A look through the diaries to see how Reds have greeted the New Year in the past…….
We should have been hosting Pontefract Collieries today at Borough Park which would have given us the opportunity to avenge the 2-1 defeat we suffered in Yorkshire at the start of 2020.
It was our forty-first outing on the 1st January and of those matches played, Workington have won just thirteen times but have lost on no fewer than twenty occasions.
Between 1923 and 1927, Reds ‘first-footed’ at Brunton Park but there was a scarcity of goals with only four scored in the five North Eastern League matches played. United won 1-0 in 1923, 1926 and 1927, Reds obtained their first New Year’s Day victory, also 1-0, in 1925 with the 1924 encounter resulted in a goalless draw.
Lonsdale Park hosted its first New Year’s Day game in 1931 and the Workington supporters left well satisfied after a 5-1 victory over Scotswood.
That goal spree was nothing compared to the 1934 one-sided affair against a hapless Walker Celtic team. Workington recorded a 15-1 win with Andy Lincoln (6) and Billy Charlton (3) scoring nine of the goals between them.
It must have been an anti climax twelve months later when we needed a penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw against Throckley Welfare!
Our Football League record on the first day of the year saw Reds obtain two victories, suffer four defeats and register two draws.
In 1952, we got the better of Halifax Town at Borough Park with George Dick and Chris Simmonds scoring the goals which secured two welcome points.
The derby fixture at Brunton Park in 1954 attracted an impressive crowd of 13,648 and supporters of both sides had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Out longest trip for this particular Bank Holiday fixture took us to Exeter City in 1966 where John Lumsden’s goal was the consolation in a 2-1 reverse.
There was a thoroughly entertaining 3-2 home win for Reds in 1977 when we shaded victory against Huddersfield Town, to the delight of a 2,000 plus crowd. It ended a sequence of eighteen games without a win in our ill-fated final season of Fourth Division football.
Our next win would be as a Northern Premier League club with Barry Diamond, John Smith and Graham Gill scoring in the 3-1 success over Gateshead in 1981.
The 1985 and 1986 fixtures against Morecambe both resulted in 0-0 draws – at Christie Park and Borough Park respectively.
There was a touch of the unusual about a 2-0 ‘home’ win over Barrow in 1987. Due to a temporary closure of Borough Park, the game against our south of the county neighbours was staged at Lonsdale Park but the gate of 195 was the lowest ever for a league game between the two.
Sixty years after the Walker Celtic ‘farce’, we were able to celebrate another hat-trick from a Workington player. Martin Henderson scored three times in the first half of our 1994 clash at Spennymoor United but, unfortunately, in vain as we lost 5-3 with United having a hat-trick hero of their own – Keith Gorman!
And in the last eight fixtures played on this day, Reds have won just twice – both after the opposition looked like grabbing a point
We had to thank Graham Anthony for a late, late goal to secure a 2-1 win over Leigh RMI in 2008 and it was Conor Tinnion, scoring direct from a corner, who got the winner against Skelmersdale United six years ago, with the outcome also 2-1 in our favour.