A look through the archives to see what was happening to Reds on the 2nd January in years gone by…….
The last opponent you want when reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup is a team from the same division as yourselves. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Reds when they reached that stage of the competition for the final time fifty years ago.
Hard earned 3-2 victories over Scarborough (away) and Chesterfield (home) had ensured we were in the draw for the Third Round but imagine our disappointment when we were paired with fellow Fourth Division outfit, Brentford.
With all due respect to the Griffin Park boys, it wasn’t the tie we had been dreaming of.
Cometh the big day and our disappointment with the draw spilled over on to the pitch. Reds were well below par in the match itself and Brentford progressed thanks to Scottish winger, John Docherty, who scored the only goal of the game before an attendance of 5,953.
Brentford went on to reach the 5th Round before losing at Hull City.
The Workington team on duty that January afternoon in 1971 was:
Burridge, Wilson, Ogilvie, Geidmintis, Spencer, Wood, Tyrer, Spratt, Massie, Goodfellow, Martin. Substitute: Helliwell
Sadly, all but three of that Reds team have since passed away.
All our other matches on this day have been in league competition – the Football League, Northern Premier League, North West Counties League and National North.
Our first ever NPL meeting against Barrow at Borough Park was staged in 1978 and it was Reds who triumphed 2-0 thanks to one bizarre goal and one more conventional.
Goalkeeper Ian Bedford had the satisfaction of scoring the first – punting the ball from his own area at the Town End and seeing the ball bounce over his opposite number, Kevin Thomas, at the other end and finish up in the Derwent End goal. The second came from player manager, Dave Wilson, a well taken header!
We also hosted Barrow in ten years later, in 1988, but no bragging rights for us as the Bluebirds strolled to a 4-0 victory with Colin Cowperthwaite netting his 200th goal for the club that day. Another familiar scorer was Billy Gilmour who netted the third!
There was also another Cumbrian derby in 1989 with Reds getting the better of Penrith by the odd goal in five. As always, there were plenty of ex. Reds playing for Penrith and vice versa.
David Taylor and Carl Burdon actually scored against us but we secured the points thanks to a Graeme Nicholson brace and one from Chris Collins.
Our best win on this day was a 4-0 romp over Bootle in the North West Counties League with Marc Green, Martin Kirkby, Paul Stewart and Darren Wilson sharing the goals.
And the best win on the road was recorded nine years ago, a comprehensive 3-0 success at Blyth Spartans. David McNiven scored two spectacular goals at Croft Park after Phil McLuckie had opened the scoring.
Our last home match on the first Saturday in January was five years ago. Conor Tinnion had given us a deserved lead against Colwyn Bay but the North Wales outfit completed the perfect smash and grab raid with goals in the 87th and 90th minutes – ouch!
Workington’s Football League matches on this day involved long journeys for no reward. We lost 2-1 at Torquay United in 1960 and 5-1 at Gillingham five years later.