Reds' season finally draws to a close
By Paul Armstrong
Despite going down to their heaviest of an incredible twenty-seven defeats this season, this performance didn’t deserve such punishment.
Reds showed far more spirit and adventure than they did in the woeful home display against Lancaster City five days earlier.
Outgoing manager Lee Andrews, unable to call upon senior players Josh Calvert, Jason Walker, Brad Carroll, Dan Carmichael and Scott Allison for his final team selection, opted to leave out goalkeeper, Aaran Taylor, from the starting XI handing a league debut to Lewis Casson instead.
And the young man (pictured) performed as well as could be expected in difficult circumstances, preventing what could have been an even heavier reverse with four decent saves.
A routine catch early on from the prolific James Walshaw wasn’t even a sample of what was to come and, for twenty minutes or so, he must have thought playing at this level was quite straightforward.
But, after twenty-four minutes, he was retrieving the ball from his net after Michael Coulson’s opener. Athletic’s skipper had combined well on the left with Wayne Brooksby before cutting inside and sending a low shot past Casson from the edge of the box.
Reds’ approach play had been neat and tidy but the familiar failing of lacking a cutting edge prevailed once more. Their best effort at goal was from veteran Garry Thompson who sent a crisp shot just over the bar after being released down the inside left channel.
The hosts doubled their lead after thirty-seven minutes with Brooksby spotting Casson slightly off his line before curling a precise chip into the net from just outside the area.
Casson made amends with two smart saves to thwart Walshaw before the interval.
Reds started the second half brightly with a Dav Symington thunderbolt narrowly missing the target and then home ‘keeper, Tommy Taylor, dealt with on target efforts from Conor Tinnion and Kieran Maguire.
Scarborough’s resistance wasn’t broken in that mini purple patch and they increased their lead on the hour with substitute Flynn McNaughton making an immediate impact. He had barely taken up his position on the 4G surface before collecting the ball on the left and despatching past Casson within a minute of his introduction.
Workington’s lack of fortune has been highlighted many times this season, it’s usually non-existent when you are propping up the league and was epitomised with a crazy fourth goal from the hosts after seventy-five minutes. The outstanding Ryan Watson tried his luck with a shot from distance but its trajectory suggested the corner flag was in danger. But the ball deflected off Luke Lofts and re-routed into the net to make it four nil.
But Scarborough scored a brilliant team goal just before the end and top scorer, Walshaw, was on the end of a swift raid down the left to side-foot home his 25th league goal to maintain his excellent scoring record against Workington.
There was still time for late drama at both ends of the pitch.
Reds substitute, Luke Ivison, looked as though he had scored a consolation goal when a clever lob had just about cleared the goal line but Josh Lacey intervened with a spectacular, last-ditch clearance.
Walshaw then rattled the crossbar with a fine shot and had that gone in he would have been the outright winner of the League’s ‘golden boot’.
Then in stoppage time, Workington grabbed the consolation goal they so deserved in a bizarre finale. Ivison jinked his way into the box but was impeded by Lacey with the referee pointing to the spot.
Symington grabbed the ball but then sportingly handed it to Ivison and, literally, put him on the spot. The teenager’s shot was saved by Taylor but Maguire was on hand to drive home the rebound for his first league goal with the last kick.
There wasn’t even time to restart play as the curtain came down on an eventful game and, from a Workington perspective, a shambolic season.
In his final post-match interview, Andrews said, “On reflection, it is obvious we haven’t been good enough. The aim all along was to stay in the Premier Division and we haven’t been able to do that.”
Scarborough Athletic Taylor, Johnson (Valentine, 70) Brooksby, Lacey, Burgess (Merris, 46), Gooda, Forrester (McNaughton, 59), Watson, Walshaw, Coulson, Lofts. Substitutes – Morgan, Cadman (not used).
Workington Casson, Symington, Rowntree (Fagan, 65), Douglas, Smith, Cowperthwaite, Joel (Wordsworth, 66), Holt, Thompson (Ivison, 83), Maguire, Tinnion. Substitute – Carmichael (not used).
Referee Deric Wade, Teesside