Managers Neil Young and Danny Grainger were probably the only two people on the ground who didn’t enjoy this high-scoring draw, yet both were probably happy with the point after this ding-dong battle could have gone either way.
Marine won the first half 3-2 and Workington edged the second 2-1 in the highest scoring game this fixture has produced. Eight individual scorers contributed to the goal feast including a first in senior football for Reds’ Dannen Francis and another late point saver from ex. Marine man, Joe Bunney.
And amongst the mayhem, Workington fans were almost celebrating the return of Bobby Carroll after a three-month spell on the sidelines with his twenty-minute cameo as a second half substitute bringing a little calm to a frenetic evening.
6 minutes Marine opened the scoring when Nathan Woodthorpe times his run to perfection and converts Sol Soloman’s corner from the left.
16 minutes The Reds are back in the game when Francis scores his first goal for the club after reacting to Felix Goddard’s save which denied David Symington’s original shot.
28 minutes Goddard lets Symington’s well-struck shot from outside the box slip through his hands to present the skipper with his eightieth Workington goal.
32 minutes Michael Carberry thunders home the goal of the night with his ‘thirty-yarder’ leaving Danny Eccles helpless.
45 minutes Another poor goal conceded from a Reds perspective as Soloman cuts in from the right to edge the host ahead at the break.
49 minutes Francis did ever so well on the right and chips a cross to the far post for Steven Rigg to bravely head home his eighth of the season.
54 minutes The hosts restored their lead when Louis White sees his sweetly hit free kick find the back of the net with power and accuracy.
81 minutes Symington’s run into the box is checked by Carberry and the referee ‘swiftly’ points to the spot. Joe Bunney’s CV includes a spell with the Crosby club last season but, regardless, he smashed home the Reds’ equaliser for the final goal of the evening.
Scott Allison could have won it for Reds but dragged a good chance wide but then Eccles made the save of the night at the other end to preserve that hard-earned point.
The majority of the Workington faithful would have gladly taken a point at kick-off but probably never contemplated the drama they would have to go through to get the draw.
Defensively sound in the two recent outings, this was a return to failings at Guiseley but any deficiencies on show were more than compensated by the abundance of character in the side.
They could have won the match, might have lost it yet salvaged a draw and that, after being behind on three occasions, suggests there is a good camaraderie in a squad that is slowly nearing full-strength.
It was Grainger’s first visit to the Marine Travel Arena and one he is unlikely to forget for a while.
Marine: Goddard, Ferguson, Woodthorpe (Nolan, 66), Saadi (Hayde, 80) Spittle, Wardle, Robinson (Mampala, 87), White, Evans, Soloman, Carberry. Substitutes – Cowderoy, Doyle (not used).
Workington: Eccles, Wallbank, Bunney, Gbadebo, Brookwell, Hubbold, Symington, Devitt (Carroll, 70), Rigg (McCaragher, 87), Francis (Allison, 67), Nelson. Substitutes – Smith, Lister (not used).
Referee: Thomas Swift, Cheshire
Bookings: Wardle, Evans, Carberry (Marine)