Reflecting on some impressive performances from Reds on the 3rd January over the decades…….
In thirty-four seasons of Northern Premier League football, there have been few instances of Reds handing out a thrashing to the soon-to-be champions but that is precisely what we did in 1983 as we started the year in style.
Ray Wilkie’s Gateshead were enjoying one of their best ever seasons at this level and had comfortably beaten Reds 3-1 in the first meeting. But we were in a rich seam of form for the early January clash and three goals in each half registered a superb 6-0 victory.
Allan Carruthers had opened the scoring before John Smith and Gary Benfold enjoyed a field day against the NPL league leaders. John completed a hat-trick and Gary netted twice as we put the champions in waiting to the sword.
Turning out for the ‘Heed that day were future Reds’ players, Martin Henderson and Jim Pearson, with the latter having the misfortune to be sent off during the second half.
Gateshead were crowned champions long before the end of the season, scoring 114 goals and registering 100 points in the process. Workington finished 7th with 67 points!
We made a bit of history on this day in 1987 when we recorded a 1-0 victory over Hyde United at Ewen Fields. It was our first ever match (and win) on a plastic pitch. Despite being under the cosh for much of the game – the corner count was 16-4 in Hyde’s favour – we scored the only goal of the match with Kevin Rowntree heading home the winner after just three minutes.
The 1994 home win over Harrogate Town was a personal triumph for Paul Campbell who scored a perfect hat-trick (right foot, left foot, header) in the 3-1 victory. Town had taken the lead with a spectacular goal earlier in the game.
Skipper Will Varty made his 100th consecutive appearance for Reds in the 2004 fixture against Guiseley. And, despite going behind twice, we salvaged a point from the game thanks to goals from Glenn Murray and Mathew Henney.
Reds were top of the league as we eased into 2005 and a comfortable 2-0 success over Bamber Bridge left us six points clear at the summit. Mark Eccles and Craig Johnston scored the first half goals which completed a league double over the Preston outfit.
Six years ago in 2015, Reds emerged comfortable 3-0 winners in a home clash against Whitby Town with the three points leaving us in sixth position. Conor Tinnion opened the scoring during the first half with Gareth Arnison netting twice in the second. Workington’s only Football League outing on the 3rd January was back in 1953 when a straightforward 3-0 win over Accrington Stanley saw us complete a Third Division North double having won at Peel Park four months earlier. Danny McDowall, George Dick and Harold Wallbanks shared the goals to the delight of the 7,000 crowd.