MATCH PREVIEW: It’s the end of the world

I picked up on a conversation on Tuesday when a father and son combination of Reds fans were leaving the ground.

Dad was saying to his son that the Guiseley game was the last match of the season and the youngster replied, “Does that mean it’s the end of the world?”

Not quite, thankfully.  It certainly is the end of April, definitely the end of the season and, very sadly, the end of an era and there will be plenty of goodbyes, hugs and handshakes this weekend.  Maybe a few tears too!

There is also an important match against Guiseley, of course, and although both teams could improve their final standing by one position with a win, it is a campaign that has ended disappointingly at Nethermoor and Borough Park.

Our 4-3 defeat in Yorkshire back in November probably epitomises our season – plenty of goals scored, far too many conceded and defeats incurred on a regular basis.

And in a nut shell, that’s about it.

Guiseley are currently 9th in the table with 61 points, Reds are languishing in 17th place but eleven points better off than the two highest placed relegated clubs.

We have lost twice to champions, Radcliffe, managed to obtain one point from Macclesfield, Marine, Rylands and Worksop, lost twice to Hyde, took four points from Ashton United and four more from Lancaster, recorded league doubles over Basford and FC United, managed to obtain three points from both Bradford and Stafford yet allowed Atherton Colls to inflict a league double upon us.  We also lost at Marske before their sad demise.

At the risk of tempting fate, we have never played out a goalless draw against Guiseley in twenty-three previous encounters and, after conceding 80 league goals already this term, a clean sheet in our final match would be most welcome.

The head-to-head is stacked heavily in Guiseley’s favour, though, with their fourteen wins overshadowing our three successes.  Put it this way, if you have witnessed a Workington victory against Guiseley, you have been very lucky.

However, the result on Saturday is only of equal importance to those who are leaving the Workington family.

The mass exodus sees us bid a fond farewell to Danny Grainger, Jamie Devitt, senior players Conor Tinnion, Scott Allison and Sam Smith as well as several other members of the playing staff.

Never have we lost so many club stalwarts in one go.

Suffice to say, we are grateful for the contributions all the football staff have made this season but to those who have spent a third of their life with us it will be such a blow to see them pass through the front door for the last time.

So, a very big thank you to Danny Grainger for his contribution over four thoroughly enjoyable seasons – 150 games, a win rate of 51% in the league, one promotion and two Cumberland Cup successes is not a bad return.

And what more can we add to the many wonderful tributes bestowed upon Conor, Scott and Sam, a trio of legends who have given absolutely everything to this club – and more.

A combined contribution of nearly 1,300 games and 256 goals – that is one chunk of experience disappearing overnight.

Let’s celebrate the end of an era this weekend and consider how fortunate we have been to have heroes of this calibre pulling on the red shirt.


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