Chris Willcock witnessed his first win as Reds’ boss but will feel there is more to come from a side which seems to have lost its identity.
They spluttered to a narrow win against the Northern League side and if they do the same at Kidsgrove in a fortnight everyone in the camp will be happy.
All the preparation is geared towards the NPL campaign and results during July have little or no relevance. But the idea of pre-season is obviously to get fit, present plenty of game time to each member of the squad, establish the formations that best suit the squad and develop a game plan that will trouble a tough-looking West Division.
The fitness levels are good but a few tweaks, here and there, are needed before Reds can declare, “We’re ready”.
They controlled much of the game against a brave, young City side but never, at any stage, dominated proceedings.
Looking for the early breakthrough which might have boosted confidence, Sam Smith headed wide via a Dave Symington corner, Brad Carroll met Conor Tinnion’s free kick but his header lacked the power to trouble Kyle Townsley who then dealt with a Symington effort after a decent Reds’ build-up.
But the lack of an end product kept City in the game and it was they who took the lead just before the half hour mark. Jordan Palmer had gone close with a free kick, which flashed inches wide of Jim Atkinson’s left hand post, but their next attack unsettled Reds.
Aaran Bradbury’s progress into the area was checked by Brad Hubbold’s trip and the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot. Bradbury took the spot-kick himself but was denied by an excellent Atkinson save with the ‘keeper getting a hand to the ball and pushing it away via the upright.
Liam Studholme reacted first and was able to recycle the ball on the right and return it across the face of goal where Bradbury was able to atone for his miss by converting from a yard out.
Tyler Bowman then had an attempt from distance but Atkinson handled the ball confidently.
The half closed with City still in front after Tinnion’s curling shot was just wide of the target.
The West Cumbrians spent long periods in the City half after the break and two headed goals secured a narrow, win.
They equalised seven minutes after the restart when Brad Carrol back-headed home Kieran Charlton’s cross from the left but the tempo of the game dipped for a while when both managers introduced changes from the bench.
Hubbold was unlucky not to score when Tom Newton spread himself well to deflect his shot on to the bar and away for corner but the former, Carroll and Carl Lightfoot then made way for Steven Rigg, Reuben Jerome and Iyrwah Gooden.
And it was two of the replacements who combined to fashion a seventy-fifth minute winner. Gooden got away from Matty Hartley wide on the right and a perfectly flighted cross was emphatically headed home by Jerome at the near post.
Jim Nicholl’s team will be ready to start their league programme on Saturday but Reds still have time to iron out a few creases as their prep continues.
Carlisle City: Townsley (Newton), Olsen, Hartley, Allison, Bowman, Johnstone, Studholme, Simpson, Palmer, Bradbury, Kerr. Substitutes – Holt, Armstrong, Reay, Dixon (all used).
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Charlton, Wordsworth, Smith, Hubbold (Gooden, 65) Lightfoot C (Jerome, 65), Carroll (Rigg, 65), Bowman (Hebson, 85),Tinnion, Symington (Lightfoot L, 80). Substitute – Eccles (not used).
Referee John Mulligan, Carlisle