An enforced break in the fixture schedule, which sees Reds without a league match for over a fortnight, will be used to ‘reboot’ a faltering season. That’s the message from frustrated Workington boss, Danny Grainger, after watching his side flatter to deceive once again.
The players will be given the rest of the week off before returning for a mini ‘pre-season’ schedule in an attempt to turn round their poor form. That winless run stretched to four games on the east coast but it’s the number of goals being conceded that is of most concern – 32 so far, figures which suggest a relegation scrap if defensive deficiencies continue at such a rate.
Only Marske have shipped more goals but, for now, they have solved that side of their game and are improving – Reds are heading in the opposite direction.
Yet, for the opening forty minutes, we saw an improvement on recent displays against Matlock and Gainsborough although could not convert a handful of chances into something tangible, goals.
Jason Kennedy had headed an early chance wide for the hosts and Adam Boyes’ effort was heading goalwards before Niall Brookwell got back to clear.
Then Reds hit a purple patch.
Jamie Devitt, on his full debut, was prominent in that first half and seemed to enjoy the contest between himself and former Carlisle United colleague, Kennedy.
The Dubliner linked well with Steven Rigg to create Reds’ best chance of the game but Devitt’s shot hit the foot of the post and was scrambled away by Camron Gbadebo.
Rigg came close on two occasions himself. The first effort, firmly struck, was blocked and an even better attempt cleared off the line by Gbadebo. Kit Nelson then saw his left foot drive narrowly clear the bar.
But just when Reds were patting themselves on the back for a decent first half showing, they conceded in stoppage time. It came from a corner which wasn’t properly dealt with and, when the ball was recycled, Gbadebo was first to react to send the ball past Jim Atkinson whose only previous task had been to hold a Curtis Round shot.
Only once, after conceding first, have Workington gone on to win so when Round doubled Marske’s advantage eight minutes after the restart the writing was on the wall.
He wasn’t closed down upon receiving the ball twenty-five yards from goal, allowed to take a touch before promptly despatching a good finish beyond Atkinson.
There was a diluted response from Reds. Kofi Moore and Nelson exchanged passes culminating in a well struck shot from Moore which Jaan Yaqub saved comfortably then a Scott Allison shot was partially blocked but the ball looped in the air before being caught on the goal line by the goalkeeper.
And it was Yaqub who provide the assist for United’s 74th minute goal. He went ‘Route 1’ and Boyes got his eleventh goal of the season with worrying ease.
Latest recruit Josh O’Brien (inset) got half an hour to develop his skills and powered a late header into the safe hands of Yaqub, denying Reds a consolation goal they probably didn’t deserve anyway.
Certainly, plenty of food for thought in the next fortnight.
Marske United: Yaqub, Gbadebo, Myers, Kennedy, Sikora, Beals, Church (Robertson, 74), Leech, Boyes, Chimalilo (McCarthy, 86), Round. Substitutes – MacDonald, Dale, Campbell (not used).
Workington: Atkinson, Roxburgh (Hubbold, 61), Leslie, Newton (O’Brien, 61), Brookwell, Casson, Moore K, Nelson, Rigg, Devitt (Allison, 56), Tinnion. Substitutes – McCaragher, Moore L (not used).
Referee: Sam Parnaby, Bishop Auckland
Bookings: Round, Gbadebo, Sikora (Marske United), Newton, Casson, Nelson (Workington)