Two goals in each half paved the way for Reds’ best win away of the season as they extended their impressive unbeaten run on the road to eleven matches.
Indeed, their only reverse on their travels was at Warrington Rylands back in October and the top two now face each other on Saturday in the return fixture at Borough Park.
There was never any doubt about the outcome at the Berry Street Garage Stadium with Reds in dominant mood from start to finish. And what became a difficult task for the hosts became even more so three minutes before the interval when defender Jordan Wynne was sent off.
There was confusion over what seemed a harsh dismissal with the referee first pulling out a yellow card before quickly switching to red after Wynne’s head-high challenge on Brad Carroll.
The Reds midfielder was certainly kicked in the face but there was no malicious intent from Wynne.
Reds were already a goal to the good at that point and another soon after the sending off rocked Bootle’s composure.
Charlie Holland squandered Bootle’s first chance, dragging his shot wide when well placed but Morgan Homson-Smith did, at least, test Jim Atkinson from distance.
But they were isolated sorties into Workington territory as the Cumbrians got a foothold in the game and Theo Roberts was certainly the busier of the two ‘keepers.
They created a few half chances but the all important first goal came after thirty four minutes following their fifth corner. Sam Smith’s intention was to head the cross but the ball dropped between him and a Bootle defender and he reacted quickly to fire home from close range with his less favoured right foot.
Bootle were still in the game at that point but the Wynne/Carroll incident saw the pendulum swing in Workington’s favour.
They doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time with a fine Reuben Jerome goal. He received the ball from Matty Clark, turned on a sixpence and his well struck left foot shot was in the net before Roberts had time to react.
Keelan Leslie was introduced to the game just before half time, replacing the injured Kyle Harrison, and the teenager slotted in seamlessly, playing his part in an excellent team performance.
Top scorer, David Symington, brought a great save out of Roberts early in the second half but increased Reds’ lead nine minutes after the restart. Good attacking play down the right culminated in Scott Allison feeding Symington on the edge of the area and the latter had all the time he needed to plant the ball in the net for a landmark goal. It was his fiftieth for the club, not the best from his wonderful portfolio of spectacular goals, but important nevertheless.
Atkinson was almost a spectator as Reds’ game management resulted in Bootle’s ten men chasing round like headless chickens. But, to their credit, they came close to reducing the arrears when Declan McLoughlin broke clear but his shot was saved by Atkinson’s feet.
Scott Fenwick and Nico Evangelinos were introduced for the final half hour, and both made positive contributions, although the former blazed a great chance over the bar with his first touch.
A well worked corner routine led to the fourth goal of the evening and it was Carroll who drove the ball home four minutes from time, to complete a thoroughly professional performance.
Bootle: Roberts T, Roberts J, Carberry, Bell (Cooper, 46) McCarten, Wynne, Homson-Smith, McLoughlin, Petersen, Millington, Holland. Substitutes – Loughlin, McDonald, McGowan, Ogunby (not used).
Workington: Atkinson, Harrison (Leslie, 45), Clarke, Wordsworth, Smith, Casson, Symington, Carroll, Jerome (Fenwick, 59), Tinnion (Evangelinos, 59), Allison. Substitutes – Gaul, Rigg (not used).
Referee: Louis Smith
Corner count: 4-11
Red card: Wynne (Bootle)
Booking: Millington (Bootle)