When Reds fans sift through the many ‘man-of-the-match’ contenders after another convincing victory, the groundsman might be considered for a few votes for getting this game on in the first place.
And having survived a couple of pitch inspections, Reds took full advantage of others’ inactivity to increase their lead over Pontefract Collieries and Ramsbottom United, both left frustrated by Storm Jorge.
The storm was at its worst after the hour mark but Reds, facing horizontal hail and rain, managed the game superbly.
By then, they were 4-1 to the good and closing in on another valuable three points.
They had raced into a four-goal lead by half time but, such was the ferocity of the wind, there might have been one or two nervous fans of the opinion that Clitheroe might be capable of matching that after the break.
In truth, though, Reds could have added to their goal tally and restricted the visitors to just the one consolation – a rather special one it has to be said.
Top scorer Scott Allison, in the form of his life just now, went clear at the top of the North West Division scoring charts with his second hat-trick of the season and his seventh in Workington colours.
He hit the Derwent End net after twelve, thirty-four and forty-two minutes with ex. Clitheroe player, Brad Carroll, also on target for the third consecutive match.
Allison’s first, a sweetly struck penalty, after Lincoln McFayden tripped Ceiran Casson, gave Reds the best possible start and they doubled the advantage six minutes later through Carroll. Dav Symington’s low cross from the left should have been cleared by a blue and white shirt, it wasn’t and Carroll’s crisp low finish left ‘keeper, Chris Thompson helpless for a second time.
And the goalkeeper was retrieving the ball for a third time when Allison’s clever footwork paved the way for his second, Workington’s third. He dragged the ball back and drove home from a central position with his less-favoured right foot.
There was still time to claim the match-ball with a poacher’s goal before the players raced off for the warmth of the dressing rooms. Conor Tinnion sprayed the ball wide to Symington and his cross-cum-shot was deflected into the net by Allison who, after a quick check to see if he was onside, celebrated his first 20 goal league haul.
I suppose Phil Brown’s message to his shell-shocked side was to go out and win the second half and credit to them for doing that.
Reds were hoping for no more than keeping a clean sheet but their perfect defensive record for February was shattered after sixty-six minutes. Tyrhys Dolan was twenty-five yards out from goal but he connected perfectly with the ball to send a half volley beyond Jim Atkinson for Clitheroe’s only reply.
Atkinson’s kicking was good in the circumstances and the fact that Reds tried to play out from the back did nullify Clitheroe’s chances of taking advantage of the strong wind.
But credit to both sides for sticking it out and at least attempting to entertain the shivering crowd.
There were no further scares for Danny Grainger’s side who avenged the defeat at Shawbridge from earlier in the season with a bit to spare.
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke (Hebson, 85), Brockbank, Wordsworth, Smith, Casson, Symington (Waterston, 72), Carroll, Allison, Hubbold, Tinnion (Lonsdale, 57). Substitutes – Malumo, Howarth (not used).
Clitheroe: Thompson, Russell (Gregory, 46), McFayden, Stanley, Foulds, Baxter, Cummings, Carney (O’Neil, 58), Wood, Dolan, Gaul (Gray, 76). Substitute – Camarda (not used).
Referee: Adam Nichol, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Bookings: Casson (Workington), Russell (Clitheroe)
Matchday photos by Ben Challis.