New manager Chris Willcock met most of his players for the first time and then watched a mixed performance from them which delivered the good, bad and indifferent. The display would have provided plenty of food for thought on his return journey to Manchester but he will have taken into account the list of key absentees, which numbered five on this occasion.
Without ever dominating the game, Reds were in control for long periods but their Achilles heel was exposed twice as they conceded goals from set pieces early in the game and, painfully, seconds before the final whistle.
It completed a successful pre-season campaign for the Northern League outfit, who start their league programme next week, whilst Reds have now made three visits to Consett’s Belle View ground and lost each time.
The hosts were quickly into their stride and started well. Dale Pearson was unlucky not to open the scoring, first seeing a shot blocked on the line by Matty Clarke then being thwarted by Danny Eccles with the follow-up.
But they got their goal after nine minutes, a poor one to concede from a Reds’ perspective. Luke Carr delivered a routine corner from the right which Arjun Purewal met and the faintest of deflections saw the ball come to rest in the far corner f the net.
It could have got worse for green-shirted Reds had they not managed to block a Callum Guy effort on the line.
Gradually, though, their play became more structured and they were putting moves together albeit without causing too much concern to the home defence.
David Symington was wide of the target with one effort after Reuben Jerome had carved out the opening following a positive run down the left and then Steven Rigg’s weak shot was gathered comfortably by Kyle Hayes.
Jerome attempted to lift the ball over Hayes’ head from distance but the shot lacked height and was easily saved.
And the momentum built-up in the later stages of the first half resulted in Workington starting the second with much more vigour.
Rigg had a shot cleared off the line but, when the ball rebounded to Iyrwah Gooden, he missed the target from close range.
But Reds were level five minutes after the restart when Symington ended his personal goal drought with a superb individual effort. Intercepting a diagonal stray pass, he advanced on goal before driving the ball beyond Hayes and into the far corner of the net.
He was unlucky not to score a second when a firm shot was kept out by the save of the match with Hayes diving to his left to push the ball to safety.
When Carl Lightfoot’s late effort was cleared off the line by James Metcalfe’s spectacular clearance, a draw seemed the most likely outcome. But credit to Consett who finished strongly and, with over ninety minutes on the clock, they grabbed a last-gasp winner.
Carl Lawson’s corner to the far post was met by fellow substitute, Charlie Exley who powered above Robbie Hebson and Kieran Charlton to head home the winner.
Play was restarted before the referee blew for time.
Consett Hayes, Metz, Holden, Smith, Purewal, Orrell, Guy, Carr, Marriott, Pearson, Larkin. Substitutes: Lake, Pilkington, Metcalfe, Exley, Lawson, Trialist (all used).
Workington Eccles (Paden-Gale, 85), Clarke, Charlton, Wordsworth, Griffiths (Lightfoot L, 76), Hubbold, Gooden (Hebson, 72), Carroll, Jerome (Bowman, 72),Rigg (Lightfoot C, 76), Symington.
Referee: Andrew Kitchen