MATCH PREVIEW: City in town

Reds will play their first home game of pre-season on Tuesday evening when our Northern League neighbours, Carlisle City, visit Borough Park (7.45pm).

It will be the Sky Blues first trip out west for a friendly for many years with Reds travelling in the opposite direction on a regular basis over the past decade.  Indeed, the last seven pre-season encounters have been in the Border city with Workington emerging victors on each occasion.

We have only ever played City in the Cumberland Cup or in pre-season friendlies, since their formation forty-nine years ago, and whilst we boast of success in the non-competitive matches, City do have a better record against in the County Cup, winning four of the six ties played.

Like ourselves, City have had a managerial change during the summer with Dan Kirkup taking over from Jim Nichols.

Dan is one of many in the City camp with links to Reds and he made twenty three starts, and several more appearances as a substitute, for us during our early years in Conference North.  He only netted the one goal in Workington red but a fine header proved the winner in a home match against Worcester City.

A more than useful cricketer over the years, Dan has appointed another talented performer with bat and ball, Michael Slack, as his assistant.

There have been many players who have worn both sky blue and red at various stages of their respective careers and the current squad includes the likes of Tom Mahone, Callum Birdsall, Matty Hartley, Liam Lightfoot, Kieron Olsen, Keelan Leslie, Jay Kelly and Scott Paden-Gale all of whom have spent time at Borough Park.

City, who lost their first pre-season game at the weekend, are preparing for their sixth successive season in the Northern League after a three-year stint in the North West Counties League.  Prior to that, they were long established members of the Northern Football Alliance.

Two years ago, they won the Northern League Second Division title and completed a double by lifting the Cumberland Cup.  Last season, they finished a commendable 8th in the top flight.

Kirkup’s squad will launch their league campaign with two away games, the first of which in just over a fortnight’s time.

Mark Fell will recall most of his senior players for what should be a good, competitive outing having rested a few for the weekend fixture v. Coppull United.

His aim is for the team to get ‘progressively better’ across the nine summer friendlies as he and his staff rebuild the threadbare squad they inherited.

It is also a special occasion for the manager himself as he prepares to take charge of the team for the first time on home soil.  He has won and lost at Borough Park in his time as Lancaster City boss and will be hoping that first home win as Workington chief comes sooner rather than later.

After the visit of City, Reds will host Carlisle United on Saturday by which time we should be looking a little stronger in terms of numbers.

Ticket prices:
Adult £5
Concessions: £3
Age 16-18: £1
Under 16: Free

Save time on match day and buy your tickets online before you get to the ground.

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