This was one tough ninety minutes for Reds’ youngsters, a case of men against boys, with the vastly more experienced Bluebirds strolling to an emphatic Lancashire League victory.
They couldn’t keep the ball long enough to cause Barrow problems and, although numerous openings were created, a lack of composure prevented them scoring a consolation goal, or two.
Playing up the slope at Rakesmoor Lane, home of Holker Old Boys, and facing a gale force wind, Reds battled away gamely and were in contention for the opening half hour.
But two individual errors saw them concede before the break with Christian Sloan and Macauley Woods gratefully accepting the gifts after thirty two and forty three minutes respectively.
The naive visitors probably thought by reaching the interval still ‘in contention’ they would fare better playing down the hill and the strong wind behind them. But their application was not the same in the second half and the hosts netted four more and could even afford to squander several easier opportunities.
Charlie Johnston came closest to getting on the score sheet in the first half with James Bell, Regan Stephenson and Leon Dmytrowski all narrowly missing the target in isolated Workington attacks in the second.
The two goalkeepers Barrow used were hardly troubled but Reds’ Tom Birkett was kept busy. He made a string of fine saves and was given little protection by his colleagues, with goals flying past him at regular intervals.
Tyler Spence scored the third of the evening before Ryan Rodgers added the fourth and fifth. The latter also went close to completing a hat-trick, twice hitting the woodwork with decent efforts.
And Jack Milburn’s confident finish completed the rout just before the end.
Many of the Barrow players are already experiencing first team football elsewhere and Reds youngsters have to attain similar levels of performance in the next few years of their development.
There was a touch of irony in the opposition technical area with current first team star, Brad Hubbold, helping to plot Reds’ downfall as part of his day job in the Barrow Community set-up.
Barrow: Stephens, Woods, Hetherington, Allington, McKechnie, Mitchell, Mitchell, Milburn, Sloan, Spence, Rayner, Cole. Substitutes – Keane, Barker, Rodgers (all used).
Workington: Birkett, Dmytrowski, Hartley, Atkinson, Williamson, Bell, Johnston, Hambling, Booty, Lightfoot, Houghton. Substitutes – Durham and Stephenson (used), Dawson and Lister (not used).
Referee: Curtis Wood
Bookings: Mitchell (Barrow), Atkinson (Workington)