A first ever victory at the Horsfall Community Stadium and a first win against Avenue in the last thirteen attempts left Workington in good spirits following their trip to West Yorkshire.
The scoreline suggests a tight, close game but it was anything but until the later stages of an encounter the Cumbrians dominated for long periods. Time and again they worked their way through Bradford lines but wasted chance after chance and their extravagance in front of goal could have proved costly as ‘out-of-sorts’ Bradford mounted late pressure.
But Reds got over the line to record back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
Workington were getting a bit of joy down their right flank with Finlay Wallbank and Kofi Moore combining well and it was from one sortie from the impressive Wallbank which led to the opening goal. He skipped past the fullback and sent over a perfect delivery which Steven Rigg headed home to open the scoring after fifteen minutes.
Rigg was one of several players to impress with a superb demonstration of old- fashioned centre forward play pivotal until he gave way to a fresh pair of legs twenty minutes from time.
Top scorer Scott Allison almost doubled the lead when he contested a high ball with Avenue skipper and goalkeeper, George Sykes-Kenworthy, and actually won the header but the ball drifted narrowly wide of the target.
Bradford were giving the ball away cheaply and on one occasion they were outnumbered three-to-one as Conor Tinnion, David Symington and Moore countered. But the three Reds players got in each other’s way and the chance was gone, setting the tone for their second half profligacy.
A Symington free-kick in the first half went the wrong side of the upright but a second attempt, soon after the restart, was pushed away to safety by Sykes-Kenworthy. The Bradford ‘keeper, dressed in an all-red outfit, made an even better stop to keep out an audacious, overhead attempt from Tinnion.
In an isolated attack towards the Workington goal, Brad Dockerty, did land a shot on target but Jim Atkinson gathered comfortably.
Reds’ second goal was welcome because, either side of Dan Wordsworth’s first of the season, Rigg, Allison, Brad Hubbold and Greg McCaragher, twice, had wasted gilt-edged opportunities to put the game to bed.
Tinnion’s corner towards the near post found Wordsworth who headed home what proved to be the match decider in the eighty-first minute.
Workington may have thought the game was over at that point but Avenue had other ideas. The pass of the match from Lewis Hey finally split Reds’ defence but Dockerty’s shot was dragged wide with the ball clipping the post as it rolled out of play.
But they did score in the second of five added minutes stoppage time. Will Longbottom gathered the ball on the edge of the box and, unchallenged, he sent a low shot beyond Atkinson for a late consolation goal, denying the ‘keeper his first clean sheet of the campaign.
Nevertheless, a welcome and deserved three points and a first away win over Avenue since the Third Division (North) days back in the 1956-57 season!
Bradford Park Avenue: Sykes-Kenworthy, Odunston, O’Malley, Hey, Lund (Osadebe, 71), Lancaster, Hopper (Kersey, 85), Colville (Havern, 61), Dockerty, Preston, Longbottom. Substitutes – King, Calligan (not used).
Workington: Atkinson, Wallbank, Bell (Roxburgh, 86), Wordsworth, Brookwell, Casson, Symington, Moore K (Hubbold, 63), Rigg (McCaragher, 72), Allison, Tinnion. Substitutes – Leslie, Moore L (not used).
Referee: Ian Johnston, Leeds
Bookings: Dockerty (Bradford Park Avenue), Tinnion, Moore K, Atkinson (Workington)