Disjointed Reds were second best after saying good bye to the legend that is Dan Wordsworth and this was not the send-off all west Cumbrians hoped for.
The battle-weary number 4 would have wanted the three points more than anyone to end a distinguished career in style but, like his aching body, this performance was fragmented.
Danny Grainger again made changes but, for whatever reason, those tweaks to the line-up couldn’t conjure a winning performance. Finding the right permutation with so many injuries is proving difficult as three more points were frittered away.
The Reds did score two cracking goals – the first after a classic pass and movement break and finished by the in-form Steven Rigg, the second a thumping good finish from rookie Kit Nelson.
Grainger was more than happy with those positive moments in a game of few but not so pleased with the error-related three goals conceded: “All preventable,” he fumed.
So, in true Workington tradition, the Reds helped improve Gainsborough’s wretched away form. Before the long trip up to Cumbria, Trinity had played five away games, all on a 3G surface incidentally, and had lost them all without scoring a single goal.
But they returned to Lincolnshire with three welcome points in the bag with the Borough Park grass obviously more to their liking.
Early warning signs suggested Trinity were capable of taking advantage of Workington’s sloppiness with Javelle Clarke seeing a decent strike turned over by Jim Atkinson’s finger tips whilst Declan Howe’s shot rattled the cross bar with Reds’ ‘keeper beaten.
And it was against the run of play when Reds took the lead, Rigg notching his fifth of the season in the thirty-third minute. It was hardly a deserved lead but the hope was it would inspire a nervous looking Reds.
But they shot themselves in the foot on the stroke of half time when Clarke cashed in on ‘poor game management’ when they tried to play their way out of trouble when it wasn’t worth the risk.
To their credit, they started the second half with a bit more vigour and another good passing move culminated in Conor Tinnion finding the net only for his ‘first goal of the season’ to be ruled out after being adjudged offside.
And, almost immediately, the visitors regained the lead when Reds lost their bearings altogether. Howe, was enjoying the freedom, and a curling, dipping shot from out wide had ‘goal’ written all over it as soon as the ball left his right foot.
Within ninety seconds, Reds restored parity once more with North End youngster, Nelson, netting a stunner at the south end of the stadium past a helpless Luke Jackson.
The winner, in keeping with a mistaken-ridden contest, came via a soft penalty when Brad Hubbold and the wily Howe came into contact and the latter went to ground.
Howe demonstrated to Workington the art of converting a spot-kick and Trinity were on their way to a first away win of the season.
Wordsworth hobbled off into retirement shortly after to compound a disappointingly sad day for the Workington Reds family.
Workington: Atkinson, McCaragher, Newton (Casson. 63), Wordsworth (Roxburgh, 79), Brookwell, Hubbold, Moore K, Nelson (Devitt, 79), Rigg, Allison, Tinnion. Substitutes – Hammell, Leslie (not used).
Gainsborough Trinity: Jackson L, Wallace, Jackson A, Conway, Douglas, Cogill, Butroid (Brewin-Hawkins, 90), Johnson (Poulter, 72), Southwell (Moore-Billam, 72), Howe, Clarke. Substitutes – Holvey, Lovick (not used).
Referee: Alex Beckett, Blackpool