If you enjoy high-scoring matches, following Workington will guarantee plenty of goals – for and against!
Their seven pre-season games produced an aggregate of thirty-three with thirty-four netted in the opening seven league fixtures, plus a further half dozen in the one cup tie to date.
The entertainment continued in the intense heat and the last thing Basford wanted after their protracted journey north, was a hungry Workington team keen to improve their goal difference. It is still in the negative but the points on offer were far more important than goal ratios at this early stage of the season.
They were good value for their two-goal interval lead and a dominant first half performance left manager Danny Grainger rueing the half time interval – “We weren’t quite the same afterwards and gave them a ‘leg-up’ back into the game.”
Similarly, experienced Basford boss, Steve Kittrick, blamed a second half drinks break for disrupting his side’s momentum after they had fought back to level matters at 2-2.
And in a topsy-turvy final twenty minutes, the hosts obtained the goals which secured the victory they deserved.
Grainger, who gave up on the idea of fielding an unchanged team in consecutive matches a long time ago, introduced Niall Brookwell to the line-up and an impressive debut from the former Liverpool and Newcastle United graduate lifted some of the injury negativity.
Lewis Reilly has already missed a huge chunk of the season through a hamstring problem but will miss more games following an ankle injury after what looked an accidental collision with United skipper, Dom Roma.
His eighteenth minute replacement, Steven Rigg, deputised superbly and led the line well without getting the goal he probably deserved.
The two-goal cushion came from goals after thirty-seven and forty-five minutes through Brad Hubbold and David Symington respectively.
Hubbold, with his less favoured right foot, drove home his first league goal in twenty months after a good passage of attacking play down the right culminated in a bit of panic from the amber shirted defenders.
And the advantage was doubled on the stroke of half time when Symington despatched a typical twenty-yarder past United’s debutant ‘keeper, Louie Turner.
In between, Rigg went close on two occasions with well-directed headers, the second of which rebounding off the foot of the post.
Symington squandered Reds’ first three chances after the restart, the first two narrowly missing the target and the third crashing into the side netting after Rigg had provided the assist.
At the other end, the Nottingham side were getting a foothold in the game and an excellent Greg McCaragher block prevented them reducing the arrears.
But that only delayed the inevitable and the visitors did reduce the deficit with a scruffy effort, following a corner, on the hour mark. Josh Dyer was credited with the goal which seemed to cross the line through a forest of legs.
There was more quality in their second goal with substitute Charlie Wakefield finding the target with a good strike from the edge of the area.
Fortunately, Workington did not have to dwell too long on throwing away a two-goal lead as they restored a narrow advantage within a minute.
Rigg done the spadework, Conor Tinnion’s flicked header provide the assist and Kofi Moore blasted home a stunning shot on the volley soon after being introduced to the game via the bench.
And when Finlay Wallbank’s meandering run deep into Basford territory created a fourth for Reds, Symington blasting home his second of the afternoon, the points seemed secure. Not quite!
Basford netted the seventh of this late summer goal spree to set-up a nervous last ten minutes for the nail-biting home fans.
Photo credit: @40/20pix
But it was Workington who scored the final goal in the ninetieth minute, plus, with Kofi Moore’s pace proving crucial as he raced away from his tiring opponents. He chased Tinnion’s ‘’ave it’ clearance, glided into the area and finished with aplomb to net his third goal of the season – all of them in the spectacular category.
It was the right result, and most welcome, but credit to Basford who certainly made Workington work for the win.
Workington: Atkinson, Wallbank, Leslie, Wordsworth, Smith, Brookwell (Kofi Moore, 66), Symington, McCaragher, Reilly (Rigg, 18), Hubbold (Lewis Moore, 85), Tinnion. Substitute: Tait (not used).
Basford United: Turner, Roma, Angell, Makiessi, Carr, Goundry, Bowman (Wakefield, 46), Cartwright (Thomas, 55), Campbell (Dacres, 77), Dyer, Litchfield. Substitutes – Dearle, Ritzema (not used).
Referee: Chris Porter, Preston
Bookings: Makiessi, Litchfield