Reds’ Development squad gave Brian Dawson’s Celtic a scare in a game switched to the 4G surface at Cleator Moor.
And with no fewer than seven U17s in their ranks, the feeling is that Reds have a good batch of players to work with in this season’s County League campaign.
None of the teenagers looked out of their depth and acquitted themselves well. Indeed, it is fair to say they dominated the opening twenty-five minutes and Celtic looked a bit uncomfortable in the early stages.
The hosts did come more into the picture towards half time but neither side created too many clear-cut chances and it was goalless at the break.
It was Workington who actually opened the scoring via a well worked free kick. Cain Pears floated the ball into the area, Scott Williamson headed back across goal and Chad Grisdale ghosted in to nod home from close range.
Celtic, who included no fewer than half a dozen players with Reds connections, finished strongly, though. Two of those who have worn red in the past turned the game in the ‘Hoops’ favour.
James Bell forced his way into the box and found the far corner of the net for a well taken equaliser and Taylor Hambling smashed home a spectacular winner with a superb strike from twenty yards.
It was tough on Reds but their display earned plenty of praise from the Celtic camp and should provide confidence and belief moving forward.
Joint boss, Craig Johnston, praised the performance saying, “I was absolutely delighted with the way we played and don’t think we deserved to lose the game.”
Cleator Moor Celtic: Stephenson, Bell, Whitehead, Short, Little J, Hambling, Houghton, Close, Smith, Carter, Trotter. Substitutes – Little R, Cueto, Brennan, Martin, Atkinson.
Development Team: Lister, Percival, Williamson, Edmondson, Walker, Grisdale, Stephenson, Dunstan, Scott, Watson. Substitutes – Johnston, Christian, Scofield, Harrell, Walker, Bell.