Reflecting on Workington’s pre-season matches played on the 16th July in recent years………..
Twelve months ago we travelled to Frenchfield for a friendly against Penrith and, as usual, it was akin to an ‘old boys’ reunion (pictured above).
For the first time in over fifteen years, David Hewson was in the opposition camp and he wasn’t the only ex. Red representing the Blues with Kyle May and Martyn Coleman, amongst others, emerging from the home dressing room.
Coleman opened the scoring for the hosts just before half time, a lead they held until Dav Symington’s seventieth minute equaliser. Dav also netted the late winner and, in between his two spectacular goals, he rattled the crossbar with an audacious shot from all of forty yards!
Reds enjoyed a far more comfortable ninety minutes against Penrith six years earlier, emerging 5-0 winners at Borough Park.
With Darren Edmondson on holiday, Gavin Skelton and Tony Elliott were in charge of team affairs and they had plenty of players to choose from including two Wrights (Jonny and Anthony), two Sloans (Mark and Kieran) and two Smiths (Sam and Jake), the latter playing together for Reds for the first time.
Matt Henney’s Penrith included plenty of West Cumbrians, several of whom with Reds connections.
Jonny Wright (2) and Anthony Wright scored first half goals to establish an unassailable lead with Conor Tinnion and Scott Allison completing the job after the break. It was Scott’s maiden goal for Workington and netted against his former club.
We played two different teams in the annual friendly at Whitehaven wearing a different kit in each half – red in the first, sky blue in the second. In comparison, Whitehaven only had thirteen players available but it was enough to earn them a 1-0 victory.
Kevin Connelly scored the only goal in the first half, taking advantage of a rare Lee Andrews mistake.
Amongst the new faces was a young Dan Wordsworth – I wonder what happened to him?
There was a similar situation when we took on a very young Scarborough team at Borough Park twenty two years ago. The XI on duty in the first half scored three times with four more added by a different Reds team in the second, resulting in an overall 7-0 victory.
We witnessed Grant Holt’s first goal in a Workington shirt that day with John Holliday, Lee Collins (2), Lee Burton (2) and Ross Milligan also on target in what was Peter Hampton’s first win as manager.
Amongst the many players on trial, was Martin Kirkby who would skipper the side in the title winning season.