Workington made a tame exit from the Cumberland Cup after an uninspiring performance at Gillford Park.
The selection policy of fielding a mixed side served them well in the two previous rounds but the lack of cohesion was noticeable on this occasion and they can have no complaints about the outcome.
Indeed City, who named ten players with previous Workington connections on the team sheet, will be wondering why they didn’t score a few more goals after dominating the second half.
Reds were expecting to face a number of their ‘old boys’ for this Quarter Final tie but it was a surprise to see Kyle May turning out in sky blue. Reds’ record appearance holder appeared to enjoy his debut for City, just a few months short of his fortieth birthday!
The first half was nothing more than an extended warm-up with disjointed Reds and ring-rusty City struggling to find any rhythm.
Brad Carroll registered the first shot on target but the weak effort didn’t really trouble Craig Murray in the City goal and although his next effort was struck better it was deflected wide for a corner.
City’s best attempts from Josh Simpson and Aaran Bradbury were wayward although a David Seggie shot saw Danny Eccles fumble the ball before the danger was averted.
It was goalless at the break but the tempo improved on the restart with Jim Nichols’ Northern League side gaining the upper hand.
That was after Carroll’s over-hit free kick had landed on top of Murray’s crossbar.
The deadlock should have been broken when City were awarded a penalty following Dan Whitehead’s trip on Bradbury in the fifty second minute. Bradbury took the spot-kick himself only for the ball to rebound off the crossbar.
There was another close call for Reds when Jordan Palmer’s glancing header saw Eccles smother the ball on the line. At one point, it was only City’s wastefulness in front of goal keeping Reds in contention as Bradbury, Simpson and Jordan Holt were finding it easier to hit the adjacent railway line than the back of Eccles’ net.
But the breakthrough came in the seventieth minute when the referee rightly awarded the Sky Blues a second penalty following Aidan Howarth’s trip on Keighran Kerr.
Palmer stepped up this time and blasted home the opener.
Two minutes later, it was all over as Palmer swept home his second after good City progress down the right.
It was then up to Reds to do something they hadn’t looked capable of doing all night – find a goal. But there wasn’t even a consolation to celebrate, despite on target efforts from Reuben Jerome and Carl Lightfoot, with City’s place in the semi-final already assured.
The Cumberland Cup certainly wasn’t a priority this season but local pride took a bit of a hit after this well below par showing and now Reds have to re-focus on the quest for league points with a busy schedule imminent.
Carlisle City: Murray, Olsen, Kelly (Hartley, 61), Bowman T, May (Atkinson H, 84) Holt, Kerr, Simpson, Palmer, Seggie (Studholme, 77), Bradbury. Substitutes – Allison, Johnstone (not used).
Workington: Eccles, Howarth, Whitehead, Butterworth, Casson (Webster, 78), Burns (Jerome, 68), Bowman C, Carroll (Lightfoot C, 78), Fenwick, Lawrence, Gooden. Substitutes – Houghton, Paden-Gale (not used).
Referee: John Mulligan, Carlisle
Booking: Olsen (Carlisle City)