Trophy trips to South Cumbria and North Somerset have been amongst the highlights on the 13th January in the past not forgetting a heavy defeat at Lincoln’s second club…….
Three years ago we were on FA Trophy business with a Friday departure required for a first ever match against Weston-super-Mare of National League South.
The players stayed overnight near Bristol but the supporters’ coach left Workington at 5am on the morning of the match.
Not sure if it was the after effects of the seven hour journey on Friday evening but Reds made a sluggish start and it was the Seagulls who opened the scoring through Jarrad Welch. Indeed, we were second best for most of the first half but remained in the game.
And it was our turn to dominate after the break and a well worked goal involving Gari Rowntree and Nathan Waterston culminated with Scott Allison netting a deserved equaliser.
The mood was good on the 300 hundred plus journey home with the prospect of Weston having to make a similar journey on the Tuesday!
If the draw in the West Country was satisfying our FA Trophy tie at Barrow in 2009 was even more so with a comprehensive 3-0 victory leaving the Workington contingent delighted.
From a football perspective, we grew into the game and got better and better emerging deserved winners by the finish.
Gareth Arnison opened the scoring with a first half penalty after he had been upended in the area and netted his second, Reds third, ten minutes from the end. In between, Phil McLuckie scored and, although Barrow did have a goal disallowed for offside and Adam Collin made two decent saves, the derby bragging rights belonged to the West Cumbrians.
The treasurer was a happy man too with Reds collecting the £6,000 prize money and a similar amount from the gate receipts generated by a 1,614 crowd.
Reds’ two NPL encounters on this day produced mixed returns.
We were well pleased with a 1-1 draw at Witton Albion in 2001 with Grant Holt’s final goal in a Workington shirt, a decent header, helping us obtain a vital point at Wincham Park.
But a first ever encounter against Lincoln United in 1996 was fraught with problems. We successfully negotiated the awkward cross country journey and survived a goalless first half. Then Lincoln scored four goals after the interval and we were well beaten on our Ashby Avenue debut.
To compound matters, George Corrie sustained a rib injury and was taken to the local hospital. As a consequence, the team coach had to wait for the midfielder to be discharged and it was 11pm on Saturday night before we set off for home!
In the crowd that day was former centre forward, Mike Commons, who had settled in the Lincoln area after his playing days.
Ironically, Mike was making the headlines in a Workington shirt on this day in 1962. Reds were held to a 2-2 draw by Millwall at Borough Park and that was after Commons’ two goals in the first half had given us a 2-0 advantage.
Millwall went on to win the Fourth Division title that season with Reds finishing a commendable 8th. Workington’s only Football League victory on this day was against Northampton Town in 1973. Dave Helliwell, Dave Irving and Johnny Martin scored the goals that gave the Borough Park faithful a first win of the year.