There wasn’t a red shirt in sight as the Colne Reds and our own Reds did battle in the Holt House gloom in an important NPL West encounter.
Colne have opted for an all white kit this season to mark a significant club anniversary and Reds played in their green outfit which has proved lucky on their travels this term.
Regardless of fashion, this was an excellent performance from the Cumbrians and a thoroughly deserved victory lifted them to second in the table, five points behind leaders Marine.
And for a change, it was a stress-free afternoon with one’s finger nails still intact after a dominant ninety minutes. I cannot recall any anxiety at all as Chris Willcock’s side went about their business in an efficient manner with the manager rightly describing it as a ‘fantastic team performance’.
But this comfortable win came at a cost with the loss of two players – one through injury and the other due to a straight red card.
Brad Carroll sustained facial damage after a collision with team mate, Steven Rigg, just before half time and spent several hours at hospital following a cut around his eye.
And ten minutes into the second half, they were reduced to ten men when a Reuben Jerome tackle was deemed dangerous by the referee who sent Reds’ centre forward for an early shower and, almost certainly, a three game ban.
The loss of two key players might have disrupted the rhythm but it didn’t and Reds looked just as comfortable for the remaining thirty five minutes as they had earlier. Indeed they scored their third goal two minutes after Jerome’s dismissal and Colne surrendered there and then.
Reds were two goals ahead at half time and already well on the way to a fourth successive win on what is becoming a happy hunting ground. Conor Tinnion netted both – the first a simple tap-in after being alert enough to see an opportunity looming and the second a rather special swerving left-footer from a well worked corner routine.
The first came in the twenty fourth minute following a meandering Brad Hubbold run culminating in a shot which hit the post. Jerome and Tinnion were on hand in a crowded area but the latter got lucky and blasted home from close range.
Eleven minutes later, the excellent away support was treated to a sublime second. Tinnion hadn’t been picked up when receiving the ball from a Dav Symington corner and that wand of a left foot did the rest with Colne ‘keeper, Hakan Burton, helpless as the ball swerved away from his gloves and into the net.
Colne hadn’t really troubled Jim Atkinson in the first half and a tame shot from Dean Ing was about all he had to deal with, such was the vice-like grip his back four had on matters in front of him.
Soon after the restart, and Carroll already en route to hospital, Colne pieced together their best move of the game. Ing and Matthew Morgan combined well but when the latter crossed from the right, Ing touched the ball the wrong side of the post.
Colne might have sensed there was a route back into the contest following the sending off, but that notion was quickly squashed when Symington bagged his fifth goal of the season with another missile-type finish. Receiving the ball from Rigg, he got the vital yard on Paul Dugdale and, from an acute angle, fired the ball into the far corner of the net for Reds’ third.
Reds managed the game superbly thereafter yet survived a couple of scares before the end. Reece Webb-Foster’s shot hit the same upright as Hubbold had in the first half before the loose ball was scrambled clear and Matthew Makinson’s low shot was on target but routinely smothered by Atkinson.
Colne: Burton, Cannon-Noren (Russell, 60), Dugdale (Roberts, 65), Makinson, Winstanley, Taylor, Williams (Bayode, 46), Pugh, Ing, Webb-Foster, Morgan. Substitutes – Dodd, O’Halleron (not used).
Workington: Atkinson, Harrison, Clarke, Wordsworth, Smith, Hubbold, Symington, Carroll (Gaul, 46), Jerome, Tinnion, Rigg. Substitutes – Gooden, Rowe, Bowman, Eccles (not used).
Referee: Jacob Graham, Manchester
Bookings: Williams, Pugh (Colne)
Red card: Jerome (Workington)