paul Armstrong
Even by Workington standards, this was a bizarre day leaving directors, players and supporters angry and frustrated by such dramatic circumstance.
Newly appointed manager, Gavin Skelton, sensationally left the club minutes after his second game in charge and less than a week in the job.
Nothing should surprise in football but this left everyone shell-shocked as Lee Andrews and John Mackay informed the players and supporters respectively.
And to compound the worry and hurt, top scorer, Scott Allison, was stretchered off with a dislocated shoulder and is likely to miss two vital months of the season. He seemed to fall awkwardly and sustained the injury as he landed on the firm surface.
There was also a game of football played during an eventful afternoon with Reds grabbing a deserved point following a gritty, determined performance.
A surprise recall for Dav Symington saw the popular player take his place on the bench for his first appearance of the season.
Stafford, like Reds, are deep in relegation trouble and they too tweaked their managerial structure over Christmas. And it was they who made the better start scoring a wonder goal with just five minutes on the clock.
Andy Haworth helped the ball into the box and Theo Bailey-Jones pulled off the most spectacular overhead kick to score a superb goal.
It was a special moment and contrasted with Rangers’ overall approach to the game which saw them break-up play at every opportunity and disrupt the game regularly throughout.
And it worked to a degree. Reds certainly didn’t do enough to win even when grabbing a deserved equaliser ten minutes from time.
Whilst Rangers’ goal was a thing of beauty, the Workington leveller was blessed by a touch of good fortune with a miscued Gari Rowntree shot deflected past Adam Siviter by Dan Wordsworth. Two unlikely attackers combining to good effect.
The game suffered a lengthy delay when Allison was receiving treatment on the pitch but there was more drama taking place near the Workington technical area during the stoppage.
Reds’ Brad Carroll and Joe Cuff got involved in an unnecessary spat which saw the latter retaliate to a kick, only for his action to be spotted by the assistant referee. It resulted in the Stafford player being shown a red card whilst Carroll, already on a yellow card, escape further punishment.
The Premier Division table makes worrying reading for both Rangers and Reds supporters but it is just one of several important items on the agenda for the Workington hierarchy to contemplate.
Stafford Rangers Siviter, Coulson, Hill, Jones, Burns, Green (Sherratt, 88), Bailey-Jones, Thorley, Charles (Dixon, 90), Haworth (Banks, 75), Cuff. Substitutes – Askey, Williams (not used).
Workington Taylor, Smith, Rowntree, Wordsworth, Calvert, Carroll (Symington, 90) Allison (Hubbold, 60), Cowperthwaite, Walker, Paterson (Maguire, 46), Tinnion. Substitute – Casson (not used).
Referee Andy Ellis
Bookings: Tom Thorley, Josh Green (Stafford Rangers), Brad Carroll (Workington)
Red card: Joe Cuff (Stafford Rangers)