Workington have obtained only two league wins on the 9th March in previous years – one after a fairly short journey, the other after a three hundred mile trek south for a Conference North fixture. Other than that, we have to settle for a draw or, worse, a defeat and there have been plenty of each…….
2013 Bishop’s Stortford (away) 3-0 The plan was to leave Borough Park mid/late afternoon on the Friday, reach the Midlands hotel in the evening and complete the remainder of the journey in the morning. However, the coach broke down after three hours on the motorway with the travelling party marooned at a service station. After having to wait for a replacement vehicle, the players and officials eventually got to their hotel at 2.15am!
The lack of sleep didn’t seem to have any serious impact with Reds producing a rather special performance after the three hundred mile journey and bagged the three Blue Square Bet North points, emerging emphatic winners.
Phil McLuckie opened the scoring after eight minutes and Reds were in control thereafter. Gareth Arnison rubber-stamped the win with two second half goals, one of which was from the penalty spot.
Thankfully, the return journey from Hertfordshire was trouble free and seemed to pass quickly with everyone in jubilant mood.
2010 Blyth Spartans (away) 0-0 Other than a brief moment when Spartans hit the woodwork twice in the same attack, Reds defended well at Croft Park and, whilst not deserving to win, were good value for the draw.
A week after beating Spartans at Borough Park, a point in the return was considered a decent outcome. Tony Hopper was probably Reds’ best performer on the night with Tony Caig keeping his twelfth clean sheet of the season.
2004 Kendal Town (away) 5-0 Tommy Cassidy described this performance as Reds’ best in his two and half years at the club. At the time, it was a record away win in the NPL and a best ever success against the Kendal outfit.
Paul O’Neill was handed his debut but it didn’t go too well and he was stretchered off with an ankle injury.
But it made little difference to Reds’ dominance and the goals flowed freely. Steve Archibald came off the bench to score twice with Matt Henney, Rob Ennis and Craig Johnston also enjoying the target practice.
2002 Radcliffe Borough (home) 1-1 Mr. Bean was the Radcliffe hero as he grabbed their second half equaliser but it was no comedy sketch and the scorer was, in fact, David Bean.
Rob Ennis had opened the scoring in the first half for Reds who were skippered for the first time by Craig Potts.
1996 Lincoln United (home) 1-2 It was a mixed afternoon for Jarrod Suddick and John George. The latter didn’t complete the ninety minutes after being sent off but Jarrod was able to celebrate his first goal for the club, albeit to no avail.
Lincoln scored in each half to maintain their decent record against Reds.
1991 Emley (home) 0-0 A thoroughly entertaining game on a poor playing surface almost had the perfect finish from a Reds perspective. We were awarded a late penalty but Graeme Nicholson’s spot-kick was saved by Emley ‘keeper, Ray Dennis.
Ironically, one of Reds most successful penalty takes during the Football League era, Tony Geidmintis, was watching from the terraces!
1986 Burton Albion (away) 0-2 Reds had played at Worksop on Saturday afternoon and completed a busy weekend with this re-arranged Sunday fixture at Eton Park.
The match was a first for Reds – the first ever morning kick-off (1130) for a competitive fixture.
Albion cashed in when a weak back pass gifted them the opening goal with the second netted seconds before the final whistle.
1985 Oswestry Town (away) 1-2 The Shropshire club were NPL members for a decade or so (70/80s) and had a good record against Reds especially at Victoria Road.
John Smith’s fourteenth goal of another productive season was in vain as Town’s two second half goals secured the points.
There was a link between the clubs with former Reds defender, Stuart Mason, manager of Oswestry at that time.
1977 Bournemouth (home) 1-1 Both matches against Bournemouth finished all square including this Wednesday night tussle at Borough Park. We were indebted to the former Sheffield Wednesday player, Eddie Prudham, on this occasion with his first goal for Reds helping obtain an all too rare point.
He had joined us on loan from Carlisle United and enjoyed a very successful stint with us scoring six times in fifteen appearances.
Eddie worked in the Prison Service after his playing days.
1976 Huddersfield Town (away) 0-2 Although we never won at Huddersfield’s old Leeds Road ground it was always a highlight-of-the-season moment when we played there. Even with just a 5,000 crowd in attendance it was an intimidating place and was on this particular evening when we finished second best.
1972 Bury (away) 0-2 Gigg Lane was also a barren ground from a Workington perspective and we never obtained a point there in four league visits.
Bury were worthy winners in this meeting but we finished above them in the final table – Reds 6th, Bury 9th.
1968 Newport County (home) 1-1 The added attraction of this Fourth Division fixture was welcoming Joe Wilson back to Borough Park, albeit as a member of the Newport County side.
Joe’s previous game at Borough Park had been six years earlier before his transfer to Nottingham Forest. He subsequently played for Wolves and County before his career was ‘book-ended’ with a return to Borough Park.
This was the only draw between the sides on our patch with Billy Griffin scoring the Workington goal.
1963 Barrow (home) 3-5 The Fourth Division encounters versus the Holker Street men were hard to take during the ’62-63 campaign with the Bluebirds scoring ten goals against us. They had thumped us 5-1 in the first meeting and then completed an emphatic league double by outplaying us in the return at Borough Park.
Jackie Swindells, Dave Carr and Ken Furphy scored our goals on home soil.
1957 Chesterfield (away) 2-2 The Spireites had a good home record at the time so a draw at Saltergate was considered a decent result. Regular marksmen, Billy Robson and Jimmy Dailey netted our goals in Derbyshire.